May 31st was my anniversa-three, my third anniversary. Cute, right? Give the credit to my wife. Anyway, we went to Great Bay in Kenmore Square's Hotel Commonwealth for dinner. Great Bay is the third restaurant in the Michael Schlow empire. Having taken J to Radius, Schlow's first success, for her birthday a few years ago, I had high expectations for Great Bay. Radius is fantastic. Unfortunately on this evening, those expectations were not met.
We each started off with a cocktail. J had a Ghost of Mary, spicy tomato water with Ketel One Citroen garnished with a tomolives and a sweet 100, and I forget what I had, but it was good. I had heard good things on Chowhound about the spicy halibut tacos from their island bar menu, so we tried them. The plate came with four small crunchy taco shells filled with fresh halibut, tomato salsa, pickled onions and avocado. They were good, but something was missing. Instead of the mouth full of flavors I was expecting from the tender halibut ceviche, it was a little flat. I got lime, halibut, then avocado. Stayed tuned for my review a fantastically prepared halibut ceviche that I had at Rendezvous in Cambridge's Central Square neighborhood.
J had a sole dish for her entrée, which was very good, and I had a parsley crusted cod dish which was under seasoned and really didn't taste like much. To be honest, neither dish was all that great, both certainly less then the spectacular that I expected. J liked her sole, and I agree it was good, but for the money I was disappointed, yes this place is expensive. Sorry, no pictures, this was a special night for us and the camera stayed home.
I will, however, give Great Bay an A+ for service. They offer valet parking at the front door for $14 and we were seated right away when we walked in the door. We had a reservation and it was a Thursday night, the restaurant was not busy. Finally, like I said, it was our anniversary. When I made the reservation using Open Table, I sent a note to the restaurant informing them of our special day. We were seated at a nice corner table in the restaurant and were treated to a great dessert, a warm chocolate bread pudding on the house, to finish our meal. The icing on the proverbial cake was that they wrote Happy Anniversary in chocolate sauce around the rim of the dessert plate. This apparently is a Schlow signature, we got a Happy Birthday dessert plate when we went to Radius.
Thanks for the dessert, Great Bay, but we may not be back any time soon. At least not for dinner. Great cocktails, great service, great dessert, but I was unimpressed with the tacos and the entrées.