At this point in our lives, we'll take a great meal out whenever we can get it! Last weekend, we had babysitting coverage at Alice's parents house and decided to try the nearby 80 Thoreau in Concord, Mass. Owner Vincent Vela hails from Per Se (check out the signed tasting menu near the bathroom - wow!), and Chef Carolyn Johnson has worked at Icarus in Boston andRialto in Harvard Square.
When we arrived, we found the decor to be more modern than we'd anticipated. After all, everything in Concord is steeped in history. Also, the early hour (yes, we had a 6:45 PM reservation) meant bright daylight streaming into the restaurant accentuating the faces of...yes...an "older" crowd.
That aside, the food did not disappoint. The menu is not huge, but most of it is sourced from lcoal farms. The crispy duck confit and poached farm egg with garlic yogurt were tasty, but the highlight of our appetizer course was the scallop crudo, with pickled rhubarb, sorrel, and sea salt. The scallop was fresh and the flavors complemented each other perfectly. For our entree, we shared the pan roasted quails and English cut lamb chop. The presentation was beautiful (see photos below) and the quails were good sized and more satisfying than expected. For dessert, we highly recommend the 2007 Sauternes.
Would we go back? Yes. Would we head west to Concord, rather than into Boston, for our next night out? Probably not.
A&T Ranking: 7/10