Back Bay Grill has a medium sized dining room and a good sized bar that you enter through. At the end of this room is a large opening where you can see into the kitchen. The seating arrangements included some banquette seating and tables that were able to accommodate a number of large parties the evening we were there. The tables are not large and a tad close together but not so much that you didn’t feel like your conversations were private and you could hear the people at your table. A few windows on one wall allow you to look out to the street, but the location is away from the most touristy zone, which made it appear that local residents made up most of the guests. Low lighting, soft instrumental background music, white tableclothes and napkins and a large long mural on one wall all add to the ambiance of the place. There is a feeling of “old school” elegance, the food was really good and the staff were all super friendly and welcoming. Chef Larry Matthews Jr. has been here 30 years and been the owner for 20 years. The menu is all a la carte.
While we enjoyed a perfectly made martini and looked over the menu the server brought out a gougere stuffed with mushroom duxelle that was wonderful and screamed with terrific mushroom flavor.
Bread was a 6 to 1 ratio of white to wheat small, in a warm loaf with a medium crispy crust and a nice dense interior. It was served with a tasty butter that was stamped with the “BB” symbol that you could also see etched into one of the glass panes in the interior.
Hudson Valley Seared Foie Gras was served on a toasted brioche and plated with pickled cherries and hazelnuts. The brioche was made in house and the perfectly seared piece of foie gras was on top of it. It was cooked just right and went great with the tart cherries. The hazelnuts added a nice crunch and flavor to this delicious dish.
Seared Scallops were served with Grilled Scapes, Corn Coulis and shaved Summer Truffle. The scallops were wonderfully sweet and totally complimented by the creamy sauce which also accented the tasty scapes from the watercress garden. The truffle was in ultra thin slices and it actually had truffle flavor. Another really tasty dish.
We split a Local Organic Mixed Greens that were mixed with candied walnuts and Stilton and dressed with a Port Wine Vinaigrette. The tasty cheese and the sweet toasted nuts really made a good salad. I would have liked a bit more dressing but it was fine as is. It was a very generous portion that easily made enough for 2 – and they were nice enough to split it for us in the kitchen.
Brown Sugar Brined Hampshire Pork Chop was served with a Pecorino and Potato Gratin, Braised Cipollini, Bacon Braised Collard Greens and a Roasted Peach Puree. The pork was cooked medium rare, as requested and was nicely moist and tender. The greens were totally dressed with large chunks of bacon mixed in – delicious. The gratin was alternating layers of potato and cheese which was great. This plate was full of well flavored items that were amazing.
Lavender Marinated Duck Breast was served with Duck Confit, Parsnip Puree, Roasted Cauliflower, Gnocchi, Frisee and Pine Nut Salad and Duck Jus. The two types of duck were both fabulous and the gnocchi was tender and a perfect way to soak up the wonderful sauce. The parsnip puree was quite tasty and it mixed well with the nice bits of frisee and pinenuts. It would be hard to chose between the two main dishes we got, both were fantastic.
At our request, the bartender suggested a grappa for us to have with dessert. It was perfect.
For dessert the Warmed Madeleine, Macerated Local Strawberries with ginger and Bavarian Mousse was a fun dish. Lots of different flavors and textures that combined well with flavorful strawberries. It was quite nice.
However, if you’ve picked up anything about my preferences you know I adore good caramel. The Caramel Ice Cream with Bourbon Caramel Sauce and Almond Lace Cookie was to die for. Loaded with thick, sweet caramel sauce the smooth, creamy ice cream just blended into a bit of heaven in my bowl. They were nicely generous with the caramel sauce and I was in orbit.
A final treat with the bill was an almond and white chocolate macaroon that was in a fudge like format. A great way to finish a terrific meal.