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“Excellence”
Review of Tasting Counter

Tasting Counter
Ranked #8 of 347 Restaurants in Somerville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 180 - USD 195
Description: Tasting Counter is an innovative restaurant in Somerville, Massachusetts, offering a multi-sensory dining experience. The philosophy of the restaurant is to establish the shortest distance between the production of food and the dining guest. Guests are seated at a counter, directly facing the preparation of an inspired tasting menu, paired with all-natural wines, beers, sakes, or handcrafted non-alcoholic beverages. Lunch (3-course) and dinner (9-course) are served Wednesday-Saturday (tickets required via our website). Natural Wine Bar (walk-in only) opens early on Tuesday 5pm-12:30am and Wednesday-Saturday 10:30pm-12:30am.
Restaurant details
Description: Tasting Counter is an innovative restaurant in Somerville, Massachusetts, offering a multi-sensory dining experience. The philosophy of the restaurant is to establish the shortest distance between the production of food and the dining guest. Guests are seated at a counter, directly facing the preparation of an inspired tasting menu, paired with all-natural wines, beers, sakes, or handcrafted non-alcoholic beverages. Lunch (3-course) and dinner (9-course) are served Wednesday-Saturday (tickets required via our website). Natural Wine Bar (walk-in only) opens early on Tuesday 5pm-12:30am and Wednesday-Saturday 10:30pm-12:30am.
Reviewed 3 October 2018

For our 25th, we visited Boston and decided to explore one of the top rated 'tasting' restaurants in the area. We were pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful combination of flavors and wine pairing. Every dish was innovative and delicious and we left full and satisfied. The service was excellent and friendly. Our 12 year old had a blast and was blown away by the variety of new flavors. When you consider a new glass of wine for each course and no tipping, it was a great value as well. Highly recommended.

Date of visit: August 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank climbera5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 64 reviews

Reviewed 16 September 2018 via mobile

This team of culinary professionals were masterful in their delivery of a fabulous Experience! Thank you... easier to show pictures than try to describe!

Date of visit: September 2018
1  Thank Poleneater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2018 via mobile

The staff was great and was very knowledgeable with respect to explaining the ingredients comprising each dish. Most of the food served you could never make at home so this is a great way to try different dishes that all tasted great.

Date of visit: August 2018
Thank Tom C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2018 via mobile

Tasting counter Alex
The wine pairings are amazing
Peter and his wife Ginhee the owners are totally unassuming.
We sat next to a delightful couple Carlos and Teresa who were from Barcelona celebrating their 30th wedding Anniversary. Lovely couple.
To begin with this is more than a meal, it is quite the food experience. I came with high hopes that were way exceeded. They make it look so simple because it is all done right in front of you.
Let me tell you that the magic starts way before we arrive. The plating is what is done in front of you.
Magic it is!!!!
The ingredients are of the finest quality. The combinations are from food heaven.
Alex, the sommelier is very knowledgeable and articulate. He explains where each wine or Sake comes from and what to expect.
I have tried other wine pairings but NONE have even come close at any other restaurant.
A couple of the wines and Sakes had interesting noses and tastes until the food with it was added. The combination was perfect and the food changed the taste.
To me that is exactly what a food and wine experience should be.
The servers were extremely professional. Including Peter who explained what each dish was and where the ingredients came from. Many came from local sources including his own places. Such as honey from his own hives. I asked Peter the kind of flowers that the bees pollinated. He said blueberry and sure enough there was a hint of blueberry in the desert, from the honey only.
The service was perfect, not in your face nor intrusive. They just did their job and with a smile.
Now for the food.
My wife is allergic to shellfish and does not like pork products. No problem, her dishes looked like the rest and of course came out at the same time.
My son in law does not like mushrooms, again no problem. His dishes were made to look the same but without mushrooms.
When we left we were given an individual written menu of what what we ate.
My wife who is allergic to shellfish had a different menu than I did.
Each of my courses were served with sake. Each Sake was different from each other.
I started with three bites that shared the same small plate.
Corneal, tomato and black olive combined together.
Beet cake, mascarpone, with tarragon.
Third was smoked amberjack, yuzukosho rice crisp.
This course was served with Dossai 50 sparkling.
It was interesting that it appeared and tasted unfiltered and not as refined as others that I have had in the past. Also totally different than the rest of the sake tonight.
My next course was spectacular.
Sea scallop with hazelnut, salsify, corn and sturgeon caviar. The combinations of flavors were perfectly exciting. The hazelnut was mild but you could taste the way it joined other flavors at the same time. The scallop was sliced thin and was as tender and delicious. The caviar saltiness complemented all the other flavors.
The sake was Tensei, song of the sea Junmai Ginjo.
It went perfectly with the flavors of that course.
Amberjack, seaweed, green daikon, fermented broth, fennel flower, spruce.
There were so many flavors that I had never experienced before. AND they worked so perfectly together like they were put on this earth just for that reason.
The sake was Hakkaisan Yukimuro. This joined the family above.
Basil dumplings, tomato, Parmesan, preserved lemon. It was a break from fish dishes. The basil and preserved lemon heightened the mild flavors of the tomato and the dumplings. ( which were cooked perfectly)
Taka Noble Arrow Tokubetsu Junmai was the sake.
Black Sea bass, charred lettuce, lemon verbena, macadamia nut. The charring was mild and certainly not over powering. Again the flavors were in perfect harmony together. Above served with Shirotaki Jozen Mizunogotoshi. A very special sake.
Stripped Bass with yogurt and fermented cherry sake.
Schisandra Berry was served with pine nut and almond cookie. “ a break in the action”
The next “meat” course was smoked duck with red miso, red plum, colamint hibiscus.
I was thinking a red burgundy would be perfect and that a sake might not work.
Well, the Montensei Star filled Sky Junmai Ginjo was perfect. Both Alex the sommelier and Peter the chef extraordinaire know their stuff when it comes to food and wine combinations.
Beef sirloin cap, ( my favorite cut of beef) (Peter said it was his too)
It was Wagu and cooked so perfectly medium rare.
It was served with black trumpet and black truffle, black shallot, king bolete and Foie Gras. I am still salivating reliving such an amazing dish. Not any one thing got in the way of anything else.
Shiokowa Cowboy Yamahai Junmai was the sake, “Brilliant”.
Dessert was melon with black currant leaf sorbet, served with Amobuki Shuzo.
Next dessert was cherry, almond cake, lime leaf custard, cherry pit ice cream.
Served with Tengumai Dance of the Demon Yamahai Junmai.
The “Parting” morsels:
Hazelnut and Chocolate Bon Bon.
Strawberry tomato fruit chew and Pine Honey Madeleine. This was the honey from Peter’s hives.
This was without question one of the best meals and wine pairings that I have ever had. If you go to my reviews you will see some of my other great meals, including Osteria Francescana in Modena Italy. I gave that meal Five Stars and Three Diamonds as I have this meal.
Thank you to Peter, your wife, Ginhee and their wonderful staff. They work like a well oiled machine. Alex you are an amazing Sommelier, thank you too.
Please forgive any spelling errors.
I would like to add that the price tag of $210.00 per person which included tax, tip and wine pairing is the bargain of the Century. If you can spring for it, GO you will remember your experience for the rest of your life.

Date of visit: August 2018
1  Thank GeorgeDubiecki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2018

When your reservation is confirmed they send you a photo of their door, good thing as finding it is a bit of a challenge but well worth the effort. Despite being situated in a brewery the atmosphere of the space is sleek and clean, a good balance of homey charm and upscale design. The service is professional and smooth and the presentation is polished. I enjoyed the wine pairings with the various courses and my friend sampled the saki selection. The fact that the monetary transaction is not evident makes it even more pleasant. Overall it is a meal that can be enjoyed with friends, the one caveat is that my group did not find the music conducive to the degustation of the superlative food and we felt a bit rushed despite arriving on time.

Date of visit: August 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank closdescedres
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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