>> Thursday, September 03, 2009
No. 9 Park derives its name from its address. It literally sits on Park Street, right near the State house with the golden top, at "no. 9, Park St." It is the original brainchild of Barbara Lynch, who also owns Drink, B&G Oysters, and Sportello.
No. 9 Park serves regionally inspired French and Italian dishes with "an emphasis on simplicity and flavor." It sits in a charming townhouse right on Beacon Hill overlooking Boston Common.
The menu is seasonal, and changes often. The chef's tasting actually changes every week. Prices are definitely on the higher end: the Chef's tasting 7-course menu is $96, or $160 with wine. You can also get a 3-course prix fixe for $65, or buy a la carte (appetizers $19, entrees $39, and desserts $12).
I think "simplicity and flavor" defines the food here pretty accurately. The dishes are mostly simple - no wild pairings of exotic flavors - just good, solid cooking. The food is expertly prepared, service is impeccable, and the space is really nice. The signature dish, the prune stuffed gnocchi with seared foie gras, is definitely a must-try "wow" dish and lives up to its reputation. Other dishes were solid, but not particularly exciting. I guess "simple" would be a better word.
Join me as I relive my 7 courses. :)
aoili. This was probably my least favorite dish of the tasting. To one who typically eats mackerel raw (which is delicious, btw), this mackerel seemed borderline overcooked. The fork-mashed potatoes were less mushy than most mashed potatoes. Over all, I only thought this dish was OK, and thus I only ate half of it, trying to save room for the rest of the meal. This dish was paired with a rosato from Sicily (like a rose but much drier).
The tomatoes were sweet and fresh, and of course, the homemade farfalle was perfectly al dente. The dish was just lightly salted - perfect. A nice dish - nothing particularly creative, but it was very well done.
I must inject a note here to commend the waitstaff for working so hard to answer my question. I merely asked where the cheese came from, and before you know it, several waitstaff were asking around trying to find out the answer for me. Because of their hard work, I am able to share that information with you today. Ha ha, I never would have expected the answer to be Somerville!
just ordered cheese, we had to wait about 15 minutes for this next course. The waiter poured us both free glasses of champagne while apologizing for the wait. What excellent service! I pointed at the champagne and told the waiter that it was actually quite appropriate since we were celebrating our anniversary that day.
We ended up picking three different cheeses. A stinky blue, a sharp Vermont cheese, and a creamy Belgian cheese. Unfortunately, that is all I can remember. They came with a nice tray of homemade crackers, grapes, hazelnuts, and strawberry jam. It was quite nice.
how could I forget???) - and a few absolutely scrumptuous toasted candied cashews sprinkled about.
Man, I might try making those cashews at home. They were too good. The nutty pie was OK, but then again, I don't really like nut desserts, so I'm biased. The dark flourless chocolate torte was flawless - super dark and yet not too sweet. The coconut gelatin custard was rich and creamy, though it felt a bit thick for my tastes.
The waiter was kind enough to give me a glass of dessert wine on the house because it was our anniversary. Again, they really know how to make you feel special. Impeccable service.
Over all, this is a great place for a date. The waitstaff are all really nice and the service can't be beat. Though not super exciting, the food is expertly prepared. The prices are high, and honestly, you can get better food for a lot less in other cities like New York or Chicago. Nevertheless, it's still probably one of the best restaurants in Boston. Maybe not super inventive or exciting, but definitely historical, charming, delicious, and SUPER service oriented.
9 Park St
Boston, MA 02108