Massachusetts Restaurant Reviews
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Rating: 4 / 5
I had a birthday dinner with my mom at Cedar Street Restaurant in February 2006. For all of February - and part of March - they run a special where all entrees are $14.95. That's quite a bargain, considering their entrees can run up to $25 each!
The building was once an attorney's home. They have knocked out a few walls, and hung a few window panes in central locations. The result is that the floor area is very open, but there are distinct areas so you don't feel like you're in a warehouse. There are primarily white walls, lots of windows, with a variety of artwork on the walls and a fake fireplace in the central area. The tables are wood with white tableclothes; the chairs are the wood spindel-back type.
There were only 3-4 tables occupied when we had our meal, which lasted from 6:30 - 8:30pm. You would think it'd be a quiet night where we could talk. For some reason, they put all of us right next to each other. This meant I could clearly hear (and not avoid) the conversations near us about allergies and ice wines and other topics. One man had a very loud cell phone that rang and interrupted our conversation several times. I give the restaurant great points for a pretty, "upscale home" environment, but fewer points for using it appropriately so diners could have conversations.
We began with a Prosecco - Italian sparkling wine - which was left in a silver bucket on our table. Mom had escargot and I had the pumpkin bisque. The soup was served in a very white, large rimmmed bowl. Only the tiniest center area actually holds the soup. Where many restaurants would give you a wide, very shallow bowl, Cedar Street has gone the opposite way. They give you a very wide bowl but only the smallest center area is deep to hold the liquid. It makes it look like you got hardly any soup, until you put your spoon in and realize the bowl area is deep.
I'm not sure that I agree with that choice. I realize it might keep the soup warmer to have it all in a compact area, but by having such a giant lip around the edge, it makes the dish seem off balance and that you're getting only a tiny amount. That being said, the bisque itself was quite tasty, with a delicate flavor of pumpkin that was very fresh.
There was bread served as a free side dish. There were options of almond butter or honey butter. Apparently normally you only get one or the other with olives, but for some reason we got both. We went with the almond butter. It was nice, smooth and easy to spread. The bread was white and plain. I don't mean to be a bread snob, but I did find it a bit odd that with the rest of the food being so fresh and flavorful that the bread was so low key.
On to the main dishes. I had the veal with asparagus. It came with grilled asparagus, cauliflower and mashed potatoes. This was very tender, and the asparagus was just right. The mashed potatoes were potato like - I consider this the 'filler' of meals that doesn't tend to have much flavor :)
We were both too full for dessert. The menu had a number of sorbet dishes, plus a trio of creme brulee. We went for a coffee drink and a port for our dessert. The waitress was quite prompt during the entire meal, refilling our glasses, checking on us, and making sure we were happy.
In general this was a great bargain to go off-season - the prices were quite cheap for the nice quality food they served. The menu rotates with the seasons so it'd be hard to give a general review for all dishes, other than to say that the meals we had were quite tasty and the ingredients seemed to be good quality ones. On the downside, even with only 4 tables through the evening the noise was quite present. If this was in the summer with more people, I imagine it'd be even noisier. It could of course be that some people don't mind the noise, but when I go out for a nice dinner I appreciate having it relatively quiet where I can hear my conversation. The restaurant can't of course help the obnoxiously loud cell phone at the table next to me - but they could have left empty tables between us.
Menu: All items were delicious
Wine List: Good selections
Dress: business dress
Staff: Attentive and friendly
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