Have you ever been to a restaurant that was so hyped up that you couldn't help but be disappointed after actually eating there?
Yeah. That was my experience at Dante in Tremont.
I have friends who drool when the hear the name Dante, let alone when they eat at the restaurant but I just wasn't feeling it.
I did enjoy the ambiance of the restored former bank. I sat within view of the vault, which now houses a large table. I could also catch a glimpse into the kitchen and saw Dante himself come out fairly often to talk to patrons. But not us. Weep womp.
The meal started off well with some great bead with a hummus spread. On the house. (don't get me started about restaurants that charge for bread these days) And then we ordered a few drinks. I started off with some sort of odd tasting blood orange concoction but quickly switched over to Moscow mules. Let me rephrase that - fantastic Moscow mules. Sadly, that was probably the best part of my dining experience.
I was excited to see that Dante offers vegan options, so I decided to order an entire vegan meal. I started off my meal with the 7 vegetable vegan salad. It had everything from Brussels sprouts to radishes. I feel like it's pretty difficult to make a bad salad, but this salad wasn't so great either. Maybe it had too many vegetables?
Shortly after I finished my salad and the numerous attentive servers had repositioned my napkin and silverware (but what if I wanted a crooked knife on my table? huh, huh?), my vegan entree arrived. It was a mix of hearts of palm and beets and a hodge podge of sauces artfully smeared on the plate. And that's the nicest thing I can say about it. I've mentioned this before, but if you're new to reading my blog, I think there's a difference between good vegan food and food that tastes vegan. Good vegan food wouldn't make a meat eater bat an eye because it's flavorful. inventive, and pleasing to the eye and palate. Bad vegan food tastes vegan, as in "this food tastes a little funky - it must be vegan." Sadly, my meal tasted vegan. So much so that I almost wanted to walk down the street to Edison's to get some grub to get the "vegan" taste out of my mouth. It was pretty disappointing. As I was glumly poking at my meal, my meat-a-tarian boyfriend was gleefully eating his steak which was, as he said, in one of the best mushroom sauces he's ever eaten. Meat eaters:1 Vegans:0 for this meal, I guess!
Although I didn't have the most enjoyable experience at Dante, I'd definitely give it another try. I do like supporting chefs who offer vegan and vegetarian options, and maybe the items I ordered off of the recently unveiled spring menu need some tweaking? And at the very least, I'd go back for some Moscow mules!