Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Taj Cafe: Lunch & Beaujolais

As I posted yesterday, I recently attended a luncheon that showcased the Beaujolais wines of George DuBoeuf. The luncheon was held at the Taj Cafe at the Taj Hotel on Arlington Street. As I have already discussed the wine, I'll now be talking about the food, especially as this was my first time dining here.

First, it is an elegant place with windows looking out onto Newbury Street, so you can people watch while dining. As we had a set lunch, I did not have a chance to view the menu but have since checked it out online. You'll find Soups, Salads, Appetizers, Sandwiches, Pasta, Indian dishes, and other Entrees. Plenty of diversity but a bit pricey with nothing under $12 and a high end of $32.

Lunch began with Salmon Tartar (on the menu for $16), which is marinated with basil, extra virgin olive oil, fresh citrus and salad. This was quite a delicious dish, with a clean, refreshing taste and prominent citrus which well accented the salmon. It was a good-sized dish, though I think it is still pricey at $16. The 2009 Beaujolais-Villages went very well with this dish.

Next up was a Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with baby beets, young goat cheese, asparagus, and a lemon thyme dressing. (Though this exact salad is not on the menu, their beet salad costs $15.) The ingredients were fresh with a good application of a light, tasty dressing. The very creamy goat cheese, which I love, really added to the salad. A nice presentation as well.

Our main entree was Seared Cod with Fennel Confit & Saffron Mussel Sauce. (Though this exact Cod dish is not on the menu, their other Cod dish costs $28.) This was an impressive dish, with a light, flaky fish and an excellent and flavorful sauce. I really savored the sauce, and think it would go well with other seafood dishes as well. A tasty dish but once again, it would be too pricey, especially for lunch.

For dessert, there was the Chocolate Caramel Crunch with praline crunch, dulce de leche ice cream, and crushed nougatine. A decadent and rich dessert, this would please any chocolate lover. A nice presentation, lots of good flavors, and big enough to satisfy almost any appetite, especially after three prior courses.

Service was excellent and the food certainly was very good. But, I think the prices are a bit high, especially just for lunch, so I give the restaurant a qualified recommendation. If you don't mind the prices, then you will likely enjoy the restaurant. But if you are seeking values, this is not the place to visit.

Taj Cafe
15 Arlington Street
Boston, MA
Phone: 617-536-5700

Taj Hotel (Bar, Cafe and Lounge) on Urbanspoon

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