I think we were unlucky on drinks. As a fan of Berkshire Brewing "Dean's Beans" coffeehouse porter, I had to try their "Cabin Fever" ale ($5.50), but this amber draft was probably getting to the end of its season and the bottom of the barrel, as my glass had little flavor or carbonation, and some spoilage in the aftertaste. Likewise, the 2010 14 Hands Riesling ($9/glass; $34/bottle) ought to be a crisp Washington State fruit-forward kind of wine, but our glass may have been from the previous night's bottle. I was happier with 2010 Santa Julia malbec ($10; $38), which probably started with more stuffing, and certainly showed better at the table.
The strongest dessert was probably the "churned delights" gelati ($7), good examples of vanilla, chocolate, and hazelnut flavors. I have to admit I liked the brownie sundae ($8), now evolved to a slab of barely cooked, yet still hot and slightly coherent, chocolate batter with walnuts, topped with vanilla ice cream. This is probably about the same as the previous menu's fallen chocolate soufflé cake, plus the nuts. It's not the first time I've preferred the brownie sundae in a restaurant, I confess, but probably the first time I've chosen it over raspberry bread pudding ($7), which was just too stodgy, with not enough berries, or even carrot cake ($7), a pleasantly modest size but not much carrot or spice.
Robert Nadeau can be reached at email@example.com.
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