Restaurant Week Review: Bergamot

This is the first of two weeks of Boston’s Restaurant Week. We always take advantage of the promotion to try new restaurants around town.

For this week’s meal, we picked Bergamot in Somerville. Bergamot opened just a few months ago, in May. I had read some good reviews, but we hadn’t had the opportunity to try it yet. The cuisine is described as Contemporary American, which is always fun.

They had a special 3-course menu for Restaurant Week. I ordered from that menu. Howard didn’t see a dessert course he would enjoy, so he ordered from the regular menu.

We started with a complimentary amuse bouche. It was a mini-Nicoise salad, just a bite really. There was some tuna confit with a green bean, a garbanzo bean, and a sliver of red pepper, with a splash of an herb vinaigrette. It was very cute and a good teaser for the meal to come.

For an appetizer, I had the corn bisque with rock shrimp. The soup was silky and so very sweet. It was like liquid summer. Howard had grilled Spanish mackerel over a bed of tapenade and potatoes. He was very pleased with his choice.

For our entrees, Howard had the striped bass, served with mashed potatoes, corn, and some clams. It was like a variation on a mini-clambake. My choice was roasted haddock over braised kale and sliced potatoes with a clam sauce. It was tasty, though not as summery as Howard’s dish.

I had dessert, though Howard passed. Another area of the food incompatibilities I mentioned yesterday is often dessert. I like fruit desserts, cakes, and puddings. Howard prefers chocolate, straight, without any fruity infusions or accompaniments. I had a roasted pluot with a sabayon sauce on top, sprinkled with crushed cookies and toasted pistachios. I loved it. Howard just watched.

The service was attentive, without being cloying. The waiter was very informed and answered all our questions easily. I don’t usually drink white wine, but was in the mood. His recommendation both complemented the food and matched the preferences I described for him (dry, not too fruity).

Howard made an interesting observation. We sat in the row of tables against a wall. The wall had a continuous banquette. The person on the opposite side of the table sat in a chair. He posed the question whether it customary for the man to sit on the outside seat and the woman to sit on the banquette. I was perplexed by the question, but glanced around. At all tables to both sides of ours, this was the seating arrangement. Does anyone know if this is a traditional point of etiquette?

We both enjoyed the meal and would definitely eat at Bergamot again.

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Posted on 19 August 2010, in Restaurants. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Sounds like a nice dinner. I will confess that my preference is to have the seat with the best vantage point for people watching, hence I would choose the banquette. Other people probably aren’t as nosy as I am and are following some proper etiquette. Now I am curious too!

    • I’m with you! Initially, they started to seat me in the outside chair, but I opted for the banquette for the same reason. I also like the bench seats. I’d always choose a booth over a table.

  2. I believe you are right that it is customary for the woman to sit on the banquette. I remember dining once at the gourmet restaurant Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower, where the Maitre d’ escorted all to their seats. I noticed all the women had been seated on the banquette and had fabulous view of Paris and all the men on the chairs with a view only of their partners.

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