November 12, 2003
If you’ve read any of my previous journal entries, you’ll know that we are on a quest to visit the top 50 restaurants in the U.S. We chose Gourmet’s 2001 list as a good representative sample (their yearly lists since then have been more narrowly focused and only cover certain cities, vs. their 2001 list that includes restaurants from towns like Ogunquit. Just because a restaurant is in the middle of nowhere, doesn’t mean it isn’t great).
I’ll admit right up front that I was dissatisfied with Clio. After our stunning experience at Radius, Clio was disappointing. I had also emailed Clio to tell them that we had traveled all the way from Florida to visit them. I still have not received any response. When we got there, they explained that the tasting menu ("Available Nightly") was not available and provided no explanation as to why. They didn’t attempt to make up for the lack either.
The service was good, but not outstanding. They did not go out of their way for diners. In fact, we had to ask to see an extended wine list. That was another thing – why split your wine list into three different menus? The waiter was pleasant, but did not go out of his way. I noticed the same treatment at other tables as well.
We chose to put together our own tasting menu, which I think was a good choice. The appetizers are small enough that you can choose two before a main course and not overwhelm yourself. The lacquered foie gras was the best choice by far. It was delicate and smooth, nearly melting in your mouth.
The main entrees were a little too sauced for my taste. The flavors, while nice, were a bit overwhelming. I had expected something a little more subtle from the menu and Web site.
The atmosphere inside was nice, but crowded. The tables were just a little too close together. It is a small, intimate space, which I don’t generally mind, but the next table seemed awfully close as I rubbed elbows with a total stranger. Clio’s attached sushi bar is a trendier outfit, with funky lighting and leopard skin. If you want just a taste, I think I would recommend it over visiting the main restaurant.
It seemed like a "place to be seen," so if you’re out for a trendy spot, stop in for a visit. If you’re looking for a really good, decadent meal with superb service, just go to Radius instead.
From journal Walking & Eating Boston