Birthday Dinner at Noche.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Beautiful decor, with wall sculptures illustrating stages of the lunar cycle.

3 Appleton Street
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 482-0117


Tucked away at the corner of Berkeley street was Noche. Although I've been to 28 degrees several times before (right next door), I've never once chanced upon Noche, which was as elusive as it's namesake (Spanish for night). Upon entering a beautiful metal door, I was led downwards to an exclusive, subterranean world. The interior was warm, intimate and luxurious and relatively quiet on a Tuesday evening. Service was attentive and thoughtful, although a little too quirky because half the time, I had no idea what our server-sommelier was trying to convey so it was amusingly awkward..ever had one of those moments? 

Described as "modern Latin meets New England", my curiosity was piqued. Disappointingly, the food did not quite meet my expectations. It was by no means bad but I thought that some of the flavors weren't very harmonizing, which led to some "hmmmm, this is sorta funky" moments; thoughts on individual dishes to follow. What stood out for me was my first cocktail, which was DELICIOUS: Cucumber Gimlet-Hendrick's st. germain, lime juice, fresh cucumbers, orange bitters. My verdict: Skipping the entrées, I'll definitely be back for drinks, bar snacks and the ambiance!

Ahi Tuna Tartare * grilled onion-mango relish, chili oil, cilantro, blue corn tortilla-too wet, not tangy enough and tortilla chips ended up being soggy.
Spanish Cheese Board cabrales spanish blue and manchego cheese, herb roasted olive, fig jam, marinated sweet peppers, toasts-nicely plated. loved the aged bleu. there's Nothing like the discovery of crunchy fine salt crystals in cheese for texture!
Cornmeal Fried Duxbury Oysters smoked chili aioli, grilled lime-good but forgettable.
Shaved Beet And Arugula Salad toasted almonds, blood oranges, manchego cheese, orange vinaigrette-Choice plating, needs more acid.
Pan-Roasted Lobster And Littleneck Clams new potatoes and chayote squash, salsa verde, spicy tomato relish-MY FAvorite entrée of the noche (lol).  
Chicken, Chorizo And Shellfish Paella saffron arborio rice, lobster tail, mussels, clams, shrimp, green peas-rice was too wet and starchy. Seafood was cooked perfectly.
Plantain Crushed Yellow Tail Snapper creamy coconut rice, blood orange-cucumber relish, sweet carrot-mango sauce-My friend didn't reAlly enjoy her dish and I would agree. Too many competing flavors which didn't seem to go together.  
Spicy Grilled Pork Tenderloin * smokey poblano chili, onion and golden raisin relish, pulled pork shoulder and green onion tamale, poblano cream-This was my dish. The Grilled pork was done well but what made this dish so-so was the pairing of the complicated sauce and masa (which Keiko commented tasted of soap (!))
Ancho-Blackberry Rabbit roasted black bean cake, green mango salad, crushed blackberry-ancho sauce-this was ok, not particularly memorable. 
Noche Vegetable Plate roasted black bean cake, plantain patacones, coconut rice, grilled seasonal vegetables, avocado, sauces-meh. For all the beautiful plating so far, this dish looked sloppy.
Birthday Dessert Sampler! Beautiful selection of desserts. Notably the churros were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside :) A very warm thank you to my friends who took me out for dinner! (Keiko, B, Tiffany, Ws, Jeni, Billy)


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