The city of Boston has been buzzing about the Wyndham Hotel's latest addition, Caliterra, a downtown restaurant offering a combination of California and Italian cuisines. Located on Broad Street, just off State Street, in the city's financial district, the restaurant draws a mixed crowd in the evening.
Each month, the restaurant offers a unique seasonal fare. In September, it was mushroom month and when we visited in October, it was "The Great Harvest of Pumpkins." Chef Damiano de Nicolo created some of the most delightful samplings, including honey pumpkin salad with sage croutons and apple cider vinaigrette ($7), cinnamon scented potato gnocchi filled with sage and pumpkin in a light mascarpone nutmeg cream sauce ($18) and the pumpkin pistachio and pine crusted double thick pork chop with spaghetti of fall vegetables and Cape Cod cranberry chutney ($23).# # #
Our server suggested we try the restaurant's signature appetizer - the crisp Santa Barbara shrimp cigars ($11). Coated in a light batter, the shrimp arrived fresh with vegetable slaw and aged balsamic syrup. We also sampled the pumpkin and heirloom apple bisque with fried pumpkin chips ($7). We thought the pumpkin bisque may be a bit overbearing but were delightfully surprised at the light creamy blend with just a hint of pumpkin flavor. Other starters from the fall menu include calamari with exotic tomato sauce and meyer lemon aioli ($8) and Sonoma duck foie gras with Cape Cod cranberry chutney, panettone toast and cranberry honey ($15).
Caliterra has been serving guests for the past two years at this location. The contemporary flair, Italian design and quiet, romantic atmosphere make this restaurant stand apart from its competitors.
Since the September 11 terrorist attack, the hotel has realized the devastating effect on the hotel industry. Our server told us the hotel was only at 30 percent occupancy that evening, a substantial drop from the bustling summer months when it is nearly full to capacity.
The restaurant also offers five varieties of soup and salads - from traditional offerings such as clam chowder ($8) and Caesar salad ($6) to unique selections like seared pancetta wrapped diver scallops ($9) and warm artichoke and mushroom salad ($8).
The entrees here are to be commended. We tried the five spiced Long Island duck breast with Swiss chard and sweet potato hash ($25). The duck was very flavorful and not greasy. The best selection came with the roasted pumpkin and pancetta risotto with pan seared diver scallops with warm pumpkin seed vinaigrette ($24). Our server had suggested this entrée and we were glad he did. The dinner looked almost too good to eat with the scallops arranged neatly around an entire pumpkin carved out and filled with the pancetta risotto. What an amazing treat! Other entrees include brick oven pizzas ($12-15), roasted free-range chicken ($19), braised short ribs of beef ($22) and a 14 ounce sirloin steak with foie gras scented mashed potatoes ($28).
Of course, we had to make the evening complete by finishing our meal with the pumpkin cheesecake with pecan crust ($7). Our evening at Caliterra was truly wonderful. We look forward to seeing what they have up their sleeve for the month of December.
Caliterra Bar & Grill
89 Broad Street
Boston, MA 02110-3509
Kellie K. Speed is
a freelance travel writer and restaurant reviewer. Her features have been
published in various publications including The Boston Globe, Cahners’
Industrial Distribution and Graphic Arts Monthly magazines and Reno Air
Kellie has reviewed numerous first-class hotels and
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