We went to Craigie Street Bistrot for our anniversary dinner.
Craigie Street Bistrot is tucked away in a residential area about a 5-10 minute walk outside of Harvard Square. The chef, Tony Maws, has won countless awards, including America's top 10 new chefs by Food and Wine Magazine and also Best of Boston 2007 for General Excellence.
The food is French by cuisine, but the ingredients are all local, New England, fresh produce - at least for most of the year (winter is sometimes a bit tough). Every morning Tony collaborates with local farmers and picks out the best organic produce and meat for that day. He then designs the menus based on his picks. The menu changes every day, and is usually printed out right before the restaurant opens at 5 PM.
We decided to try the Chef's Tasting Menu for our anniversary. This is essentially a chef's whim type of tasting. "Tony will cook whatever he wants for you!" It's a 7-course meal plus another 3 courses of desserts. There's basically a regular version and a vegetarian version. We both ordered the regular version (both people at the table have to order the same tasting menu).
The food was absolutely fabulous. Tony Maws is an excellent cook. I won't go into detail describing each dish, because that would take forever (see below for the menu of what we ate). Suffice it to say - it's definitely worth trying the tasting at least once. This is a chance to try the best of what a chef can do - he is truly at the peak of his creativity. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Even though French cuisine is not my favorite, Craigie Street Bistrot is probably one of my favorite restaurants in Boston.
The Chef's Tasting Menu is not cheap. Ours was $115 a person plus the cost of wine. If you want to experience Tony's creativity for a little less money, you can try the Chef's Whim, which is available Wednesday and Sunday evenings after 9 PM. For either $39.99 (4 courses) or $55 (6 courses) a person, Tony Maws will cook a spontaneous meal for you. I've never personally tried this, but it sounds like a lot of fun and I definitely want to try it in the future!
There's also the prix fixe deal, which is $36 for a three course meal. It is available Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday; and after 9:00 pm Friday and Saturday. Bryan and I have tried this once. Although it was fine, it did not compare to the complexity and flavor of the other dishes that he makes.
CHEF'S TASTING MENU
Assiette of Kona Kampachi Sashimi
melon, peanuts, green olives, salmon roe, ginger-chile vinaigrette
Salad of Farm Fresh Tomatoes and House Cured Anchovies
lovage vinaigrette, mizuna, salt-cured foie gras
Squid and Vegetable noodles
squid ink-dash sauce, trout roe
Slow-Cooked Farm Fresh Egg
summer succotash, Spanish octopus, chorizo sauce
Roasted Red Chile-Marinated Kampachi Kama
Roasted Beef Bone Marrow
smoked beef tongue confit
CSB Boudin Noir Stuffed Vermont Organic Quail
summer vegetables, smoked farro, black trumpet mushroom puree
Tea-infused Panna Cottas
Warm Sweet White Corn Grits
local blackberries, poached peach puree, anise hyssop ice cream
Market Fruits Crisp
walnut topping, buttermilk ice cream
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