Monday, January 31, 2011

Deuxave, Back Bay, Boston

It isn't often that I write a "re-review", especially when my dining experiences occur within less than a year of each other.  However, in this case, I felt it was necessary.  Deuxave opened last fall, with Chris Coombs, one of my favorite Boston chefs, at the helm.  I couldn't contain my excitement at it's opening, and so dined there within weeks of it opening.  Now, it must be noted that it usually takes a few months for restaurants to get all of their kinks worked out.  There are always a bunch of little details to iron out and challenges to overcome in the beginning, and so I must admit- it may not have been incredibly fair of me to review so early on.  Now my experience was largely positive on my first trip, but I had spent some time wondering what could be when the kinks were worked out.  Which is why, when my mom suggested it as our dining location for a little ladies night out this past weekend, I was excited to give it a try again.

Though Deuxave has been open for many months at this point, it is still incredibly difficult to get a reservation, so we ended up just popping by the location, at the corner of Mass Ave and Commonwealth Ave near 6:30 on Saturday night.  We were excited to find that there was a table available in the lounge section.  Once seated, we were greeted by our charming waiter, drinks were ordered and our evening was off to a lovely start.  

We decided on the Melange of Heirloom Beets to begin our meals.  Since I was little I have disliked beets.  My mother loves them.  Trying to open myself up to new things, I suggested that we split this dish as an appetizer.  I can say that I am slowly beginning to like beets.  Deuxave served golden and red beets, cooked to a fork tender perfection, paired with an herb ed chevre, spiced pecans, pear slices and red and green frisee.  Visually it was a beautiful dish, the contrasting colors of the beets pairing with the cheese and the greens.  Taste wise it was just as wonderful. The poignant, earthy flavor of the beets was offset by the tangy chevre, it's herby-ness providing relief.  The sweetness of the pears and the spice and crunch of the pecan lent their own variations, keeping the taste buds intrigued to the very end.  

I selected their Duet Of Giannone Farms Organic Chicken as my main course.  Coombs paired a perfectly cooked chicken breast with a disk of thigh meat which had been heavily seasoned with savory herbs, and complemented them both with creamy polenta, sauteed kale, and chantarelle mushrooms.  The chicken breast was flavorful and juicy, with its crispy skin providing great contrast to the meat.  The thigh meat, rich and gamy by nature was perfectly offset by the fresh herbs Chef Coombs had paired with it.  The perfection of the duet was nothing without its supporting cast- the creamy polenta, the kale and mushrooms, some of which had been cooked to soft and supple textural bliss, and others pushed beyond that stage to a crispness rivaling the chicken skin.  Both were full of beautiful smoky flavor, and each provided wonderful contrast to the soft polenta, and the study chicken.  This was a perfect duet of flavors and textures, bringing out the best of chicken.  

I was too enraptured with my own meal to spend too much time picking at my mothers- she had ordered their scallop dish which looked delicious, and the bite I had was fantastic as it was paired with black quinoa and a citrus salad.  I just did not spend enough time on it.

We did however find some room for dessert and elected to split Deuxave's interpretation of Tiramisu.  This is what I love about Chef Coombs- he walks the perfect balance between molecular gastronomy and the familiar foods that we all know.  He blends the two together with such precise perfection that his food is both approachable and fascinating, and never touches on the science experiment cooking that is so chic now.  Tiramisu was served completely deconstructed.  Hollowed tubes of chocolate filled with Madeira wine flavored Marscapone cheese, rested on a single rum soaked lady finger.  Ground chocolate cookie crumbs lay like sand providing a satisfactory crunch when paired with the cheese, or the alcoholic cake.  A scoop of chocolate glace, and delicate circles of coffee foam accessorized the dish creating the ability for us to sample each taste on its own, and combined with several different options of flavor.  Each texture complemented the others, creating a perfect mouth feel experience.  This was a perfect dessert both aesthetically, and by taste.  

Deuxave has created a perfect "neighborhood restaurant" feel in one of the more trendy zip codes in Boston.  Chef Coombs has brought forth all of the wonderful flavors of what could be "generic" comfort food, and has combined them with the perfect flair of molecular gastronomy and beauty to create dishes that are truly remarkable.  Deuxave, I am excited to say, has taken one of my "favorites in Boston" spots.  


Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

Good to hear that the kinks have been worked out. I've been wanting to try this place for a while - sounds lovely!

Kristen said...

excellent review Fiona. I have been looking forward to the day I get to try Deuxave!

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...