Saturday, October 27, 2007

Kingfish Hall - At which Todd English joins us for dinner

Ok not really, but he was at the next table. Kingfish Hall is his seafood restaurant in the heart of Faneuil Hall. Since this area caters heavily to tourists, I tend to not eat at the restaurants, I figure overpriced and mediocre. But last night my favorite neighborhood restaurant was booked solid and I wanted something good to eat. And in my world, one cannot go wrong at any of Todd English's restaurants. I did like that he was there, popping in on the kitchen and watching the goings on in there. It's good to know he still takes the time to keep an eye on his restaurants.

The menu is very expensive for such a casual place. There was an incredible sounding crispy lobster, which is basically a de-shelled lobster tempura fried, for $49. Other entrees were all over $28 and fairly basic. And since I wanted to eat more than one dish, I opted for some Kumamoto Oysters served with a cocktail sauce, I opted for just some lemon juice squeezed on top. I ordered the tuna tartare, a starter which I thought would be small. I was wrong. This was a lot of tuna, served on a lot of sushi rice, with a thin layer of seaweed in between. Basically a deconstructed tuna roll. And completely delicious! There was a hint of Sriracha on top which nearly burned my tongue off. I also ordered a side of the mac and cheese, which was served in the cutest cauldron, but lacking in cheese flavor and left a filmy layer on my teeth. I took a few bites, brought it home and reheated it with additional cheese. Sadly, I can make a better mac and cheese myself.

N ordered the fried calamari and the seafood gumbo. The calamari was delicious. It was covered in sauce, which resulted in it becoming soggy rather quickly. The seafood gumbo was served in a shallow skillet and was good, although over salty. You definitely tasted the seafood in the stock, however it looked and tasted as if it was thickened with black beans. Something we both found odd.

The service was a bit slow, even though there was enough staff and the restaurant wasn't very crowded.

A cool thing about the space, if you get a seat on the second level and can get into one of the booths that look like giant clam shells, they turn. So you can opt to sit facing the open kitchen or you can face the dining room. The light fixtures are also all funky and I would love to have one in my house.

Overall, I would not go here again for dinner, our total bill was $90 (including 2 glasses of wine) and for that much money there is far better food in the area at less casual places.

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