The Bostonian hides away underneath the Langham Hotel in TST. Newly-renovated, it’s a sexy and brooding space with some of the best contemporary Chinese art and photography I can recall in a restaurant, standouts of which are hauntingly beautiful photos by Chen Jiagang. Born in 1962 in Chongqing, Chen Jiagang began a career as an architect before making the transition to photography. The vision of Chinese industrial grandeur morphs into anxiety about lost memories and faded glory:
It represents a vast improvement on much restaurant art, especially most found in hotels. Luckily the food under Spanish chef Pedro Samper is also pretty head-turning.
Half a dozen oysters ‘For Gaudi’ come with a white peach gazpacho, diced tomato, cucumber and bell pepper ($258). The salt of the oyster with the sweet lull of the gazpacho makes for a fine combination, as does the smooth and slippery slide against the diced vegetables.
Rhode Island crab cakes were a beauty. More often than not, they’re a shameless vehicle for spuds and little else, but here it was all about the crab. Dense but flaky – if that isn’t an oxymoron – with generous, sweet meat. $198.
The mains are big on steaks and seafood, but in the interests of research – and following chef’s advice – we hit up the braised Iberico pork cheeks in Tempranillo. An unusual cut but another winner, soft to the fork, bathed in a brilliant little jus that smacks of Spain’s finest grape. ($288)
Dessert was, as always, unnecessary but ordered regardless. A riff on a pavlova with meringue, passion fruit sauce and dots of a rather brilliant dulce de leche ice cream. A fine way to end a meal from a chef with considerable talent – one who can doubtless take the Bostonian to greater heights.