You can tell a lot about a restaurant without taking a bite. These days that can start without leaving your computer screen. Does the eatery in question have a web site? Is is professionally done with great photos and enough information to make an informed dining decision? Great looking interactive websites are important since this is increasingly that 'first impression' every business owner wishes to make. If reservations are recommended, is the phone answered promptly and courteously? When your preferred time and/or day isn't available, do they have an alternate suggestion? It may seem counter-productive to suggest a competitor to a caller, but I certainly remember and appreciate that effort. And I reward it by making sure they get first chance the next time I'm looking for a dining spot.
In Fairhaven that tour is taken from your chair. The menu evolves continuously, taking full advantage of what is best both locally and from afar and in my experience always produces a superior result. Fine dining should be a fully rounded sensory experience engaging your eyes and olfactory first and paying dividends on the palate. The El Greco, bright red Spanish piquillo peppers stuffed with seasoned lamb and rice arrived on a plate with a roasted yellow pepper sauce and was topped with feta and fresh mint then bracketed by garlic yogurt and a balsamic reduction. It stole the show for me, but my partner was equally smitten by the pan-seared divers scallops served on pureed cannellini beans with caramelized onions, allioli and hazelnut pesto. There was more, including a nice wine list of both bottles and by-the-glass selections, but you get the picture. It was a great meal at what is becoming an institution on the South Side.