Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Blue Room

After an 8 hour trans-Atlantic flight, with a 2-day academic conference awaiting me next morning, I definitely need to have a great dinner with an excellent atmosphere. The Blue Room (1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139), a restaurant in a rather Tokyo-ish area of Kendall (where MIT campus is located), almost perfectly satisfies my picky expectation. Wood-grilled whole branzino fish, served with pomegranate syrup, crushed olives, herby leaves, and bits of pink grapefruit, is super. A whole baked fish often exhibits a steep decline in the degree of extra pleasure from eating more: the second half of fish meat quickly starts tasting boring even if the first half was gorgeous. The Blue Room's chef knows how to avoid this: serving grilled fish with what tastes continuously stimulating with texture in stark contrast: pink grapefruit.

A dessert (cream cheese flan) is rather mediocre, but the service is extremely beautiful here. A waiter taking my order tells me that baking fish can take at most 35 minutes. When the fish is almost ready, he comes to my table again, saying, "In two minutes." A waitress serving the fish asks me if I have an experience of eating a whole fish (when I reply by saing, "I'm Japanese," she says, "I don't want to make any presumption."). The decor and atmosphere is stylish without being pretentious.

A truely excellent restaurant (and its website is cool).

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