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Marliave, Boston

Marliave is a historic Boston restaurant. It opened 132 years old as a French restaurant, it became a speakeasy during Prohibition and then was an Italian joint. I closed 2 years ago and Scott Herritt, of Grotto, bought it and is now serving a mostly French inspired menu, with some English/Irish/New England cuisine, thrown in the mix.

Restaurant Week has morphed in to Dine Out Boston, giving restaurants a choice of 3 price points ($28, $33, $38) for dinner. It’s a marginal improvement. I tend to avoid restaurant week, but my friend Leslie wanted to go and suggested Marliave ($38). I saw the RW menu had many choices from the regular menu on it, so I agreed.

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I started with the mussels ($15). It was a generous serving of classically prepared mussels (roasted tomatoes, garlic and parsley). The mussels were inconsistent in size, but the broth was tasty. The bread basket had a nice focaccia I used for dipping.

Sonia’s escargot was also a classic preparation; the snails were served hot and swimming in garlic, parsley and butter. Yum.

Leslie’s mac and cheese ($15) was decadent and rich with ziti, cream, farmhouse cheese and black truffle. The only flaw was the sauce was too thin and liquidy.

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For my entrée, I couldn’t resist ordering the beef Wellington ($38). It is a classic recipe that I’ve never tried before. A filet of beef is coated with pate, then duxelle (a mixture of mushrooms, onions, shallots and herb and then it is wrapped in puff pastry and baked. Marliave serves theirs with a red wine sauce. I thought it was delicious. My filet was a nice medium rare; the foie gras, mushroom and beef encased in flaky pastry made a scrumptious bite.

Leslie had the swordfish ($35); it was massively overcooked. Sonia’s Sunday gravy ($22) over gnocchi was hearty and filling, but not really what I would want for a warm summer night.

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I liked that the entrees came covered in cloches and server and hostess lifted them all at the same time; I like a little dramatic flair with my meal.

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I finished my meal with butterscotch pudding ($8). It was too thick, but I liked the contrast of the candied ginger garnish. The pudding at La Brasa was far better. Leslie and Sonia both had the “melting” chocolate cake ($8), which was overcooked and not so melty.

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All in all, I enjoyed my meal. Certainly, for $38 it was a great value, as my entrée is regularly $38. It’s like I got my appetizer and dessert for free. Dine out Boston has not changed my mind about restaurant week – our service was horrible, which is a common occurrence during the promotion.


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November 2017


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