Clio: The Best Meal of My Thirty Years
It is no secret that Jon and I love the bar at Clio. It is also no secret that Ken Oringer is one of, if not the best, chef in Boston. The accolades of his restaurants year and year speak for themselves. So when it came to deciding a venue for my 30th birthday dinner, we both agreed on Clio without hesitation.
We got there thirty minutes before our reservation in order to enjoy a Todd Maul cocktail at the bar. Jon’s Frank O involved a torch and flame, perfectly for adding a delicate smoke rinse on the glass.
We were seated in the dining room promptly at 6pm and the dinner that ensued was beyond memorable. Simply put, this meal was the best I have had so far. There is no way words will be able to do this dinner justice, so I will keep them brief.
As soon as our first appetizer arrived, I was immediately surprised by the portion size. I was expecting to cut everything in two or three small pieces to share between the two of us. Instead, there were several bites for both of us with each dish. I was really looking forward to the tuna appetizer, and it did not disappoint.
The vegetarian in Jon made a surprise appearance and he ordered the beet salad.
The highlight of these appetizers was the soft shell crab. Delicately cooked and served with a colorful array to accompaniments, the entire dish seemed to be doing an intricate dance; every ingredient knew its role and the finale of each bite was almost breathtaking.
Jon was ready to order the Duet du Boeuf, but then the duck breast caught his eye and our delightful server highly recommended it, he knew that would be his selection. Crispy skin melted in your mouth, tender meat was full of natural flavor and the fennel bulb puree was icing on the cake.
When our server told me the lobster was a signature dish, that made my decision. Twin lobster tails (yes, two!!) with two pieces of claw meat were expertly cooked; tender with with a fresh crispness to it like I’ve never enjoyed with lobster tail before. The butter baste was not as rich as you expect from a French restaurant, and that only made the dish even better. It will be difficult to order lobster again after tasting what Chef Oringer has done with this dish.
We were served a dessert amuse of fresh and freeze dried strawberries, with green tea gelato as a palate cleanser. Beautiful and refreshing.
A birthday dinner would not be complete without ordering dessert. We had already had our eye on the hazelnut gelato. While that was what we were focusing on, the pastry was the highlight; crispy yet buttery and simply amazing.
When the dessert special of the evening contained green chartreuse, I knew Jon absolutely needed to try it. Not pictured in its full the glory, a dark chocolate shell encased a light, green chartreuse glaze with just a touch of cream. Incredible combination of opposing flavors working together.
Aside from the incredible food, one thing that stood out through the entire night was how unpretentious the entire dinner felt. Perhaps it’s because Clio did away with their white table clothes to show off gorgeous dark wood tables. Maybe because our server was friendly, unassuming and incredibly helpful answering every question and made some stellar recommendations. Perhaps it was the window seat that Jon requested and Clio delivered. Or maybe it’s even because Todd Maul brought us over a little cocktails to pair with our beet salad. Regardless of the reason(s), Jon and I had giddy smiles plastered across our faces during the entire evening. It was perfect way to celebrate my thirtieth birthday.
Thank you to Jon, and everyone at Clio, for making this meal one I will never forget.
Where have you had your most memorable meal?