Steps from the theater district and bordering Boston Common, Artisan Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a welcoming spot for a pre-theater dinner with its farm-to-table cuisine showcasing a variety of small plates and craft cocktails using fresh herbs and locally sourced meats, seafood and cheeses.
Cozy booths, a high energy bar and a mid-century modern aesthetic with chalkboard specials define the window-walled space in Artisan Bistro, the AAA five diamond Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Boston's signature restaurant. We sat directly under the chalkboard special board in the left booth.
It was bustling Saturday evening in Boston and luckily we were able to secure a 7ish reservation via OpenTable for Artisan Bistro. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a pleasant hostess and shown our booth, which was surprisingly quiet and offered a panoramic view of the restaurant interior and Avery Street. Our coats were offered to be checked as we were sitting down.
Our server introduced himself, passed along the specials for the evening and gave us a moment to peruse the cocktail list. We ended up opting for the Berkshire Manhattan, Grilled Pineapple Margarita and The Glitz. All of which were quite refreshing, served appropriately and "strong."
For dinner, we chose to order several plates and share them. The cherry wood grilled oysters with grapefruit caviar, smoked cheddar mac & cheese casserole, truffled mushroom flatbread and Georges Bank scallops all sounded very appetizing and we were excited to get started.
The truffled mushroom flatbread with its decadent Gruyère, marinated red wine onions and duxelles was very tasty and well-balanced. The smoked cheddar mac & cheese casserole with its house-made cavatelli pasta was pure creamy deliciousness that more than hit the spot on a brisk late Winter evening.
We loved the pan-seared Georges Bank scallops with Swiss chard over dill risotto. They had fresh, fresh, fresh written all over them and were seared to perfection. For those that may not know who, what, where or when Georges Bank is, a quick history lesson:
Georges Bank is a large elevated area of the sea floor between Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia. It separates the Gulf of Maine from the Atlantic Ocean. Although the origin of its name is obscure, the 1610 Velasco map, prepared for King James I of England, used the name "S. Georges Banck."
The presentation of the oysters, especially the grapefruit caviar was spot on. Bold and sweet with a citrus twist would describe these local delicacies.