Monday, October 31, 2011

Troquet - Boston, MA

It's been a while since I've reviewed and I owe quite a few, but two needed to jump the queue. You'll see the second post shortly. My birthday was Friday and this review tells the tale of a romantic birthday evening out with the hubs.

Troquet. I'd never heard of this place, but the hubs did some excellent reconnaissance on French restaurants and found it. It's located on Boylston Street in the Theater District. What a gem. When you walk in you are greeted by the pleasant hostess and if your table isn't ready, you are offered to sit at what might be the cutest bar in Boston. I'm pretty sure there were no more than nine or ten chairs around their square bar. The cocktails looked delicious and I was eyeing one with gin and St. Germaine. Alas, we were called to our table and since this place is ranked as one of the top 100 Wine Restaurants in the nation by Wine Enthusiast I decided that I'd rather dive straight in with some vino.

As soon as we sat, we were asked which of us ate gluten free. The server was quite knowledgeable in describing which appetizers and entrees were safe for me to eat (in their entirety) and which dishes could be altered to be safe.  Out of the entire menu, I believe there were only three that could not be adjusted.

One feature of the menu that isn't run-of-the-mill is that you can order your wines by the 2oz or 4oz glass. Perfect for those of us, myself included, who enjoy flights of wine.

Due to the array of gluten free options before me and due to them all sounding equally delicious, I had a difficult time deciding between appetizers and entrees. Luckily for me, the hubs was overly willing to order my second choices off the menu so that we could both enjoy a smorgasbord of options. In the end, I settled on a braised octopus dish for a starter and their signature roasted suckling pig entree. Gluten-free-by-proxy hubs ordered the duck confit with soft duck egg salad and the Painted Hills ribeye for his main. Every last bite of every last dish was amazing. The flavor combinations used were terrific and sometimes surprising. For example, one cut of my pork (there were three different cuts) was served with a snappy celery root slaw. The slaw cut through the richness of the pork and complimented the flavor. Additionally, the octopus was served with escargot, black garlic, crispy speck, and a veggie sauce - it was perfect harmony. The hubs' dishes were no less impressive - is there anything better than duck lardoons, duck meat, frisee, duck egg on a salad? Perhaps a meticulously executed bordelaise sauced ribeye steak.

Dessert course is always tricky for the gluten-free. While Troquet was willing to offer me selections of sorbet, ice cream or part of the desserts that were safe, what caught my eye was their cheese course. When you select the cheese course you're in for a treat. They have many gluten-free cheese and they are all wheeled over to you on a cart for you to choose. The cheeses were served with pear and quince gelee, sliced apple, and GF candied nuts. After the cheese course, we were served two house-made caramel cups complete with a candle to blow out. What an amazing way to end a meal....or so you think.

A lovely couple seated next to us heard it was my birthday and offered me a glass of their incredible super Tuscan.

Thanks to the hubs for another unforgettable birthday at a new favorite restaurant!

Five out of five stars.