some restaurant comments: to start from the bottom, clio (back bay, corner of mass ave and comm ave), was, in a word, disappointing. overall andy and i agreed that it felt like it thought it was better than it really was. maybe it's changed a lot in the four years or so since winnie's been there, but it seemed they were more concerned w/ the visual appeal of their plating than the quality of the actual food, which surprisingly seemed to lean towards asian influences and fruit accents (the latter of which i'm rarely fond of). in particular, although andy enjoyed his mesclun salad (with a dressing that noticeably included soy sauce and perhaps sesame oil), my "beet salad" was rather play-foody. it consisted of a shallow bowlful of beets, somewhere between thickly pureed and finely chopped, with "aromatic accents" which were about seven spoonful-sized islands of garnishes, which included (as separate islands) avocado, capers, fennel, fresh wasabi, and others. attractively presented no doubt, but not much interesting otherwise. andy's "crispy" halibut was likewise disappointing, with a sweetness that quickly outstayed its welcome (as i'd expect sweetness in any entree to do). i skipped over the feta and olive ravioli (zzzzz zzzzz zzzzz) and instead tried the corn soup (with mushrooms but sans maine crab), which was nicely savory. outside of the plating, the sweet and sour green onion chutney was fairly forgettable as well; "jam" would've been a more accurate term, and if there was any "sour" flavor, it was undectectable. it came w/ roasted pumpkin that was rather too "al dente" for my taste, and what i assume was a yogurt-based sauce. the chestnuts were a nice autumnal, albeit non-integrated, distraction (although the spiny chestnut covering and equally inedible pumpkin stem were pointless garnishes), but the general feel of this dish was clunky and thrown together. andy's creme caramel likewise lacked depth. andy and i also agreed that the menu just seemed to include too many ingredients in each dish. maybe it's just our preference, but it seems more productive to concentrate on combining strong and subtle flavors rather than resorting to non-sequitur juxtapositions that aren't integrated. service was okay, although a bit prissy. phew. this is getting long. i'll post the rest later.


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