Wednesday, January 30, 2013

First ImPRESSions

First it was Theory, a steakhouse with an arts and crafts look, a nice bar and an open kitchen. Then it was Lago. Now it's called Press Wine Bar and I recently made a  visit to the new Tremont spot. It opened in mid-November and though bottles and barrels have been integrated into the decor the handsome, dark, clubby space is still reminiscent of the previous tenants.
The server was a bit of an energizer bunny- at first. I barely got my coat off and planted my self in a chair when she was table side with the wine list, and moments later she was back asking what I'd like to drink. Same thing happened when my friend arrived. We had to put her off three times before we were ready to order glasses of wine- a very nice Carmenere. But as the evening progressed, and it became clear we were not going to be big eaters or drinkers, it became harder and harder to get her attention. These are not major problems- a little training would go a long way.

Neither of us was very hungry, and we were both still in recovery mode from much holiday excess so we ordered lightly. I got a roasted cauliflower and bacon soup. It was disappointingly thin and arrived lukewarm. I would have sent it back but couldn't catch our server's eye. My Caesar salad was a small portion for the $7 price. The arugula salad with poached pears and candied walnuts my companion chose made her happy, even if her request to add chicken to it, an option that wasn't on the menu, doubled the cost, from $8 to $16.

It wasn't a great experience. But I will definitely go back. I'm a fan of  Executive Chef Rachel Spieth, who was not there that night, and she has put together an interesting selection of appetizers, flat bread "pizzas," meat and cheese boards, sandwiches, heartier entrees. The wine list- with a number of selections on tap- is worth exploring. The room is comfortable. All the right elements are in place, making Press worth a second chance.

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