My mom and I attended for an early dinner. The menu gave us only two decisions to make: meat or non-meat, and drinks pairing or no drinks pairing. We both got the meat menu, and we split a drinks pairing.
The (somewhat) short version of the story:
- Eight different sausages made their way across the table and into our stomachs (counting the dessert ice cream "sausage").
- The amuse-bouche, perhaps not surprisingly, was sausage (Italian garlic sausage), together with some nice lactofermented vegetables (leek, yellow bean, green pepper, kohlrabi).
- All of the food was great. My mom's favorite was a frothy borscht that surrounded a Polish smoked bacon sausage (think kielbasa). She was ready to order a whole bowl of the borscht. The dish that stayed with me the most was the choucroute royale. The champagne-cured sauerkraut was pale pink; chopped fine; had just the right combination of sourness, sweetness and saltiness; and sat on a discreet layer of somewhat-mashed potatoes. Three different sausages accompanied it beautifully. To be fair, the scallop and lobster sausage sure was good…and so was the bierwurst with perfect spätzle…and…
- The drinks pairings complemented the food excellently. Bierwurst and spätzle got a pilsner beer, Polish smoked sausage with red beet-caraway soup got a California Pinot Noir, scallop and lobster sausage in squash sauce got a Willamette Valley Chardonnay, choucroute got an Alsatian Pinot Blanc, the cheese course of Repenaer aged gouda and Bavaria Blu got a dark Belgian ale, and the ice cream "sausage" got a delicious Petite Syrah dessert wine. Note the complete and delightful disregard for typical wine and beer sequencing.
- The food is imaginative, painstakingly and conscientiously prepared, and consistently top-of-the-line. And the menu changes all the time, and you can always sneak a peek at it on the web.
- The servings and wine pairings are just right—neither meager nor excessive. (Keep in mind that I like to eat and drink, so in the grand scheme of things, the servings are probably quite generous.)
- It is fantastic to be able to have an appropriate, excellent, and different wine (or beer) with every course. Sometimes the pairings are surprising, other times (like tonight) they are more or less straight-ahead, but always they are thoughtful and good.
- T.W. Food is not inexpensive, but their prix fixe meals are a stand-out value among Boston restaurants.
- All of the prix fixe menus include a meat-free option. And the meat-free offerings are every bit as good as the meaty ones. When I've dined with friends who have chosen the meat-free option, I have often found myself stealing things off their plates. So there is truly something for everyone (almost…maybe not for vegans).
- The restaurant is classy but unpretentious. The service is great but not fussy. The place has a good feeling to it.