Justine’s Table – A new find west of Boston

I was invited to a blogger dinner to get a sneak peek at Justine’s Table in Wellesley (the soft opening was November 5) and am I glad I went.

The mood is already set when you walk in the door by the baby grand piano just before the bar. The bar that (conveniently) has a television for those subtle mid-romantic date sports score check-ins. (Yes, honey, I know that it’s important to you). The warm wood walls and fireplace makes the space feel as luxurious as a private club but without those pesky club dues.

That night, the restaurant was opened up to a group of about twenty local bloggers. We were treated to a sampling menu that was well-thought out, carefully crafted and delicious. I felt slightly guilty that my family was eating pizza while I feasted on lobster stuffed halibut, crab cakes and steak…but only slightly. Hmm…just remembered that the last time I went to a blogger dinner my family was at the neighborhood block party with pasta salad and watermelon. I sense a theme.

Our host for the evening, Joseph Pignato, was gracious, knowledgeable and generous. He shared a gorgeous bottle of his own wine, a Château neuf-du-Pape 1982 and it was outrageous. The liquor license is pending so for now it is BYOB, which is no big deal, people do it all the time on the Vineyard where dry towns are common…and if you are bringing bottle of Château neuf-du-Pape, call me, okay?

All of the food was fantastic, well-thought out and delightfully presented. The tasting menu started with a beautiful trio: classic clams casino, chicken skewers with a lovely mango salsa and sweet sugar cane shrimp (in a citrus butter). Yum.

This amazing start was followed by a fantastic crab cake, a lovely mixed green salad, baked stuffed (with lobster) halibut, grilled flatiron steak, mushroom ravioli with chicken breast and shrimp. It was delicious from the tasting trio to the creatively presented cheesecake (in a martini glass) and a perfect cup of coffee.

A perfect date night restaurant or family gathering place (there’s a terrific kids menu) and the spacious but cozy feeling (must be all the gorgeous woodwork) private room would actually hold both sides of our family!

Find Justine’s Table on Facebook for updates, better pics (sorry – only had my phone) and specials! Here is a link to the menu in case you are curious – Check it out – you’ll be glad you did.

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