Enjoy Private Dining in Boston with 3 Amazing Tasting Menus

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Posted April 24, 2013 by Rachel Leah Blumenthal in Downtown Boston
Langoustines at Troquet

Whether it’s an office function or a party with friends, private dining in Boston is one of the best ways to experience the city’s great restaurants. But for more intimate events, such as anniversaries or special dates, my favorite way to really get to know a restaurant is to try its tasting menu. Many restaurants in Boston invite adventurous diners to put themselves entirely in the chef’s hands and enjoy a multi-course feast that changes seasonally, weekly, or even daily. Here are a few of the top tasting menus and wine pairings that you can find in downtown Boston.

Troquet (140 Boylston St.): Nationally acclaimed for its well-priced wine list, which boasts many rare selections, Troquet is a jewel on the corner of the Theatre District and Downtown Crossing, where its upstairs dining room looks out onto the Common. In addition to the standard menu, annotated with wine suggestions for each dish, Troquet offers five-course and seven-course tasting menus. They cost $95 and $110, respectively, and wine pairings begin at $30 for the five-course meal and $40 for the seven-course meal. The French-inspired menu has featured dishes such as New Zealand langoustines with green papaya, champagne mango, and tamarind glaze; braised Spanish octopus with chorizo, fork-crushed potatoes, and espelette pepper broth; and roasted Jurgielewicz duck with puy lentils, ginger bok choy, crispy aromatic vegetables, and Peking jus. The wine pairings are often unexpected yet perfect. Owner Chris Campbell prioritizes changing the fantastic wine list frequently, so most bottles are available at barely marked-up prices, and the deals get better on the higher-end bottles.

Terrine of foie gras at No. 9 Park

Liver comes in many forms: the terrine of Labelle Farms foie gras at No. 9 Park. Photo Credit: Rachel Leah Blumenthal.

No. 9 Park (9 Park St.): Barbara Lynch’s gem has been nestled cozily across from the State House for 15 years, providing diners with an upscale blend of French and Italian cuisine in a European-influenced ambiance. The chef’s seven-course tasting menu changes weekly, though some dishes seem to make occasional comebacks, such as the oft-featured prune-stuffed gnocchi with foie gras, almonds, and Vin Santo—most recently paired with a glass of 2010 Le Petit Chambord Cour-Cheverny Moelleux “Cuvee Renais.” Foie gras often shows up in other forms, such as in a recent terrine of Labelle Farms foie gras with hops granola, bacon jam, and pain au moutarde. The meal costs $112 plus $74 for wine pairings, and an artisanal cheese course is an optional supplement.

Ice Cream Sundae at Market by Jean-Georges

A signature dessert you should have no trouble saving room for: the salted-caramel ice cream sundae at Market by Jean-Georges. Photo Credit: Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Market by Jean-Georges (100 Stuart St.): French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is internationally acclaimed for his collection of restaurants, which reaches from New York City to Paris to Shanghai, to name just a few. His Boston restaurant, Market by Jean-Georges, opened a few years ago in the W Hotel in the heart of the Theatre District. The swanky ambiance and accessible menu draw travelers, the pre-theatre crowd, and locals alike. The seasonally changing five-course tasting menu is priced at $62 plus $45 for wine pairings, and the current spring offerings include tuna tartare with avocado, spicy radish, and ginger dressing; grilled tenderloin with glazed spring carrots and miso butter; and the restaurant’s signature dessert, a salted-caramel ice cream sundae with peanuts, popcorn, and chocolate sauce.

Whatever the occasion, there are ways to experience local restaurants that go beyond showing up and ordering off the regular menu. Whether you’re looking for tasting menus or private dining in Boston, the city has plenty to offer.

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