But for months I have been trying to make dinner plans with one of my friends, and the night we could both get together just happened to be during Boston Restaurant Week. And the restaurant we chose to go to just happened to be participating in Boston Restaurant Week. So I found myself heading to Bergamot this past Wednesday night to check out the restaurant week offerings. And I'm happy to report that Bergamot does restaurant week just as well as it does regular service. (Bergamot was already among my favorite restaurants before this visit.)
We were warmly welcomed by the host and led to a small table near the windows. (I actually wasn't originally planning to write about this dinner, but the lighting was so good I couldn't resist taking pictures.)
Our waitress, who was incredibly friendly and easygoing, came over and helped us choose from the wine and cocktail selections, brought our drinks, and took our dinner order. When she noticed my friend opted for the meatless choices, she asked if she was a vegetarian, just to make sure they would send an amuse-bouche she could actually enjoy.
We each had a different amuse-bouche, and we both agreed that they were a nice touch but a little underwhelming.
|Hers was a little beet crostini|
|Mine was a flatbread with prosciutto|
Along with the amuse bouche, we were also served fresh bread with honey butter, which we snacked on throughout dinner.
For her first course, my friend got the goat cheese salad with shitake mushrooms, frisée, oranges, and toasted hazelnuts. She tells me it was tasty.
|Goat Cheese Salad with Shiitake Mushroom, Frisée, Orange, and Toasted Hazelnuts|
I went with the split pea soup with chicharron and barley salad. The soup was incredible. I've never had a pea soup with barley in it, and I enjoyed the contrast in textures between the smooth, creamy soup and the toothsome barley pearls.
|Split Pea Soup with Chicharron and Barley Salad|
The plaintain gnocchi my friend ordered was definitely a good choice (and the vegetarian option among the entrees). She let me try one of her gnocchi, which I made sure to use to scoop up a little avocado. The gnocchi had such an interesting texture, and the flavors in the dish really popped. We talked about how some restaurants don't put much thought into their vegetarian dishes, but Bergamot definitely does.
|Plantain Gnocchi with Black Beans, Avocado, Roasted Red Pepper, and Portobello Mushroom Confit|
My entree was very good as well. I ordered the duck confit with tarbais beans, garlic sausage, confit fennel, and rutabaga. The flavors melded together and the textures contrasted, making each bite interesting.
|Duck Confit with Tarbais Beans, Garlic Sausage, Confit Fennel, and Rutabaga|
We also shared a side of potatoes over romesco sauce because we couldn't resist after our waitress described the dish to us.
And then, shocking the waiter who came to take our dessert order, I asked if we could get all three restaurant week desserts (paying for one a la carte). I don't know why that's shocking. I like my desserts, and if a restaurant has good ones, I'll order more than one for myself. I know from previous visits that Bergamot has phenomenal desserts.
One dessert I've had there before that is very popular is called That Grapefruit Dessert, and it was an option on the restaurant week menu, so of course we had to get it. A warm madeleine cake comes topped with wedges of grapefruit and a toasted white wine sabayon. After our first bites, my friend and I agreed that grapefruit is not used often enough in desserts.
My favorite dessert of the evening was the chocolate cremeux with avocado sauce. It sounds so strange, but somehow it just worked. And I loved the garnish of tiny avocado marbles on top. That white dust you see around the plate had us puzzled for a bit. It's olive oil dust made with tapioca. It pretty much melts in your mouth.
|Chocolate Crémeux with Avocado Sauce, Olive Oil Dust, and Orange Zest|
The profiteroles, while tasty, were our least favorite dessert. They weren't as light as we expected, but the flavor was very interesting.
|Profiteroles with Cardamom-Orange Blossom Pastry Cream and Chocolate Ganache|
We ended our meal with small bites of warm, moist cinnamon chocolate cake sent out by the pastry chef.
I think restaurant week offers one very key benefit to Bergamot. Often people are too full to order dessert, but during restaurant week, it's part of the package. Everyone who comes into Bergamot for restaurant week gets to try one of Pastry Chef Stacy Mirabello's creations. And because these desserts are so inventive and flavorful, maybe when they return for their next visit, they'll remember to save room for dessert.
I'm happy to say that I had a great restaurant week experience at Bergamot. It holds fast on my list of favorite restaurants, and I love that it's just a 15-minute walk from where we live.
Have you been to Bergamot yet?