A mouthful of man candy in every bite!Eat This! Wednesday, November 25th, 2015
“Would you please put your phone away?”
“What? I can multi-task.”
“Yes, but could you try single-tasking while we enjoy dinner?”
“Pierce” acquiesced and put his phone away. We were seated in a quiet corner beneath the high exposed-beam ceiling at Great Maple, a perfect table for catching up on recent events. Pierce was excited to tell me about his new information technology job. He’s not only tall and handsome, he’s smart, too. Oscar, our upbeat and knowledgeable server, walked us through the menu, introduced the evening’s specials, then left to retrieve our craft cocktails.
Oscar presented the appetizers, Steak Tartare ($17) and Nantucket Nuggets ($15). The Tartare is a blend of raw finely chopped steak, spices and uncooked egg served with nutty arugula greens and a Dijon-horseradish sauce. While nicely prepared and presented, the flavor of the tender beef did not stand up to the piquant accompaniment. The nuggets, however, were “the bomb” according to Pierce. Six golden brown deep-fried hush-puppies, chock full of sweet lobster, are served with a sublime dipping sauce of spring corn bisque flirting with mustard and bourbon. Mmm mmm good!
Our entrées, Mushroom Pasta ($16) and Grilled Sea Bream ($25), arrived in due time. Sea bream is considered one of the best white-meat fish, renowned for its mild flavor and firm texture. The herb stuffed deboned fish is served whole with a slaw of jicama and red onion and then garnished with sprigs of cilantro and a mild chimichurri sauce. The mushroom pasta is perfectly simple and simply perfect. Housemade fettuccine noodles are tossed with truffle oil and a medley of earthy lightly sautéed fresh mushrooms, then topped by a poached egg and shaved hard Pecorino cheese. A drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette reduction completes the presentation.
Oscar was surprised when we ordered two desserts and we soon understood why. Pierce described the Apple Pie ($11) as “sex on a plate”, and with good reason. The large softball-sized puff of flakey pastry dough is filled with piping hot spiced apples then served with salted caramel sauce, spiced pecans and light-as-air whipped cream. The sticky sweet Maple Bacon Donuts ($9) are served warm and come three to the stack, each cake donut generously drizzled with maple sauce and smokey bacon bits. A mouthful of man candy in every bite.
Don’t feel like cooking for your holiday guests? Great Maple offers a Prix Fixe Thanksgiving menu. The three-course meal ($48) includes a choice of starters, entrées and desserts.
Eat this, hungry readers. You’ll be glad you did.
1451 Washington St.
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