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Tremont 647: boldly flavored American cuisine

Tremont 647 is a wonderful 70-seat restaurant located in trendy South Boston where boldly flavored American cuisine with inventive global influences is routinely served up. With a growing national reputation as one of the country’s most exciting young chefs, Andy Husband’s delicious dishes are ones you don’t want to miss out on. His commitment to locally grown ingredients is reflected in the restaurant’s eight-season cycle. In fact, the menu is changed bi-monthly to take advantage of what’s fresh in the market. However, there are a few signature dishes that never leave the menu and are definitely ones you’ll want to try.

I had read several good things about Tremont 647 and had driven past it several times to check out the parking and walking distance from the nearest T-stop. Thank goodness for valet as street-side parking is non-existent and the walk from the orange line’s Back Bay stop is a hike. As a fan of the restaurant’s street-side, bistro-style flare, I couldn’t wait to try it. Little did I know though that the service would have a flare of its own. We were about ten minutes late for our nine o’clock reservation and though the greeting was friendly, we found ourselves being chastised for such behavior. We bantered back and forth though and of course, our table was still waiting.

We were eating late, especially for a Wednesday night, but the restaurant was busy with well-dressed and sophisticated looking diners. Though, nobody was at the bar, which happens to be the chic place to see and be seen on the weekends. It’s no wonder why either as the bar is stocked with everything under the sun with such innovative surprises like Andy’s flavored vodkas (Espresso-Vanilla Bean infused, for example) and a wine list that’s sure to please.

Our waiter was funny with a humor that took us a moment to catch on to. Unfortunately for us though, his whit wasn’t good enough to cover for his extremely slow service. The breadbasket arrived long after we had been seated and the service went downhill from there. The only thing that made it somewhat okay was that we were eating with a friend whom we hadn’t seen for ages and it gave us time to catch up&-&-but our stomachs were growling.

The breadbasket was full of a variety of yummy breads ranging from soft onion foccia to crispy flat bread to soft potato bread. Our appetizers were just okay&-&-nothing very spectacular. The Fiery Pork Momos with Soy-sake dipping sauce, a signature dish, tasted good, but they didn’t “wow” us.

At long last, dinner finally arrived. With such difficulty finding sea bass at any supermarket in this area, my husband and I did the boring thing and we each got the signature Chilean sea bass wrapped in banana leaf with coconut jasmine rice and served with a hoisin and sesame glaze. Our friend ordered the cider cured pork tenderloin with truffle whipped Westport macombers which he let us taste. Both entrees were wonderful. The sea bass was moist and buttery, and the sweet coconut jasmine rice was delicious. The presentation inside a large green banana leaf was definitely creative! The pork tenderloin was flavorful and the Westport macombers were tasty.

Full from bread, appetizers, and dinner, we couldn’t resist dessert. Finally, we decided to share the banana cream pie with a raft of pecan brittle and caramel sauce. Innovative and delicious it was, and we devoured all of it. Though, I don’t think that’s hard to do when three people are sharing!

While the meal was delicious and the atmosphere inviting, the service was the worst I’ve seen in a long time. There were only three of us and our total dining time was at least two hours long&-&-if not longer! What’s more amazing is that it took forever for us to get our check. In fact, after waiting about 15 minutes, we actually asked the waiter to bring it. Maybe a slow but steady Wednesday evening at the restaurant left employees more at ease to talk with other co-workers than doing their job.

The restaurant is open everyday of the week for dinner and on Sunday for brunch. While my experience with the service was slow, the food was great and the environment very pleasing. As such, I recommend trying this warm-bistro style restaurant and hopefully when you go, the service will be a lot better.

January 29, 2001
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