August 26, 2004

Upstairs on the Square

Restaurant Week in Boston, and the only place we wanted to go was Upstairs. Mostly because we hadn't been since it changed names & locations, and curiosity was getting the better of us.

This is a weird restaurant. The upstairs "formal" dining room is entirely pink, and decorated to a finely-pitched blend of Legally Blonde, Gustav Klimt, Alice in Wonderland, and the Magic Kingdom. It scared us, until we'd gotten outside a nice stiff cocktail, at which point it became cuddly and amusing, a bizarrely appropriate counterpoint to the extremely Cantabridgian ladies populating the room. And don't even get started on the precisely matched set of 6-foot, vaguely exotic metrosexuals comprising the waitstaff. Where do they find them? Is there a casting call?

All this frippery aside, the food itself is wonderful. The portions are small, so you can indulge while still fitting into your size 2 togs from Jasmine/Sola -- which is good for food sluts like us who will take your 3-course prix fixe and raise you a couple of desserts and maybe a cheese plate.

The roasted black cod, with crabmeat stuffed into a tiny, tangy heirloom tomato, was dreamy as that sablefish always is. The steak frites was very nice, but those weren't no frites; they were dainty little homefries. Thank god the waiter (under interrogation) provided full detail on the dish, so I could change my order to the cod -- when I order frites, I expect double-fried crunch action on those potatoes. Desserts were uniformly terrific, particularly the pistachio tea cake and sicilian lemon sherbet and buttermilk ice cream. But the best in show was the heirloom tomato soup, soft and warm and chunky, with bits of bacon and some kind of elusive flowery note that we couldn't pin down -- we suspect it's allspice in the bacon cure -- so very, very tasty!

It's spendy, so I'll probably be limiting my visits, but I'd go back for that food. Next time, though, I'll be sitting in the much-manlier downstairs room; a girl can only take so much pink in a lifetime. *shudder*

Posted by foodnerd at August 26, 2004 10:46 AM
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