I know, I know, it’s been open for about a year already…but I finally made it over to Deuxave last weekend. I knew it was going to be good, I absolutely adore dBar (Chef Chris Coombs’ first restaurant) and I’ve heard nothing but great things about Deuxave since it opened. What I didn’t realize, was exactly how good. This place is exceptional. Every food and drink item we ordered turned into a conversation about how great it was, how that’s even possible, and how soon we could make it back.
I also love how Deuxave fills a void in the Back Bay. Where else can you get a perfectly prepared upscale dinner, that isn’t in the middle of tourist land and has the option for casual dining on the western side of Dartmouth Street? Towne? Overpriced, and overwhelming. Captial Grille? Special occasions and work functions only. Sonsie? Crowded, and unexciting. Clio? In your dreams. Actually, in my dreams. I’m not trying to be a hater, but I worked on Gloucester and Newbury for over a year and had the hardest time finding a great spot for dinner. I can’t afford to eat at Deuxave as often as I’d like, but any wealthy Back Bay resident probably could, and that’s why it works — it’s a destination restaurant and a fancy neighborhood spot all in one.
Our bar experience before dinner set the stage for our Deuxave experience. The bartender couldn’t have been more excited about describing (and recommending) his cocktail special of the day, which was made with rooibos tea infused vodka and cinnamon. It made me excited to be there and try his creations. The tea flavor was intense, but not bitter; it was one of the most unique and delicious cocktails I have ever tasted. It had a crisp fall taste that was highlighted with citrus and rounded out by cinnamon. Monogamy cabernet is also a favorite, so my friends were happy to see it on the wine list.
When we sat down there was no deliberation. Three orders of the 9 Hour French Onion Soup Slow Caramelized Onions, Beef Bone Marrow Crouton, Comté Cheese. Yup. 9 hours. Praise cheesus. Bone marrow. I can’t. We didn’t care how full it would make us for the rest of dinner, this is the must-try dish from Deuxave that has been recommended to me over and over. Given my serious obsession with French onion soup, this was a religious experience for me. Best French onion soup EVER. I’m serious.
A Duet of Prime Beef Tartare & Wagyu Carpaccio: Herb Encrusted Wagyu Beef, Hanley Style Prime Tartare, Quail Egg Yolk, Petite Arugula, Escabèche of Chanterelles, Potato Gaufrettes, Cornichons, Rosemary-Mustard Aioli. That’s a mouthful, and the best kind. Two forms of raw beef in one dish! I love carpaccio, but I’ve never tried it with a mustard flavor and pickle accouterments before. Usually it’s served with Parmesan and balsamic; this is a very welcome take on the dish. My favorite parts were the quail egg and the pickled chanterelles.
Bolognese, how I love you. And with cheese! Lots of cheese. Even better. Deuxave’s Tagliatelle “Bolognaise” Housemade Pasta, Veal, Beef & Pancetta, Creamy Tomato Sauce Aromatic Vegetables, Fresh Mozzarella, Basil is just as awesome as it sounds. The cheese melts and mixes in with the sauce, and the pasta is perfectly cooked.
Not sure how we only ordered pasta for our entrees, I guess it’s just too hard to resist after reading…Wild Mushroom Cavatelli Locally Foraged Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, Ricotta Cavatelli, 2 Hour Farm Egg, Roasted Uckiki Kuri Squash. Foraged mushrooms…sign me up. I feel like all menus started saying “foraged mushrooms” instead of “wild mushrooms” this year. Anyway, the egg was cooked sous vide, and came out looking like this:
The only thing I didn’t like was that the service throughout dinner was much less enthusiastic than that of the bartender. When we told the server we were going to be sharing entrées rather than ordering one for each, he kind of stopped caring, or so it seemed.
I think Chris Coombs just gets it. Or maybe he just gets me? Bolognese, carpaccio and French onion soup are three of my all time favorite dishes so I was happier than ever. I can’t wait to go back and try the rest of the menu!
371 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02115