As a rule we normally don't order alcohol. However, Ecco is known for its martini bar so we decided to order a Limontini (vodka, limoncello, and simple syrup). We are not drinkers and this martini was just a little bit too much for us. Something's for sure, Ecco does not serve watered down drinks. This martini was strong.
Ecco's complimentary sourdough bread, mainly due to the vessel in which it is served, was an amuzing way to start the meal. After the martini arrived the waitress brought over a cigar box full of bread with salted butter on the side; every table receives a different cigar box. The bread was warm and delicious with melted butter on top. The clever way of serving the bread was definitely the best part of our Ecco experience.
To start off the meal we, as we seem to do most times we eat out, ordered their Flash Fried Calamari. This was not the worst calamari we've ever had but it was definitely far from the best. The calamari came with a zippy lime and chili balsamic sauce with cherry pepper aioli generously poured on top. The sauce made the dish soggy. Yet, had the calamari been crispy in the first place, the sauce would not have been that big of a deal. Although the calamari were flash fried (cooked in very hot oil for a short period of time), we thought they could have been fried a little longer. The breading did not stick to the calamari and when we reached the end of the dish we were left with a plate full of breading. This dish was very flavorful and has the potential to be a great appetizer however the textures ruined it for us.
Next, we ordered Ecco's Lobster and Grilled Corn Chowder. On Ecco's menu this chowder sounds delicious, "sweet corn, garlic, shallots, and fresh lobster meat simmered in cream, topped with cilantro, scallions, and chipotle drizzle," who wouldnt want to eat that? First of all, they used parsley instead of cilantro and the chipotle drizzle was nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, this promising soup turned out to be severely under seasoned and left a bitter taste in our mouth after every bite. After the first bite the aftertaste was so bad that we were hesitant to come back for a second bite. We were unsuccessful in trying to figure out what was giving the dish the bitter taste. Again, this dish has the potential to be a great chowder, its packed full of lobster, where it not for the lack of seasoning.
Following the chowder we decided to try the Warm Spinach Salad mixed with smoked bacon, chopped egg, and pickled red onion in a sweet and sour vinaigrette. The presentation of the salad was stunning but the chopped egg was out-of-place. The egg clashed with all the other wonderful ingredients. The bacon was thickly cut, crispy and delicious, the spinach was warm yet crunchy, and the onions added a nice hint of acidity to the dish. Had it not been for the egg this would have been a delicious, can't wait to take another bite, kind of dish.
Lastly, we had Ecco's Steak Tips with fries. To make a long story short, we ordered the steak tips medium and by the time they reached the table they were well done. We understand that steak tips, because they are so thin, can go from medium to medium well in the time it takes the waitress to walk from the kitchen to the table. So, the overdone steak would have been ok if it hadn't been for the lack of seasoning. The steak was covered in a flavorless barbeque sauce and the meat itself was tasteless. The best part of this dish were the fries, which were thinly cut and tossed in parmesan cheese.
Overall, Ecco left a bitter taste in our mouths and everything could have benefited from a generous pinch of salt. This restaurant attracts an older crowd and the ambiance is elegant yet casual. The good thing about Ecco is its convenience. It has a huge, free parking lot in the back and the service is good. We will not be coming back in the near future but for those just getting off a flight and looking for a good drink Ecco is definitely the place to go.
For Ecco's full menu go to http://www.eccoboston.com/.