June 21st, 2010

Bergamot, Somerville

Bergamot has big shoes o fill; it’s in the old EVOO space on the Somerville Cambridge line (EVOO has relocated to One Kendall Square). I was excited about this meal; the reviews have been stellar and the menu looks innovative. We went with newlyweds, Richard and Tracey.


For appetizers we had the Duck, Duck, Duck salad (an homage to EVOO’s Duck, Duck, Goose dish), Spanish mackerel, baby roasted beets, and the spring salad. Luckily, Richard and Tracey are happy to share and sample everyone’s food, so I was able to try everything. The Duck, Duck, Duck salad with its duck confit and duck cracklins was easily the winner of the appetizer round. The mackerel was supposed to have a gribiche sauce (basically a mayo with caper, pickles and parsley), but there was none to be seen.


R had the Rainbow trout for his meal, which I liked more than my halibut. Richard’s roasted chicken was underseasoned, but the chicken confit garnish was delicious. Tracey had the unusual plantain gnocchi; we didn’t expect them to be fried and crispy, like sweet and starchy tater tots. Our entrees suffered from the same under-saucing issue as the appetizers did.


Dessert was easy to order; there were 4 offerings and a cheese plate (R: “Cheese is not dessert”). We had a chocolate pave, goat cheese cheesecake, carrot cake and some weird dessert with green tapioca balls (there were other components, but I can’t recall them.) The carrot cake was awful – dry and chewy. We told the waiter and his response was “yes, that’s my least favorite dessert.” Really?? Why didn’t you mention it at the time, then?! To his credit, he did take it off the bill. The other 3 desserts were well liked, but as Richard said, “nothing blew me away.” I thought the chocolate was the best of the bunch.


The service was okay; however they committed the cardinal sin of bringing out 3 of the 4 entrees, leaving R to wait a notably long time. This caused an uncomfortable span of time where the entrees on the table got cold and we insisted that Richard and Tracey start, but they politely insisted that they would wait. Kitchens need to learn to coordinate so that the plates leave together.

Food: B

Service: B

Value: B

Overall: B

(Richard was harsher and felt it merited a B-)



Trina’s Starlite Lounge, Somerville

It was a weekend of disappointing eats; first North by Northeast, then Bergamot and now Trina’s. I’ve been trying to convince my Tuesday night bridge crew to try somewhere, anywhere new for ages. Trina’s was one of the contenders. But, no, they hold steadfast in their belief that John Harvard’s is king and I shall never overthrow it. So, instead, I convinced R to go for brunch, so that I could finally try the much talked about chicken and waffles. It was even mentioned in a recent Bon Appétit article about fried chicken around the nation.


R ordered the velvet Elvis French toast which came with banana, peanut butter and chocolate covered bacon. This was an abomination. It was made with white bread ala Wonder. It was sad, soggy, floppy French toast. I felt disgusted and insulted by this French toast. I did like the chocolate covered bacon.


How was the chicken and waffles? At the exorbitant price of $17, I expected some amazing chicken to come my way. The breast was large, unwieldy, and overcooked with brunt edges. The waffle should have been crispier, but had good texture and flavor. It didn’t matter, but this point I was so appalled by the French toast, I was ready to leave.


Food: D

Service: B

Value: D

Overall: D