Monday, November 17, 2008
I always pick up the latest issue of Improper Bostonian, Stuff @ Night, etc. when I'm waiting for the T, and an ad for Kingston Station in downtown crossing seemed to be in every issue. At first thinking it was a Jamaican restaurant on account of "Kingston", I then realized it was, in fact, a Bistro in downtown crossing. Chris and I decided one evening to check it out for a nice mid-week dinner.
Walking through the doors I was immediately struck but the unique interior. The main room is floored with white tile, giving it almost a butcher shop feel. A sizable bar filled up the back, and a number of tables lined the wall of the front window. The lighting is dim, swankifying it a bit. On a Tuesday night, it wasn't very crowded, but I imagine it to be quite lively on the weekends.
We were seated at a table for two in the side room and decided to start with some cocktails. I had a vesper, of James Bond fame, while Christopher went for a Rye and Ginger Manhattan. My drink was fine - I just really don't like vodka in my martinis, but that is my fault. They also have two types of absinthe on their cocktail list, which I thought was interesting. I would go back to try some of their other fun-sounding cocktails, such as the Sazerac, which includes absinthe, bitters, and whiskey.
We started out with an order of the calamari, fried and served with vinegar peppers and spicy marinara. I was surprised with how quickly they were brought out, which leads me to believe they may have been sitting under a heat lamp. They were tasty, nonetheless, but just a tiny bit too chewy. I really enjoyed the fact that there was an equal portion of rings to tentacles, since I'm more of a tentacle kind of guy. The sweet peppers were good, as was the marinara, though I wouldn't call it spicy.
For my entrée, I chose the sweet potato gnocchi with seared scallops, mushrooms, and spinach in a white butter sauce finished with truffle oil and parmigiano. The gnocchi and mushrooms were delicious, and I loved the truffle oil with the butter sauce - very rich, but not too heavy. The scallops were adequate, but not the best I've had.
Christopher chose the chicken milanese - panko breaded chicken lightly seasoned with arugula and cherry tomato salad with a sherry maple dijon dressing. Both of us were rather disappointed with the dish - the chicken breast looked too perfect, almost like something you would expect from a fast food place. It tasted fine, but was nothing special. There was ample arugula and tomatoes, but the sauce was almost non-existent. He ended up eating maybe half of it.
Our experience at Kingston Station had its highs and lows, but I would certainly give it another chance and would be interested to check out the bar scene here on a weekend. It is easily accessible by public transportation (park street T) and not too expensive. Click here to visit their website.