One of Boston’s top chefs, Barbara Lynch has formalized a nice set of restaurants and concepts throughout the city of Boston. She even boasts a James Beard award. After having drinks at her bar Drink on Saturday night, I decided to stop in to her flagship restaurant No. 9 Park for dinner on Sunday.
Nestled alongside Boston Common, No. 9 Park is an intimate restaurant with dishes capitalizing on local ingredients. The bar crafts some serious cocktails which seems to be a trend among Lynch’s spaces based on my trip to Drink. I decided to settle on a glass of Syrah and settled in to take a long look at the menu. After reviewing all the options, I decided to indulge in the three-course prix fixe.
First up was the Prune-Stuffed Gnocchi with Foie Gras, Toasted Almonds and Vin Santo. I ordered based on the recommendation of Plein Sud NYC chef Ed Cotton who used to work at No. 9 Park. While the elements all worked well together, the gnocchi felt a tad on the heavy side. I prefer it to be as pillowy as possible. That said, the foie gras was top notch and the prunes worked surprisingly well with the foie gras and the gnocchi itself.
For my main course, I chose the Pork Belly with Napa Cabbage, Lobster en Brik and XO Sauce. What a great cut of pork belly. It was perfectly caramelized to a crispy outer lay well remaining juicy and fatty on the inside. The XO sauce also added a nice sweetness to the saltiness of the pork. My lobster was a little overcooked and became somewhat tough, but not so much that it took away from the dish. I also didn’t feel like the lobster element and the piece of pork belly incorporated well with each other. Both tasted delicious, but the cohesiveness was a little lacking in concept.
For dessert, I chose the Vanilla Bean Chiboust with Native Apples, Puff Pastry and Cider. I have to say, the description doesn’t do this dessert justice. The chiboust within the puff pastry was subtle and the puff pastry was topped with coriander which proved a brilliant choice. The native apples were amazing. I assume with Fall settling in in Boston, it’s prime apple time. The cider mentioned on the menu was actually an apple cider sorbet that topped the dish and tied it all together. I’m not sure who the pastry chef is at No. 9 Park, but he or she is great at what they do.
On a side note, I had a hard time not ordering the Peaches and Cream with Saffron, Brioche and Aged Balsamic. The Fall aspect of the apple dish is what solidified my decision.
The service at No. 9 Park is impeccable. Plates were picked up promptly, drinks never fell too low and the food came out at a surprisingly rapid pace.
Lynch definitely has left a great culinary footprint on the city of Boston and No. 9 Park is a great base for her culinary world. I would recommend reservations as the restaurant was pretty full throughout the course of the evening.
No. 9 Park is located on the corner edge of Boston Commons. The address is 9 Park Street. No. 9 Parks’ dining room is open Tues. through Sat. 5:30 to 10 p.m. and Sun. and Mon. from 5:30 to 9 p.m.
July 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm
Thank you for the good review on the Chiboust dessert! I happen to love that one as well. I love fall in New England and I was inspired by Irish Soda Bread for that dessert. – Jaime, Pastry Chef, No 9 Park
July 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm
Thanks for visiting, Jaime! I have to say I was very impressed by the food scene in Boston. Can’t wait to come back and visit.