Oh Barbara Lynch, we have a middle school crush on all your establishments. Liz and I went to B&G for dinner Saturday night after an anxiety-provoking 4 day absence from the little epicurean vortex that is the corner of Waltham and Tremont. First off, no restaurant beats B&G in terms of atmosphere. A casual and modern design, long bar wrapped around a pristine open kitchen busied by tidy and dilligent chefs (not to mention an awesome outdoor patio), and the best music selection in Boston. Any restaurant that mixes Elvis, Neneh Cherry, and Bel Biv Devoe without a hint of cheesiness is a place I want to be. Each song will tap into some long-forgotten association buried deep in the back of your brain waiting and hoping to be unearthed. The wine list, always interesting and reasonably priced thanks to Cat Silirie, had a 2006 Nusserhoff Blaterle from Alto Adige. I had never heard of this grape and having very much enjoyed the Hofstatter Gewurztraminer from Alto Adige the previous week, I thought we’d give it a shot. Another winner. Apparently, Blatterle is a very old white varietal that is exclusively grown on the 6 acres of the Nusserhof vineyard. The Hofstatter and the Nusserhoff had a lot in common, smelled sweeter than they tasted with a nice dry kick at the end.
Like most good seafood places, the food is simple in design. For example, my monkfish came with just some sauteed morels, fava beans, and pancetta. But the freshness, skilled handling, and flavor combination of the ingredients lifts B&G above most if not all other spots in the South End. Finally, whatever variant of fried dough with chocolate sauce happens to be on the menu is a must for dessert, just don’t expect to be able to finish it yourself. Half a dozen hot golden balls of delight accompanied by a pot of hot chocolate will give your stomach the weight you need to sleep well. In sum, go to B&G. Go there for dates, go there for celebrations, go there for the music, go there for the oysters, go there to watch the chefs, go there to contemplate why you aren’t there more often. Just go.