Wednesday, September 23, 2009

LWF&D goes to Wellesley, where the Ginger is Blue

The early part of this week found me in Massachusetts for a recruiting trip for work. Coincidentally, it was also my mom's birthday, so Mom, Dad and I convened at Blue Ginger in Wellesley, MA, on a quiet Monday night for a celebratory dinner.

Blue Ginger, Ming Tsai's flagship restaurant, is a tastefully decorated, comfortable Asian fusion restaurant just off the main street in Wellesley. We were greeted by an effusive host and led to a table near the open kitchen. Our waitress, who through the evening demonstrated herself to be both surly and languid, an odd combo, brought us menus and water. She did not smile. At all.

But that's okay, because we had bread! Three kinds! A flatbread that tasted like egg roll skins, a white bread with a crackly crust, and a white bread with a glossy crust. I downed a piece of the crackly white bread, and it was quite good, with a satisfying flavor and nice stretchy texture.

Nicely organized bread

Then the appetizers: both Mom and Dad went for the Sesame Caesar Salad. Both seemed to enjoy it; it looked simple but well done, as all Caesar salads should be.

All hail Caesar

On to the main courses. Mom chose the Sake-Miso Marinated Alaskan Butterfish, which came with bright dollops of sauce, a seaweed salad, and three small sushi rolls. She loved it.

Complicated plate

Dad went with the Grilled Hangar Steak with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce and Avocado Cream, Corn-Poblano Empanadas and Chayote Squash Slaw. Phew. He also enjoyed this dish, which looked creative and complex, while still simultaneously being colorful and symmetrical.

Steak hidden underneath

My choice was the Wok-Stirred Ginger-Soy Maitake Mushrooms, with a Truffled Parmesan Flan. When I first saw this dish, which was quite large despite being only an appetizer, I thought I was in for a total grease bomb. But the mushrooms were surprisingly and mercifully ungreasy, full of tasty soy-sauce-umami and devoid of spongy mushroom texture. The flan was also a pleasant surprise-- light and eggy like an un-bruleed creme brulee, with strong flavors of both parmesan and truffle. I cleaned my plate and didn't feel sodden or sick afterwards. Well done, Ming!

My yummy mushrooms

While we didn't order dessert (there was a Dairy Queen ice cream cake in my mom's future back home...), the kitchen sent out three small keffir-lime macaroons with an oblong marzipan disk piped with "Happy Birthday" in loopy chocolate. The macaroons were really good, and the lime flavor was intriguing and surprisingly delicious, the way it is in Tostitos with a hint of lime.

Happy birthday, Mom!

All in all, we all thoroughly enjoyed the food at Blue Ginger. The service, not so much-- our waitress really seemed to be having a bad time, and she made it clear to us. Constantly. But that didn't sully our experience-- while it wasn't quite Eleven Madison Park, it was a four Offset Spatula birthday dinner of the finest degree.
583 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA

No comments: