Written by  ,     February 19, 2010     Posted in Business

Chef Robert Jean, Sorellina, Boston.

 Lately, my posts have focused a bit on the joke that YELP is becoming (and I will go back there eventually) and ridiculous guests comments, which has received some great feedback and interest.  (Like consultant ”That Guy”, with the $8,000 Mink Coat who complained his ice cream was cold!) I will go back there too, as it never ends…(like Daniel Y who liked the atmosphere and service but gave us 2 stars because a cook was wearing a baseball hat backwards)  OMG! Shoot me now.

 But, today, Back to Chef Robert Jean. Sorellina. Boston.

 When great Chef’s in Boston are mentioned, it is almost always the same names.
Ana Sortun from Oleana, Barbara Lynch, Michael Schlow, Ken Oringer….all great, by the way.
But Robert Jean’s name needs to be there.

 Jean, from Tyngsboro originally and who resides in Lowell, began his ascension in Boston at Mistral.  Probably 10 years ago(?). He has remained with Jamie Mammamo and the Columbus Group since, opening Teatro, Sorellina and L’andana in that time. But at Sorellina, Jean spends most of his time these days lording over what is DEFINATELY one of the top 5 restaurants in Boston. I’m serious.  Just ask me.

 Last night, the in laws used a Christmas Gift Certificate (Thanks John and Jen!) to take us out to dinner, and one course after the next created similar reactions. A pause. Silent contemplation… “was that really that good”…a 2nd confirming bite and the ubiquitous

Oh man, you’ve got to taste this”! (oh man, is that a dilemma or what! With two people, trading bites is a good investment. But with four, you start to think…hmm…I don’t actually have that much…calculating…should we order another? Whattyagonnado)

 Chef Jean started us off with an amuse bouche of Chilled Island Creek Oysters. On the ½ shell. Served individually in a small bowl, set atop a pile of crushed ice. On top of the oyster was some chopped watermelon and a ½ ounce scoop of homemade lime sorbet. A-maaaay-zingggg… Salt, sweet, chilled, delicious. Talk about pleasing the mouth. Too bad Kathy and Sally don’t eat oysters. We sufferred two!

 From the oysters came the Tuna Tartare with mostarda aioli. Worth the drive to Boston itself, though I may like Mistral’s just a fish line more. Again, on crushed ice, 4 ounces of chilled, smooth, clean, with hint of heat.  You know it’s good when Granma, decades later, eats raw fish for the 1st time.  True story.

Then, the salt cured foie gras. Ridiculous. I hate being cliché, but, butter is the only best way to underdescribe this downy and delicious dish. And then, Prosciutto, from the fat and happy Wooly Pigs of Spain (as Chef explained later, at $70/lb!) Melt in your mouth. As good as any Iberico, as good as La Quercia.  (sorry Rob) 

Kobe Meatballs, on homemade Maccheroncelli pasta in a silken, perfectly seasoned Barolo demi was next. Then Lobster Risotto (which you could have eaten grain by grain… if you were crazy) with Black Truffle shavings (Thanks Chef!!), and then…drumroll please.. The home made Beet Ravioli’s (all pasta made in house) that Kathy eats with her eyes closed. “Kathy…step away from the Chef…

There was more.  But, writing about it actually becomes somewhat mundane, as the words fall short.

 The space is gorgeous, and like most GREAT restaurants, you will pay for the atmosphere, the incredible talent and ingredients being merged in the kitchen, the type of service that leaves you never, ever wanting…but worth every dollar. Special Occasion, ok. But when you go, the dinner itself will create the “special occasion”.

Celebrate! Anything. Life. How hard you work. A birthday. Whatever. Just go.

 When you do, savor every single bite. Eat slowly. Don’t drink beforehand. And then, when you talk to your friends, associates, etc, about “best restaurants” and “great Chef’s” you can say;

“There’s this amazing Chef, Rob Jean that we just don’t hear enough about…”

 Chef Jean.  Sorellina.  Boston.

 I’m just sayin’.


3 Responses

  1. John says:

    Most everyone enjoys eating good food but there are certain times with certain foods where the act of eating becomes extraordinary. Those times when you take a bite and your eyes close almost involuntarily so that you can focus all of your attention on the taste sensations in your mouth and you feel the need to slow everything down so that you can just savor the experience.

    The short ribs from Moonstones, for me is one such experience.

    Eating at Sorellina (and L’andana) is another. I have been fortunate to eat there a few times and at some point in every meal there I have had that extraordinary experience.

    Kudos to Chef Jean!

  2. Heath Putnam says:

    There aren’t any “Wooly Pigs” in Spain – the Spanish sell cured Mangalitsa products. The Mangalitsa pigs are produced in Hungary (or elsewhere), and the meat is shipped to Spain and processed.

    I know this because I own the American company Wooly Pigs, and Wooly Pigs (the company) is the owner of the trademark, “Wooly Pigs”.

    I say this not just because I’m a trademark weenie – but also because we at Wooly Pigs think that we produce better Mangalitsa that the stuff from Hungary. We are more rigorous about our genetics and feed than the Hungarians.

    You can find out more info here:

  3. Kathy says:

    I second that Scotty! If only Rob could teach you how to make that beet ravioli . . .

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