We had a pretty good Saturday. First we went and got a quick snack (Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich for me, Goi Cuon for Abby) and headed to the Loews Theater near the Boston Commons to watch Watchmen. I read the graphic novel and rather enjoyed it, though I didn't think it was the greatest graphic novel of all time like so many people. (The Dark Knight Returns probably takes my #1 spot.) I am a fan of Alan Moore though, really enjoying his Top Ten series and how he portrayed the Joker in The Killing Joke. I believe that reading Watchmen after 9/11 skewed how I saw the epic-ness of the work. Had I read it prior to 9/11 maybe the scale of the inevitable nuclear war between the US and the USSR might have hit a little closer to home, but seeing as we have already faced such a huge tragedy in our real lives, the brooding "end-of-the-world" nature of the book didn't faze me much. I did love the characters, especially Rorshach and I can say that they could not have gotten a better actor to play him. Rorschach on the screen was the same Rorschach in the book. (Albeit, one of my complaints is that of the child killer scene...the book has Rorschach letting the killer decide if cutting off his own arm is worth saving his, the killer, own life. In the movie, Rorschach...well I don't want to get into spoilers, but he does something that seemed out of character to me.)
The movie was good, though I did find the book to be better. The actors were all good, and Zach Snyder can definitely make a pretty movie and he took a lot of the dialogue straight from the graphic novel. But I, like so many others, did not like the ending as much as the originally had it. I am a big fan of the giant squid. While the movie ending can just be as effective, it's been done before in so many other movies. (Spoiler alert!) Nuclear destruction of major cities has sooo been played out. A giant genetically created alien squid that destroys NYC...now that is cool!
As a big side note, why the hell did a bunch of parents bring their kids to this movie? There was no less than 4 groups of parents that brought their kids, all under 10 years old...hell, probably all under 8, to this R rated movie. I've read the book, and I'm sure the parents have read the book. They know of the nudity, the rape scene and the fact that this is Zach Snyder so there was going to be a lot (a lot!) of blood. It boggles my mind that these parents would bring their 3-6 year old kids, have them sit on their lap for 3 hours, and watch such a graphic movie. Not only is it annoying for the other viewers to hear their kids talk throughout the movie and complain that they want to go home, but there has to be some sort of study that says, "Parents, do not take your kids to movies that contain a lot of graphic violence and nudity!" Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I would never bring my kids to this type of movie.
After the movie, we walked around Boston for a while, going from downtown x-ing to back bay. The weather was nice, though cloudy, and the tourists were out and about. God I forgot how much I hate tourists in Boston. Standing in middle of sidewalk with their goddamn maps out. I just want to scream, "Just follow the god damn red line you moron and walk!"
Anyway, we get hungry around 6, so we decide to walk home to the South End and along the way we decide to grab dinner at Tremont 647. We've been here before and had a decent meal. Friends and other reviews have said Tremont 647 is one of the few destinations during Restaurant Week that is actually a bargain too. Something we might have to check out one day. This time, we both just wanted a nice burger.
The menu states that there is a chef's tasting menu option for $45. This seems like a pretty good deal. We'll have to try this out one night. We both get the burger medium, but I get the fries and Abby (due to lent) gets the mashed potatoes. While we wait and sip on our drinks, we can see the open kitchen just right over our shoulder. It's a very small space for 6 chefs at one time. On the other side of the counter is a female chef doing the expediting, yelling out orders. ("I need two momos and a sashimi in 5." "Fire on 2 steaks now!") Some people may not like the fact that they can hear the kitchen conversation, but as a geeky foodie, I love it. I like seeing chefs/cooks work. It fascinates me. I guess the famous chef Andy Husbands is not there tonight since I assume he would be expediting, but seeing as I really don't know what he looks like he could have been one of the 6 chefs working in the small kitchen.
I hear our order get fired ("Two burgers medium, one with fries the other with mashed potatoes fire!") and get excited. I was really hungry at that point and made quick work of the cornbread that came in the bread basket. The cornbread was fantastic by the way. Very sweet and moist. There was also a thin, cracker type of bread in the basket that was tasty too, though there was no butter spread or anything like that to dip the breads into. Either they forgot to bring us butter, or there is none available for the breads.
Our burgers come, and they are cooked perfectly. Nice and juicy on a sesame seed bun. I was disappointed in the "pickle" though. It was sweet, not sour and tangy like a real pickle is. I've noticed that New England just does not do pickles correctly. People out here think if you dip a cucumber into pickling juice for 2 seconds, then it's a pickle...but it's not! Abby liked it though...damn her New England blood. The burger was good, but some bites were salty. The fries were really good fries. Crunchy and perfectly cooked. Not oily/greasy at all.
Overall, I like Tremont 647. I would really, really want this place to be the Spotted Pig of the South End, but it falls just a little short. It is however a place that I am surprised I do not go more often, given the proximity to our condo. I will come back one day to try the chef's tasting menu and maybe give Restaurant Week a try here too. I give Tremont 647 a 3 and 1/2 out of 5.
After our good dinner at Tremont 647, we wanted a nice nightcap. (It was only 7:45, but a nightcap all the same.) So we went to one of our favorite places for a drink, Sage. The food at Sage is great, but I love their bar and their bartenders, especially JP. We were totally underdressed, T-shirts and jeans, but we didn't care. I got a belvie and tonic and Abby got the JP Rum Punch, a concoction made by our bartender. After a couple more drinks each, it was time to go home. If you are in the South End and just want a drink or 4, go to Sage and you won't be disappointed.
On The Menu