Boston Restaurant Blog -- April, 2007
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
For those of you who remember the old Biltmore Cafe in Newton Upper Falls from a few years back and beyond, get ready to be shocked; The Biltmore is now an upscale bistro with excellent New American cuisine as well as some great comfort food entrees. Yes, gone is the "bucket of blood" that once catered to softball teams, local construction workers, a smattering of troublemakers, and the occasional white-collar worker. And while you can still recognize the old Biltmore with its dark wood and old photos and signs adorning the walls, the new Biltmore is far, far different from the old Biltmore.
We took a trip out to The Biltmore a few days ago to see how much it has changed. I used to go there all the time when I played softball in the Newton area, and I remember it being a place where you might get a plate of ravioli and a few beers. Well, the standard ravioli dish and the other pasta dishes are mostly gone, having been replaced by slow-roasted pork belly, spicy mussels, and ribeye steak, as well as several more "downscale" items such as meatloaf, steak tips, and burgers. After starting with a wonderful mushroom barley soup, we ordered the spicy mussels and the steak tips. The mussels were fresh and incredibly tasty, with a spicy sauce that absolutely propelled the dish to greatness. The steak tips, however, were not quite up to the level of the mussels; the marinade was mild and complemented the tips nicely, and the tips themselves were delicious, but a couple of them were tough and gristly. The rice that came with the tips was bland and watery, and the Caesar salad was fresh with crisp lettuce, though it had a slightly stronger than average anchovy taste. The beer list was fairly short but excellent; I ordered an Allagash White, which was an outstanding Belgian-type ale.
Based on the one meal we had at the new Biltmore, I would have to say that they have a good thing going. I've heard that some of the other dishes at The Biltmore are out of this world, so I'm looking forward to trying it again. I do miss the old Johnny's Biltmore Cafe a bit (for purely sentimental reasons), but the new Biltmore should make folks soon forget what used to be there.
You need to update this...no longer on list of "to go" places!!
Posted on 4/15/08
Yes, it is disturbing to hear what has happened to The Biltmore. Folks definitely need to realize that The Biltmore may no longer be what it once was, so think twice before you head over there. You might also want to read some of the latest reviews on the place on sites such as Chowhound and Yelp. It would be nice if they could work things out, but from what I've read, it sounds like a total nightmare. Very sad...
Posted on 4/16/08
I had an unpleasant experience with my family at this restaurant yesterday - which was a Sunday. My mother-in-law took us to dinner with my husband and three children. We walked in at 5 pm and were the first group seated in their back room. We ordered and then waited....and waited. Three other groups were served before we were. When we asked why so long, the waitress told me: "you ordered the roast chicken and that generally takes from 25-30 minutes to prepare." I said if "I had known that I never would have ordered that - we have three small children with us." I asked her to please bring out the rest of the food, not to hold it all up for my order. She offered no apology, instead implying that I should have known that my chicken would have taken that long! The children's ravioli came out at 5:45 and then mine at 6. It was underdone, even! Then she had the audacity to include a 20% gratuity b/c it was a party of 6!!!! (3 adults and 3 children). She was not only a poor waitress (and I used to be one), she was sneaky too! In hindsight, I should have insisted that my mother-in-law not pay the gratuity. I spoke to the manager who was apologetic but offered nothing. We left soon after that. We live less than 10 minutes away so it is a shame that we will not be returning. It is DEFINITELY not worth it.
Posted on 3/9/09
Avoid this overpriced, snobbish, and terribly managed dive. What was once a good idea has dissolved into a sophomoric and futile attempt at neighborhood. Slow service, pathetic hostesses (duh, what is a reservation, please?) and boring food.
Posted on 5/16/11
Note: Comments have now been closed for this blog entry.