The Boston Phoenix
May 13 - 20, 1999

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More than just an ending

by Liz Zack

It's easy to tell where the emphasis lies at this swank Theater District spot; first, there's the name. And even the entrées are labeled "pre-desserts." But passing up the dinner menu at Finale is like skipping to the last page of a novel: the beginning and the middle can be the best parts.

At $5 to $8, Finale's sandwiches are actually less expensive than the desserts. They're composed and presented, not surprisingly, like layer cakes: cut in half, with their gently stacked infrastructures exposed. Roast beef with horseradish mayonnaise, coleslaw, and field greens on onion bread was bettered only by a sandwich of turkey, avocado, and sprouts. (One note: both sandwiches begged for a liberal application of salt.) Soups change daily, and if you're here for dessert the best deal is probably the prix-fixe meal: for $18.95, you get a soup or salad, an entrée sandwich, and a dessert.

And oh, the desserts. Finale is designed with two long mirrors angling down from the dark-wood bar, so you can watch from your table as these creations come together: berries here, chocolate there. The two best (they're all good) are the chocolate gâteau ($9.95) -- a small, warm chocolate cake that breaks open to expose a molten chocolate center -- and the classic cheesecake ($7.95), a beautifully creamy pyramid in a skirt of mango compote. You will be back for an encore.

Finale, located at 15 Columbus Avenue (Theater District), in Boston, is open for dinner from 6 to 10 p.m. daily. Opens at 4 p.m. Sunday. Call (617) 423-3184.

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