Bach-ing It

The Bachelor Farmer is the new "It" restaurant, making most people's top lists and often named "Restaurant of the Year" for 2011. But just why is it so good?

We went for my birthday just after it opened, and returned last week, bringing my Norwegian cousins to show them what Scandinavian cuisine is like here. This is why the place is great...

We arrived a little early, on purpose, because we wanted to get drinks downstairs at Marvel Bar. While the upstairs bar is just fine, it's nothing amazing, and the Marvel truly is. The minute you walk into the lovely atmosphere you feel taken care of, and our bar server did that and more — ensuring that the three men ordering old-fashioneds got different liquors in their drink so they could compare and contrast, checking in at the restaurant for us so they knew we were there, and generally taking care of us. Some of the best service I've had.

Upstairs, the service was similarly attentive without being rushed. Both Dayton brothers were in attendance, but they seem to have things down perfectly, and I have no doubt the service is as good at any time.

We started with some of the toasts — salmon, camembert, and a duck liver pate, all of which were lovely. I always forget how rich the camembert is, but somehow without being stifling.

Entrees were similarly lovely — a roast chicken, pork, sirloin, and I think mine was the winner — a lovely seafood stew with two kinds of fish, each perfectly cooked, and mussels.

There's a new dessert chef and desserts were small but perfect, our pear tarte tartin the perfect way to end the meal.

My cousins ordered the wine, and the 6 of us went through 2 bottles, so there was no way to try to use the famous wine chalkboard, but it stayed very active all night! Our party also took advantage of a few moments to peek into the men's store Askov Finlayson, with my husband returning the next day for a little sale shopping.

All in all, a perfect night. At about $65 a head including cocktails, not the cheapest meal in town by far, but one of the most memorable.

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