Boston, MA Edition: No. 9 Park

By Candace Nelson - 9:00 AM

No. 9 ParkIn looking for the "go-to" restaurants in Boston, No. 9  Park came up a few times. Then, while watching Top Chef, it caught my ear that Stephanie Cmar was a sous chef at this restaurant. I made reservations at No. 9 Park for lunch, and prepped myself for the most expensive meal during my trip.

I was wearing jeans and didn't feel too out of place, but I would class it up more next time. They took our coats at the door and ushered us to a window table and placed some menus in front of us.

They had a holiday lunch prix-fixe menu with three courses for $45. Or you can order a la carte with appetizers at $15, entrees at $25, and desserts at $12. I went with the rohan duck leg confit with fried rock shrimp, macomber turnip and horseradish.

No. 9 ParkNo. 9 ParkNo. 9 Park

The rest of the menu had beef carpaccio and foie gras as appetizers. Other entrees included pork sausage ravioletti, scottish salmon, chicken schnitzel, hanger steak, and bouillabaisse. The menu draws on some French and Italian influences.

No. 9 ParkNo. 9 ParkAfter we put in our order, we had a small selection of bread. One was an olive oil loaf and the other was focaccia with olives. I really really liked the focaccia, but that's no surprise. Probably my favorite bread right after ciabatta. Plus olives? Win. We even got more when we ran out.

No. 9 ParkWith fancy white tablecloths and about a dozen different glasses to drink from, it's definitely a higher-end experience. Our server even had a little thing to clean up the crumbs from our table. Thing is the technical term - West Virginia roots showing here. Sorry.

Okay, main dish. I guess this is the sad realization that my palate is simply not sophisticated enough. OR people are willing to pay a lot of money for an OK dish because of the reputation. OR I'm just supposed to buy into this. But I wish I could say this is one of the best meals ever, but it was just kind of OK.

No. 9 ParkNo. 9 ParkThe duck dish was creative, and I totally appreciate that. But was it super flavorful? Eh. The horseradish was great. And I slathered it on everything for flavor. The shrimp were good, but a little too fried. And while the duck was nice, it wasn't anything super special. It was OK.

Kaitlynn's dish was the steak, and I did like it. Plus the walnut catsup added some more flavor, and I'm a big fan of both sweet potatoes and cabbage. It still didn't blow me out of the water. Maybe I was expecting more and got my hopes up. I do that.

No. 9 ParkWhile we didn't order dessert, we did receive two complementary last bites. One was a dark chocolate toffee, which I was a huge fan of. I'm not even into dark chocolate much, but this wasn't bad. And the other was a pistachio cookie-type thing. It wasn't bad.

There's always a chance they were having an off day. There's the (good) chance I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. But those are my thoughts on the place. It was OK. I like the thought. I like the creativity. Did the food blow my mind? No.

Check out their Facebook and Yelp.

Grade: C
No. 9 Park on Urbanspoon

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