Spring has finally sprung and we were delighted to be back since our last visit to indulge in the new spring menu at The Bristol, an iconic restaurant located in the luxurious Forbes 5-Star Four Seasons Hotel in the heart of Boston's Back Bay.
Sweeping views of the Boston Public Garden encouraged us to just sit back, relax and enjoy the never-ending charade of Bostonians and tourists alike, parading gracefully among trendy Boylston Street. Counting Burberry scarves and Chanel handbags reminded me of OneRepublic's "Counting Stars." You know the lyrics.
So naturally, a tall glass of champagne was in order—accompanied by a crowd favorite, known as "Ohranj is the New Black." The enticing martini is a concoction of Stolichnaya Ohranj vodka, St. Germain, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and finished with a brown sugar rim.
The new spring menu at The Bristol was bold, colorful and as we found out, quite flavorful. Think New American cuisine meets Spanish-style tapas. Bring friends, bring family, because these dishes are large and meant to be shared.
The Charred Baby Octopus met its demise after a swift introduction to my fork. Between the pancetta vinaigrette and bourbon smoked paprika, I'm still raving about how incredibly juicy and flavorful the dish is. Perfectly charred and easily sharable between 4, even 6 people—you will order another just because. Trust.
Ceviche has long been a favorite of mine (I make a killer one at home with shrimp and scallops) and this was no exception. The Bay Scallop Ceviche blended with Leche de Tigre (the citrus-based marinade that cures the seafood in ceviche), avocado and micro cilantro had me pre-planning in my head—an early summer flight to Nantucket on Cape Air.
Of course, nothing screams New England like lobster and with The Bristol's full raw bar, a Lobster Cocktail was a must. Steamed to perfection, cracked and split just for me, the yuzu (a Japanese citrus fruit) aioli was tangy and oh so refreshing.
This salad was amazing. Visibly easy on the eyes, the truffled buratta, blended superbly among textures of peas, basil, caraway crackers, fava beans, baby spring onions and a favorite of mine, squash blossoms. So good. So light. So spring.
The entrees arrived and in their entirety—just as capable of being shared.
The Artic Char was seared skin-on, over roasted Yukon potato purée, spring vegetables, Verjus (a French alternative to vinegar and Middle Eastern favorite). Yes, please.
Plump and overly satisfying, the Georges Bank Sea Scallops were meticulously blended with artichoke purée, yellowfoot chanterelles and fennel pollen. To die for.
Prepared with pasta made daily, the house-cut Spaghetti Carbonara was a dream pasta dish. Light and refreshingly meshed with coddled egg, spring peas and parmesan pringles, you'd think it were carbless. But it is though, right?
But we didn't stop there. My favorite 7 letter word had made an appearance on the dessert menu. Rhubarb.
Immediately taken back to my childhood when mom would cut rhubarb from our patch and cook up an absolute favorite: strawberry rhubarb sauce. This dish was no exception. A balancing act done right. Sweet and succulent with those tangy bites of rhubarb gelée. Sugar coma, indeed. Buckle up, kids.