Monday, June 29, 2009

Abe & Louie's, Dinner, Boston

After a couple of weeks of summer craziness- birthdays, weddings and business travel, I am finally finding some time to blog again! Good thing too- cause I've been enjoying some delicious meals lately.

Friday evening I was treated to a nice celebratory dinner at Abe and Louie's in Boston's Back Bay. As you may recall I had a less than stellar brunch there a year or so ago, but knowing that brunch really isn't a good indicator of a restaurant, especially a steak house, I was really excited to give it a go.

We arrived about fifteen minutes before our reservation time, but were seated immediately. Our water filled, bread delivered, we were left to peruse the menu. Steakhouses are forever confusing to me- I always go in wanting steak, then wavering when I read their seafood offerings, and this time wavered again at their lamb chops. But knowing that I was there for true steak, I finally chose their Tuscan aged prime sirloin. My dining companion decided on their Filet Mignon, and we chose sauteed fresh spinach and hash browns as our sides. For a started, we selected their crab cake.

I have to say, their crab cake was one of the best Ive had. Served with a fruit salsa and a tartar sauce, the cake was full of fresh, sweet crab, without any real discernible fillers. I am always so disappointed when crab cakes are all bread crumbs and stuffers, and you can barely even find the crab meat. This was just perfect- large chunks, sweetly flavored. The fruit salsa had just a little kick to it, and its natural sweetness and simple spice really played into the crab and made it just perfect. Tarter sauce was good-though nothing to write home about.

My steak arrived with a side of roasted vegetables, and a Cabernet demi glace. Moist in texture, the steak had very concentrated flavors, which really brought through a strong "beef" flavor. I found it to be strong, and almost bitter, what does that "Tuscan" aging do? It was cooked to a beautiful medium rare as requested. The side of roasted vegetables were pretty basic, and rather indiscernible. They appeared to be potatoes and red peppers, though it was difficult to see what was what until you were actually tasting it.

The spinach was light, and nicely prepared. I felt as though it had been sauteed with very little, if any real grease, and so the true flavor of the leaves them selves show through. The potatoes had been grated into long strips and pan fried into one big patty of hash brown good ness. Soft on the inside and crispy on the outside- a really nice take on "meat and potatoes".

I have to take a moment to point out that while everything was delicious (especially my DC's Filet) I very consciously noticed the lack of salt present in each dish we were served. Far too often I find that I walk away from restaurants feeling as though I just had a big block of salt for dinner, and so it is always a treat when that doesn't occur. Kudos to the A&L chef for monitoring his salt use.

In honor of the occasion, we decided to have some dessert. We selected their hot fudge sundae from the list, though were very tempted by their fresh baked cookie offering. We were not disappointed in our decision. Extra creamy vanilla ice cream was served on top of a pond of hot fudge sauce, garnished with slivered almonds and nice large chocolate dipped strawberry. On the side we were given another small boat of hot fudge for pouring, presented with a warming dish to keep it fluid. For it being "just" a hot fudge sundae, and neither of us being super big ice cream fans, it was out of this world. The fudge was rich and decadent, and the ice cream was better than any other ice cream I've had. We only had a quarter of it, if that, but felt as though our sweet tooth was completely satisfied- and in the best way possible.

After dinner was over, I noticed, via the table next to us that they had a wine by the glass from my favorite vineyard. I was introduced to the Silverado Vineyard last year, and since I have searched for it in restaurants all over Boston-this was the first time I saw it by the glass. So we wrapped up dinner at the bar enjoying a nice glass of wine.

After my poor experience last year at Abe and Louie's, I was not anticipating such a delightful meal. Our server was friendly and knowledgeable, though a bit absent at times, though that didn't interfere on our wonderful experience. I can confidently recount my displeasure, and would be happy to return.


Anonymous said...

Among the best by the glass offerings in Boston IMHO. Enjoyed stumbling on your site.

Anonymous said...

Just stumbled across this posting. Have to agree that Abe & Louie's has wine by the glass that i've never seen by the glass anywhere else. Love it.

Restaurant Reviews: A dead art?

Last December I declared 2023 the year I would return to food writing.  It was a bold statement (even now as I look at my last published dat...