Flawed deconstruction, no matter how you pronounce it
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  November 17, 2010
1.0 1.0 Stars

That other reviewer's favorite, "Long Island duck breast" ($28), is a very nice dish, although a single sliced breast is not a lot of food, and undercooked lentils aren't good filler. The garnishes of glazed micro turnips and port-soaked prunes don't justify the price, either.

Where I might splurge is the new prime New York strip steak ($39) presented in three pieces laid out in a long line on a long plate, as though they had come off a skewer with some potato dumplings and vegetables. Good meat is its own reward.

The beverage program is attempting serious cocktails, beers, and wines all at once. It can be done, but it can't be reviewed without a hangover. We relaxed with a bottle of 2009 Ponzi pinot gris ($10/glass; $40/bottle), a fairly restrained Oregon white, but still with plenty of fruit and spice to the nose, some length to the flavor, and a slightly bitter finish that made the food more appetizing. Tea ($4.50) is served in a pot, decaf coffee ($2.50) in an ordinary cup, and the milk or cream in very cute stainless-steel "milk carton" vessels.

There is a credited pastry chef, but he seems to have drunk the metaphorical Kool-Aid, as his best work is a deconstructed "velvet cheesecake" ($12) consisting of little balls of creamy ricotta scattered on a large plate with (November berry warning!) sliced strawberries, fresh sweet basil, and edible flowers: violets and pansies. It would taste just as good if they put it together on a smaller plate.

Chocolate Napoleon ($14) is some properly intense chocolate ganache layered between three thin sheets of strudel dough, alongside terrific house-made chocolate ice cream, and cranberry syrup/sauce.

"Citrus spiced carrot cake" ($13) is served as a satire of restaurant carrot cakes, because it is a slice that might be served at a spa lunch. This might work if it were intensely flavored, or if the carrot sorbet tasted like carrot. A trio of sorbets ($7) had more of the indistinct carrot, a rather good lemon, and a typical strawberry. I'm starting to think that chefs using one of these trio presentations should try the three ideas, and only serve the best one.

A lot of money was spent taking the Barsamian's curse off the odd space. Now there is a long thin passage to a dining room with hard gray floors, an antique map of Boston, a lot of chandeliers, and bistro-like lines of wine bottles overhead. The service is better than at the gastropubs, which does matter to many people. Too early to describe the crowd, but the food is so dressed-up, you should consider doing likewise.

Robert Nadeau can be reached at

Deuxave | 371 Comm Ave | 617.517.5915 | Open Sunday–Wednesday, 5–10 pm; Thursday–Saturday, 5–11 pm | AE, MC, Vi | Full bar | Valet parking: $16 | Sidewalk level access

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