Friday, October 20, 2000
The Mosquito Dines Out: Pillar House
26 Quinobequin Rd
Newton Lower Falls, MA 02462
If you ever wondered what that pillared restaurant on Route 128 at Newton Lower Falls was all about, but could never find it open, here are a few notes. The Pillar House has been doing a lot of things right for 48 years and the proof is in their ability to stay open only Monday through Friday nights, for dinner only, no lunch.
Since our anniversary, our twenty-eighth, occurred on a weeknight, we decided to celebrate nearby and see if the elegance and quality were still in place. The Pillar House is perfect for a small intimate dinner. The staff was gracious, food well prepared and presentation lovely.
We started with sharing a beet "Carpaccio" salad ($7.00), sliced beets topped with frisée, toasted walnuts and oranges, tossed in a champagne-orange vinaigrette. The textures and flavors melded delightfully. Other appetizers included, house-smoked salmon salad, seared foie gras, crispy duck confit, crab cakes, seafood bisque, the "Pillared" Caesar salad (topped with a white anchovy).
As venison was on the menu, this was Alex's first choice. He had the grilled venison chop ( $25.00), marinated with fresh herbs and espresso coffee beans, and served with a sage and truffle-infused roasted spaghetti squash and venison wild blueberry demi-glaze. I had the braised beef shortribs ($22). This old-fashioned favorite seemed perfect for a brisk fall night. It was served with smoked cheddar mashed sweet potatoes, wilted mustard greens, and a Fleur de Sel (a pretty nasturtium) and sun-dried cranberry jus. Other entrees included pan-seared loup de mer, whitefish on a lobster-mascarpone ravioli, veal porterhouse, porcini-crusted tofu, lobster risotto pan-seared salmon, grilled pork tenderloin and more. Between the salad and main course we were served a palate refreshing champagne-grapefruit sorbet.
We had a merlot with dinner ($20), selected from a wine list that was extensive with a good spread of prices. They had sold their last bottle of pre-1900 vintage Chateau Lafitte Rothschild a week before for $2,500. The person who ordered it had planned this for a long time, shared it with two guests and only had steak for dinner. (We were not planning on it anyway.)
We did not order dessert, but there was a fine selection of fall specials.
Reservations are definitely recommended. Guests at nearby tables were speaking a variety of languages, proving this is a place with universal appeal.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito