Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Restaurant Review: Symphony Hotel

I was invited to the Symphony Hotel again for dinner. I think this is one of the hidden gems in the city - it's just around the corner from Music Hall and is so cozy - it's ridiculous. 

Symphony Hotel is a bed & breakfast as well as a restaurant. They have a 3 or 5-course menu four nights/week. 

We opted to sit in the bar area because it was one of those last days when it was 75 degrees outside in October! The doors open up to the sidewalk so you've got fresh air and the "ambiance" of OTR. There are these really cozy booths with lots of pillows and after a bit - there was a someone setting up to play some music for the evening.

There's also a back room with a fireplace and leather chairs - my friend said she couldn't wait to come back this winter and just sit back there with coffee and a book. 

Keep going around corners and you'll find this cozy nook - there are nooks all around this place. The rooms upstairs are great as well - there's a really nice patio upstairs for the guests to use (in good weather).

Here's the menu for the evening- you get bread, soup, salad and sorbet and then choices for entree and dessert. Coffee & tea are included but they have a full bar as well.

We started with the sweet potato leek with chive creme fraiche soup. I'm a fan of soup with chunks rather than a puree so I didn't care for it. Danielle really enjoyed it though. 

They also brought out a basket of fresh bread complete with a bowl of soft butter. I think you can see by the food and the decor - this isn't the latest, coolest hipster place on the block. It's a bit old school - but I have to say - it's comforting when you're there. The bread was warm, heart and super soft - Yum! 

The salad was a Belgium Endive, romaine and roasted kabocha squash with pomegranate white balsamic vinaigrette. Now on this one - Danielle didn't care for it but I really liked it! The vinaigrette was fruity and light - really zippy! The squash added a bit of richness to it - beets would have been good as well. It was nice to not have a normal "house salad" with croutons and cheese, etc...

Next up was the palate clearing sorbet and I have to say - probably my favorite part of the meal - this Apple Cider Bellini was my favorite thing last time I dined here. It was so delicious. Danielle had no idea the wonder she was about to taste! The apple cider taste is so vibrant - I don't even like sorbet but I can tell you - I'd eat a gallon of this stuff!

For the entree - I decided to be a little crazy and choose the vegetarian option. It was a roasted portabello mushroom topped with kale, chick peas, quinoa and goat cheese then drizzled with a porcini and balsamic reduction. I apologize for the fuzzy picture - the light was dimming outside and it was hard to tell whether my pics were turning out as I wanted them too. 

I have mixed feelings about this dish. There was a LOT going on here - and to be honest - it looked a hot mess. The portion size was huge - I could only eat one of the mushrooms (yes - there's a mushroom at the bottom of all that). That said - this topping would be really good on piece of salmon or even chicken or sirloin. Danielle tried it and loved it! I did like the flavors - but after one heap of it - I didn't really want the other mushroom-full. It was a creative vegetarian dish though - I will say that for sure. 

Danielle went with the New York Strip crusted with espresso sea salt and Glace de Viande (meat glaze) and Roasted Rosemary Fingerling Potato Stacks. Danielle thought it was fine - I had a bite - it was fine. I prefer my steak medium rare and strip is one of my least favorite cuts (I'm a ribeye girl). It was a nice entree.

Now my favorite part of the meal - dessert! Danielle chose the Cinnamon Pumpkin Creme Brulee topped with whipped vanilla cream, berries and chocolate chili dust. She was sold! It tasted like pumpkin pie but with the crunchy crust on top.

And while that all sounds well and good - I chose the Symphony specialty - Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding with fresh raspberries, whipped cream and mint. Yes sir. This was heavenly, decadent and just completely amazing. I melted with every bite - I think Danielle was talking but I really couldn't hear her - I was too engrossed with warm chocolate and soft bread, sweet whipped cream - oh man - I want some now!!!!!
Why Should You Go? Well - I can't say that the food is amazing (except for that damned dessert) - but the food is good. The atmosphere is great and it's so unique. It's just a comforting, interesting and warm place for dinner. There are unique stories about the art around the hotel as well as a history - just ask the manager - she'll share it all. If you're going to a show at Music Hall - check it out as a pre-dinner spot - be sure to make a reservation - on show nights they're packed! Or if you're just up for trying something unique in the city - it's definitely a great spot.

Symphony Hotel on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: The Symphony Hotel provided our meal that night in exchange for this post but all opinions are my own. 
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