After about five visits to Bastille Kitchen, I am finally getting around to writing a review of this much anticipated restaurant, which opened in the Seaport/Fort Point District a little more than a month ago to a positive buzz amongst critics, bloggers and yelpers. Kudos to restaurateur Seth Greenberg (Mistral & Woodward) for another wonderful place to eat and indeed have fun in Boston.
Walking into a doorway on Melchur Street, you have no idea how big this place actually is. On my first four visits, we started with cocktails in the downstairs lounge known as The Chalet. A dark, rich looking ski lodge, which I found a little kitschy and whimsical and not in keeping with what I expected from a French-inspired restaurant and bar. Red and black low seating is waiting to be lounged in while looking at a fireplace surrounded by wood paneling and plaid. Thursday nights is the night to go to the bar. Packed and fun for all you singles out there!
Upstairs the restaurant is nicely split between bar and restaurant. Vintage French posters adorn the exposed brick walls. Ceilings are high and the whole place is open and inviting and not over-packed with close-together seating like a lot of French restaurants.
This particular evening we were escorted to a large table towards the middle of the main restaurant. Fabulously fun gin cocktails were ordered while we perused a creatively small(ish) menu devised by Chef Adam Kube, formerly of the Ritz Carlton. I am always a fan of smaller menus so I am not overwhelmed by choices… and now that I have been back a few times, I have tried a lot of what they have to offer and already have some fave dishes.
They have two appetizer items, which I have ordered each visit. The first is the Tea-Smoked Mussels Marinére. Sounds a bit strange right? They are quite the opposite and literally my favorite dish of the moment. Put me in a corner with this appetizer and a mound of bread and I will be forever happy. Mussels are shelled and soaked in Earl Grey tea, which you can taste quite clearly the second they hit your tongue followed by a rich smoky flavor. The sauce, almost like a rich creamy soup is to die for and deserves far more bread than it is served with.
The second appetizer I talked my friends’ into ordering was the Seafood Sausage. This is an another unusual dish, which is more like a seafood ravioli. Rich seafood sausage is wrapped in an aldente pasta and soaked in a heady saffron beurre blanc.
Other appetizers on the menu worthy of ordering are the French Onion Soup and Lobster Leek Tart.
The entreé menu showcases a shortlist of dishes from classic Steak Frites to Roast Lamb Shank, Prosciutto Wrapped Cod and a selection of flatbreads. I have ordered the cod twice and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I needed a change so this time I picked the Pork Chop, which had a wonderfully tasty glaze but sadly was a little too fatty for me.
Nancy ordered my favorite the Prosciutto Wrapped Cod, which she commented was “delicious! The prosciutto added a lot of flavor to the dish.” She went on to say… “I never eat beans but I think a little bit of the bean ragout snuck up on my fork and it was pretty good which is saying a lot for me!”
Erika ordered the Scallops, which I have also tried. These are wonderful plump and juicy resting on a rich, outstanding lobster risotto.
Our evening ended with a dense, decadent chocolate tart and blueberry lavender and caramel ice-cream/sorbet. A perfect end to any evening.
Everyone is friendly, service oriented and very attentive. You are never left without water, needing a wine refill or even a genuine welcome back by those who have seen you in the past, which is a nice touch.
Bastille is the new “IT” place in town and this coming Fall and Winter months, you will likely see me stopping by on my way home from work for a cocktail and the tea-smoked mussels as long as they keep them on the menu.