Monday, August 25, 2008

Stix Restaurant & Lounge

After recently blogging about my visit to 33, I was invited to try out the "global fusion cuisine and 21st century cocktails" at 33's sister restaurant and next door neighbor, STIX. I headed over there for dinner last Wednesday, in time to partake of the Restaurant Week menu. Ben decided to order from the regular menu, so between the two of us, we got to try a little bit of everything. The decor has a modern feel, featuring sleek wooden tables, sharp angles, and exposed brick.
The decor at STIX
The bar is lit by a mesmerizing color-changing background and features a wide array of innovative cocktails.
The bar at STIX
We tackled the cocktail menu first. Although the liquid nitrogen creations sounded intriguing, we each settled on a trio that would let us taste a few different drinks. Ben got the Trio of Solids, which consisted of gelatinous slices of three cocktails: 10 Cane Raspberry Sashimi, Bacardi Effervescent Mojito, and 42 Below Haupia.
Trio of Solids: 42 Below Haupia, 10 CaneRaspberry Sashimi, Bacardi Effervescent Mojito
This gourmet take on jello shots was served with chopsticks. Bonus points for fun presentation!
The "trio of solids" - a sampling of three solid cocktails - was served with chopsticks.
My first reaction to the solid trio was that it was weird...but in a good way. I opted for something a little bit more liquidy: the Trio of Carbonation, which contained samples of Bacardi Mojito Fizz, Sparkling Woodford Reserve Mint Julep, and Carbonated Cointreau Margarita. Light, refreshing, and deceptively strong, this carbonated trio is a great summer choice. My favorite of the three was the mojito.
Trio of Carbonation: Bacardi Mojito Fizz,Sparkling Woodford Reserve Mint Julep, Carbonated Cointreau Margarita
We munched on crispy breadsticks while figuring out what to eat.
Breadsticks before the meal
The Restaurant Week menu was small but varied, offering a salad or gazpacho for the appetizer, either salmon, chicken, or steak for the main course, and several delicious-sounding treats for dessert. The regular menu is divided up into three main sections: "stix", small plates, and large plates. The "stix" section of the menu for which the restaurant is named features 14 kabob-style choices serves on flavor-infused skewers. A container of labeled skewers sits on each table so that you can smell the different flavors. (Well, I assume that's why it's there. Otherwise, I probably looked pretty silly smelling all the skewers!)
The selection of tapas-like small plates includes gazpacho, a cheese plate, mussels, and a few other choices. Large plates include pan seared chicken breast, slow roasted salmon with bay leaves, seared diver scallops, and more. Ben decided to stick with the "stix" section of the menu, ordering one plate to arrive with my appetizer and two to arrive with my main course. He figured I'd share some of my dessert with him. (Ha!) His first selection was seared scallops on ginger mango stix with orange oil and sesame, an Australia-inspired dish. (Each stix dish is inspired by a particular country or U.S. state.)
Seared Scallops on Ginger Mango Stix withOrange Oil and Sesame (an Australia-inspired dish)
The scallops were cooked absolutely perfectly - great texture, no fishy flavor, and very nicely seasoned. While Ben was starting out on his scallops, I was enjoying a summer mesclun salad with honey balsamic vinaigrette and sunflower seeds. I don't usually eat sunflower seeds, but these blended nicely with the dressing. It was a light, well-balanced salad.
Summer Mesclun Salad with Honey BalsamicVinaigrette and Sunflower Seeds
For the next course, Ben got two orders of stix. The first was tuna sashimi-style on ginger mango stix with a light soy and citrus marinade and togarashi (inspired by Hawaii.) His second choice was chicken satay on mango curry stix with shrimp crackers (inspired by Indonesia.) Even though I generally avoid raw fish, I tried a bite of the tuna and was impressed by the flavor. Ben enjoyed it as well.
Tuna Sashimi-Style on Ginger Mango Stix with Light Soy and Citrus Marinade and Togarashi (inspired by Hawaii)
The chicken satay had a delicious sauce, and the mango curry flavor on the stick added an extra layer of flavor.
Chicken Satay on Mango Curry Stix with Shrimp Crackers (inspired by Indonesia)
I chose the flat iron steak with potatoes confit, braised greens, and chimichurri. Although the steak was a little bitter for my taste, the texture was perfect - very tender. I was pleasantly surprised by the braised greens, which I expected to be bitter as well. They were actually very sweet. If green leafy vegetables always tasted like this, maybe children would be more likely to eat them without complaint! The potatoes were a nice starchy balance to the sweetness.
Flat Iron Steak with Potato Confit,Braised Greens, and Chimichurri
For dessert, I had the valrhona white chocolate mango pannacotta with kalamansi lime sorbet, and it was a tasty way to end the meal.
Valrhona White Chocolate Mango Pannacottawith Kalamansi Lime Sorbet
The great thing about Stix is that it feels like you're out for a fancy meal, but it's fun at the same time. The juxtaposition of snacking on jello shots with chopsticks and finding a newly folded napkin at your place when you return from the restroom is unusual, but it works. Creativity really shines through in the menu, especially in the cocktail section. Stix would be a great place to have a birthday party or a light dinner before a night out; you can order a bunch of stix and small plates to share amongst your friends. Or, you can go for a romantic dinner for two and fight over who gets to eat the third stix in each order. Overall, dinner was great. The service was friendly and knowledgeable, the decor was minimalist but not uncomfortably bare, and the food was innovative, tasty, and fun. Watch out for those solid cocktails - you may forget that you're eating alcohol!

Four forks!

Address: 35 Stanhope Street, Boston, MA 02116 (behind Back Bay station)
Telephone: 617.456.7849
Dinner Hours: Monday-Saturday, 5:30pm-1am
Lounge Hours: Monday-Saturday, 5:30pm-2am
Reservations accepted.
Take-out available.

What do other bloggers say? Check out...Boston Food & Whine: Stix and Stones
Belly Love: Stix - 35 Stanhope Street, Boston

Stix on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. This is great. I never knew meat on a stick could be so varied and tasty.


Related Posts with Thumbnails