My Restaurant Week meals continued last night with dinner at Sage in the South End. I had been meaning to try it forever, well before they moved from the North End last year. Luckily, my friends entrust RW reservations to me, so I put it on our short list.
I arrived well before my friends, so I took a seat at the bar for a drink and a little reading time. The Ruins is hard to read while perched on a bar stool in the middle of a room (although it does make T rides fly by), so I kept getting distracted by the Food Network on the TV. The bartender mixed me an excellent Tuscan Flare - gin, orange bitters, orange juice, and muddled rosemary. The rosemary paired beautifully with the gin, making it a little less pine-y and a lot more delicious. Mix me up another!
For my appetizer, I went with the gnocchi with sage and butternut squash. The gnocchi were soft and not at all gummy, but not quite melt-in-your-mouth either. At first, I was a little turned off by the slight crunchiness to the squash, but I began to appreciate the contrast in textures with the pasta. The seasoning was excellent, with the sage in a supporting role.
The Chicken Milanese was the weakest part of the meal, but still quite good. The fry on the crust was perfect - the crispy breadcrumbs sealed in the juiciness of the meat. The dish was topped with arugula and tomatoes and served with a gazpacho-like sauce, which added the right amount of enhancement for the dish. We also ordered a side of arancini, stuffed with braised beef - salty and so good.
I ordered the ricotta zeppole with berry compote for dessert. The little fritters had almost custard-like centers. They seemed small on the plate, but the taste was huge when paired with the warm and syrupy berries. I also snagged a few bites of the warm chocolate mousse and was pleasantly surprised by the orange undertones. We all thought that, had it been a slightly thinner consistancy, it would have made unbelievable hot chocolate (much like L.A. Burdick's). Of course, I'm always happy to see a chocolate dessert that is on the bitter side.
Regular prices at Sage would make a 3-course meal around $45 - higher than the $33 RW deal, but still pretty good for the caliber of food.
Another big plus about Sage? They were playing Morphine on the stereo when I went to the ladies' room. Definitely made me smile.