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“Best Honeymoon Dinner”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of 1865 Wine Cellar

1865 Wine Cellar
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Ranked #4 of 10 Restaurants in Whitefield
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Full Bar, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Waltham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best Honeymoon Dinner”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2014

The almost private restaurant was perfect for our spot for our honeymoon dinner. We were even sat at a table next to the wine bin that had our wedding date 628. Keith was the perfect, knowledgeable sommelier. The food is a bit pricey but well worth it! I have never seen such presentation or had my dinner plated in front of me.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Meg B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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111 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    70
    22
    5
    7
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Enfield
Level Contributor
39 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“off limits”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2014

We weren't allowed to see the restaurant. I was very surprised! The manager at the front desk said the only way I could get a peek at it was to make a reservation. Go figure?

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Gene P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellesley, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
273 reviews
169 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Great aspirations, poor execution.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2014

There is no question that the Wine cellar is one of the loveliest and most romantic venues for dinning. In a dimly lit, beautifully constructed wine cellar with softy music, it is great. But, for my wife and myself that was where it ended.

We started out diner with the Golden Tomato Bisque and the Chef’s Signature Charcuterie Board. The soup was quite nice, and even early in the summer it tasted of sun ripped golden tomato. The Charcuterie Board was another matter. It was, in my opinion, small in amount. While said to be made at the Hotel, the summer sausage and andouille sausage were a bit bland. This was not helped by the accoutrements of homemade pickles, corn relish and homemade mustard that all seemed to overwhelm the sausage.. The pickles was the worst offender, being so spicy as to numb one's palate with a bit of a burn. The mustard and corn relish really did not taste much different from Stonewall Kitchen product. The slices of fig cake tasted commercial also. The best part of the plate was the beef and fennel terrine.

For the main course, we had the local venison and the special, which was a local organic pork chop. The pork chop was scrawny and tough, looking like it came from a Whole Foods. I have had New England raised pork in the past (usually Berkshire or Berkshire mixed breed) and they have been a nice thick, tender and flavorful chop. This had none of those characteristics.

The venison was actually quite good, three thin pieces. Quite flavorful on its own. The problem was the juniper berry and Balinese long-peppercorn glaze. Like the pickles on the Charcuterie Board, the spice of the pepper and juniper numbed the palate and overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the venison. Farm raised venison does not have a gamy flavor, rather it is a delicate flavor and it could not stand up to the glaze. Better they should have used a glaze of local wild berries with, perhaps, a touch of cream.

On the other hand, the accompaniments to the main course were quite nice, but potatoes and quinoa are not the reason for the dinner.

For dessert we shared a peach frangipane (fresh tasting peaches on a bed of almond marzipan in a so so pastry shell) with pistachio ice cream (or was it gelato?). After one taste my wife declared it to be "Diner Desert". We were told the pistachio was to die for, and perhaps the pastry chef should have. It was over frozen and filed with ice crystals. Unpleasant at best.

Dinner concluded with a presentation of a few thin chips of dark chocolate and "white chocolate", which were quite cold. Chocolate served at room temperature does have more flavor.

As for the service, it was a bit bizarre. We waited 45 minutes from the time we sat down until our appetizers appeared, and we did order right away. While a plate of three different types of butter was placed on the table, only one slice of bread was offered, never to come around again for a refill. There was also lack of attention to our water glasses.

But the most bizarre part was the service of the main course. Not sure what was going on. Was it an intentional throw back to the age of the pompous style of French service in the late 1950s and early 60s? Visions of Mad men dining out! Or, was it an attempt to make the experience that much more? We didn't ask. Each part of the main course is brought out in individual copper pots and your plate is dressed in front of you. All that copper was worth a fortune, the value of the presentation is questionable.

The wine list is quite reasonable. It is predominately American ( a good selection of California Cabs), and, of course, limited by the New Hampshire Liquor Authority. But with some searching, something out of the ordinary can be found.

We really believe the Wine Cellar needs to reassess its aspirations. It is not in Las Vegas, but rather in rural New Hampshire, in New England, a sate and region that is producing a lot of wonderful local ingredients. Forget the impression, and concentrate on the ingredients, and try for better balance in flavors and preparation of the food.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Ryewit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheshire, Connecticut
2 reviews
“Wine Cellar exactly as advertised”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2014

Great food, perfect service, formal as they present. There are a number of wonderful dishes, but the wine selection was everything you could ask for.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Mike L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Hanover, New Jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very romantic”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2014

Love the ambiance, not a big fan of the food. I found the menu to be too similar to the upstairs dinning room menu

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank kim c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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