Where to Troquet on South, a relocated revamp of longtime Theatre District restaurant Troquet.
What for The Troquet experience, updated, now near South Station. Read: elegant plates, more-casual bar fare, and an emphasis on wine.
The scene This space was previously Bel Ari, and it looks much the same. A sculpture of a snail greets entrants, who make a beeline for the white quartz bar. There’s a comfortably beige dining room with wood floors and brown upholstery; one can get glimpses of the kitchen, located in back. A gent in a suit and a man-bun, resembling a short Willem Dafoe, squires a woman in an elegant evening shawl. A tiny child in a fedora curls up in his mother’s arms. Tennis and softball are on the TVs, and the post-work crowd congregates, chewing the fat with the bartenders as the night grows dark.
What you’re eating Executive chef Scott Hebert creates a modern, seasonal menu that changes frequently: dishes such as golden beets with pistachios, yogurt, and tahini dressing; lobster crepes; bigoli pasta with lamb bacon, favas, and ricotta salata; roast chicken with risotto, asparagus, and morels. The bar menu includes classily topped pies, lamb sliders with feta and harissa, and steak frites.
Care for a drink? You’ll find cocktails such as A Real Crowd Pleaser (vodka, pomegranate, lemon, and Cynar) and the Toast to Poe (rye, cognac, sweet vermouth, honey, and walnut bitters), as well as craft beer and a few mocktails. But Troquet is known for sommelier-owner Chris Campbell’s wine list. At the bar, you can sample 2- or 4-ounce pours of anything from a celebratory French sparkling rose to a flight of German rieslings to a satisfying everyday Barbera, secure in the knowledge that whatever you order will be served at the right temperature. “ALL WHITE WINES BY THE GLASS ARE SERVED AT 45 DEGREES. ALL RED WINES BY THE GLASS ARE SERVED AT 58 DEGREES,” declares the menu emphatically.
Overheard Talk of sour beers, the art of e-mail, and Google calendar politics. “In this day and age, people don’t go for all the carbos,” a woman tells a bartender. “Life is too short,” the bartender replies merrily. “I’m having this sparkling rose with the soft-shell crabby patty, and I couldn’t be happier,” says a man with a laptop to his neighbor at the bar. “Play this game! Play this game!” exhorts a suited solo diner drinking a glass of red and shaking his fist at the tennis match. Two women discuss a former co-worker who is behaving badly: “I was like, ‘Are you stalking my calendar?’ I think he was afraid I was having meetings. I’m not sharing my calendar again.” A woman bellies up to the bar. “Can I just have a glass of water? Thanks.” She turns to her companion and adds: “Then we’ll get to some serious wine.”
107 South St., Leather District, Boston, 617-695-9463, www.troquetboston.comDevra First can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.