Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dinner At Nix's Mate

We recently dined at Nix's Mate, the newly refurbished restaurant at the Hilton in the Financial District.  And refurbished it is!  I started with this cocktail: Sunday Bloody Sunday.  Made with Tito's Hand-Crafted Vodka, Sogno di Sorrento Blood Orange Liqueur, Pomegranate Juice, Triple Sec and Freshly-made Sour Mix. Very nice.

Dean went with the Moscow Mule:  Muddle Of Mint and Lime, Russian Standard Vodka and Ginger beer served in the traditional copper mug.  This is the most popular drink at Nix's and we were told that customers are asking to buy those copper mugs (when they are not trying to steal them).  I can see why.  They were really unusual.  We told them that they would be crazy not to sell them if people really want them that badly.

A couple of notes on the restaurant redesign.  First, the space is bright and airy with tall ceilings and plenty of large windows.

Some of the details actually include wooden planks reclaimed from Nix's Mate Island, a small island in Boston Harbor.  Gone is the cookie-cutter, hotel restaurant look.  In fact, if you entered from the street you would have absolutely no idea that you were even in a hotel.  Great accomplishment.  There's nothing worse than dining in a restaurant where you can hear the crowd in the lobby.

For starters I went with the Prince Edward Island Mussells.  Whenever I see PEI Mussells on the menu I try to order them.  They are usually very fresh (we are only an 8 hour ride away), sweet, and, because of the location where they are harvested, totally free of grit.  They are cultivated at the mouth of a bay on the ocean.  This is the first time I was a little disappointed.  These did not seem as plump or sweet  and we even detected a bit of grit.  The preparation was good but I can't say great.

We also tried the Fried Calamari with Cherry Pepper Aioli.  The trend in Boston is to spice up the calamari with spicier than usual sauces.  Del Frisco's and Bonds both do this well.  This version was less spicy.  Again, still good but we definitely like the spicy trend. 

For my main I opted for the special: Grilled Marlin With Parsnip Puree, Peas And Carrots.  Marlin is similar to swordfish which nobody is really serving as it is endangered and I really miss it.  Unfortunately, marlin seems to be heading in the same direction.  This dish was excellent, while it lasts.

Dean went with the Beer-Battered Fish And Chips.  The batter was great and the cod just as good.  The fries; a little less crspy than I like them.

For dessert, it was Bananas Foster for Dean.  You may remember we tried this at another restaurant in town recently where the portion was enormous.  This was smaller but perfectly prepared.  The Bread Pudding was amazing and that crunchy lace of caramel could not have been better.  A standout and very highly recommended.

I went with the Ice Cream Sandwich, made with cookies and ice creams, neither of which seemed house made.  I'd love to see the classic made in Boston.  I'd suggested taking a rolling pin to a nice, fresh brownie and stuffing it with a layer of vanilla ice cream and leave it at that.  In the meantime, go with the Bananas Foster.
The restaurant has a private room where a cocktail party was going on. It's a great space so we grabbed a photo when they cleared out.  I loved that chandelier.  It could also be filled with tables for a private dining party for up to 20. 
Nix's Mate on Urbanspoon

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