A few months ago I was walking through Downtown Crossing with a friend when we noticed a patio hidden between two high rise buildings. We walked a bit closer and learned it was a French restaurant called the Marliave. We made a mental note to add it to our list of places to try.
Today is the birthday of said friend and it was her wish to dine with all of her favorite ladies at the Marliave.
The Marliave's legal address is 10 Bosworth Street, but it's actually located at the corner of Bromfield Street and Province Street.
A small, stone staircase leads up to the beautiful outdoor patio, which is a true urban oasis.
I was a bit early for our 7:00pm reservation so I wandered inside to check out the indoor portion of the restaurant. The decor was completely black and white and reminded me of Gaslight in the South End.
Once all the girls arrived (we were a party of seven) we were seated at the one group table on the outdoor patio. All the other tables hosted a max of four people.
From our seats we had an incredible view. The sun was shining and seemed to be illuminating the architecture around us.
Our waitress brought us dinner menus, branded with a letter M. Being someone with an M name, I couldn't help but smile.
We also received the cocktail list, which was spirited (pun intended).
At my end of the table, we tried the Waterloo and the W.C. Fields cocktails. The Waterloo is gin, champagne, citronage and lemon and the W.C. Fields is Pimm's vodka, cucumber and lemon.
The group decided to order a cheese plate to start. We ordered three types of cheese and they came in a stunning presentation, accompanied by fig jam, walnuts, cranberry walnut bread and brioche.
We were also delivered a bread basket with olive oil garnished with green olives. Watch out for the pits!
Shortly after inhaling the cheese plate (it went quickly between seven people) our dinners arrived. Each plate or bowl was covered and three members of the wait staff came to our table to lift the covers off each plate at the exact same moment. Talk about service! I felt like Belle in "Beauty and the Beast"! Be our guest, be our guest!
The birthday girl ordered the mussels with side of truffle french fries. She loved every single bite of both.
Two ladies ordered the diver scallops with wild mushrooms and pea ravioli. One loved it and one felt the scallops were a wee bit too salty. A little Goldilocks action happened with that one.
Someone ordered the trout which came over a bed of spinach and garnished with huge shrimp.
Another friend ordered the chicken under a brick which came served over risotto. She was disappointed because a good portion of the meat was dark meat and she's not a fan.
Someone ordered the traditional steak frites and she said, "I don't like my food very seasoned or with strong flavor. Anyone else would probably think this was fantastic, but for me, the taste was too overpowering." As I don't eat meat, the jury is still out on this one.
I ordered two appetizers for my dinner. First, the mac and cheese which was incredible! One of the best renditions I have ever tasted.
I also ordered the chopped salad (minus the chicken) which was topped with green beans, asparagus, artichokes, red and yellow tomatoes, avocado and a hard boiled egg. There was way too much lettuce, but otherwise - delicious.
As we were celebrating, we felt we had to order dessert. For the birthday girl we ordered the chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. Both the cake and the ice cream were superb, the table was unanimous.
The birthday girl also requested the tapioca pudding. I personally find this disgusting, but everyone who tasted it raved about it.
Lastly, we selected the box of four chocolate truffles. Holy yum! I love that they serve them in a branded box with the letter M on the plate (a recurring theme in the presentation).
The food, beverages, service and atmosphere at the Marliave were spectacular. It was wonderful to have such a stellar experience for this celebration.
While dining I learned that the Marliave is the fourth oldest restaurant in Boston (opened in 1885) and they make everything in house - bread, pasta, ice cream - you name it. I also read on the menu that they serve brunch all day!
Treat yourself this summer to an elegant feast on the patio at the Marliave. You will leave feeling like you've just been let in one one of the city's best kept secrets.