The Seasonal Table
The '80s return, on a plate
by Julia Hanna
The '80s are back, in more ways than one. Besides luxe fur and leather fashions
and a presidential race between an intellectually challenged Republican and a
dull, earnest Democrat, there's a new spot in the Back Bay to buy bass
Provençal. The Seasonal Table's long, glassed-in storefront features
indoor and outdoor café tables; carefully arranged displays of precious,
breakable gifts; and wine, beer, and gourmet dry goods and produce (white
pineapple, anyone?). More tempting are the cases of unusual imported cheeses
and an ever-changing selection of prepared entrées, soups, sandwiches,
salads, and baked goods.
A "grilled fennel brined pork chop with melon salsa" ($4.99 each) was not as
complicated as it sounds, cooked perfectly pink despite its cute-as-a-button
nouvelle size. The salad of giant white lima beans with fennel and tomato
($5.99 per pound) was a light, appealing combination of summery flavors, with
the beans providing enough ballast and substance to make this nearly a meal
unto itself. Other recent offerings included sautéed cod with
green-olive and sweet-bell-pepper relish ($5.99 per portion), a fava-bean and
ricotta salad with parsley oil ($5.99 per pound), and a grilled-calamari and
chickpea salad ($7.99 per pound).
A counterpoint to the dizzying multi-ingredient preparations is the outstanding
cheese counter. Samples are allowed, and less than $4 will buy you a nice-sized
slice of just about anything -- from a deliciously pungent blue Stilton to a
liquid-creamy Tour Aubier. And if that doesn't seem decadent enough for
these times, try wading through a mascarpone-laden slice of tiramisu cake
The Seasonal Table, located at 61 Mass Ave, in Boston, is open Monday
through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 7 a.m.
to 2 p.m. Call (617) 236-7979.
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