We’ve settled into a new routine with Dine Out Boston. We once used the occasion to sample newcomers, but for the last couple of years we’ve used it to return to stalwarts that are a bit above our quotidian price point. Last year Menton, this year No. 9 Park. We descended upon them as a party of seven with three teenagers, and far from being crammed into a 6-top at the back of the house we scored the front table in a windowed alcove off the bar, with a gorgeous view of the Statehouse and Boston Common.
My SO had her heart set on a cocktail “flight”, which used to be a thing at No. 9 but no more. Upon hearing her describe it and seeing her disappointment that the flights were discontinued, our waiter conferred with the bar and proceeded to craft her a bespoke gin-based flight. I contented myself with a vodka/lime/mint Palmyra, as did one other DC, and we were off to a glorious start.
Bread service was superb, a hearty sourdough and/or a potato onion roll, cultured butter and sea salt on the side. For water we were a mixture of sparkling and still, and there was nary a mixup all evening long (glasses encoding the choice).
The Dine Boston menu offered 3 or 5 course options, with optional supplements of foie gras and a cheese course. Our party ordered a mix of 3 course, 3 course plus foie gras, and 5 courses. The logistics could have been a nightmare but was handled with aplomb by a host of servers supporting our waiter. Highlights included a little gem salad with fried green tomato, gardiniere with smoked bluefish, Faroe Island salmon perfectly rare but a crispy skin, and spaghetti with clams. We shared a cheese plate before desert, one local cheese but 3 from abroad including epoise. A savory Ribolla, a grape I was not familiar with, from the producer Movia got us through all the courses, save for the foie gras, for which we ordered the recommended sherry. My SO prefers a Sauternes, but I found the nutty character of the Amatillado went well.
Simple desert offerings included a peaches and cream or a German chocolate cake - both deemed a success.
Service was absolutely impeccable, and we left wondering why we don’t dine at No. 9 more often. I extracted a commitment from the group to revisit No. 9 for my birthday in 2 months. Yum.