I’m wary of online restaurant reviews submitted by random people. You never know if they’re for real. (For all you know, a good review could be submitted by the restaurant’s owner.)
I didn’t know what to think when I ran a
After a recent visit, I’ll say this: The service could use some attention, but it’s not much of a concern. The food is worth waiting around for. And the restaurant could become one of my favorite places to loiter.
My dining companion and I visited Ab Fab on a recent weekday night. We stood at the vacant hostess desk for a full 10 minutes before someone came to greet us. We were sort of annoyed, but we didn’t want to leave.
The Main Street space, which the restaurant moved into last fall after relocating from West Emerson Street, is nice and homey thanks to great date lighting, beautiful wood tables, and cool photos on the walls. We spent our 10 minutes at the desk enthusiastically eyeing the place, our mouths watering from the great smells coming from the kitchen.
When we finally got seated, we were ready to order up the small plate of antipasto ($10), which was actually quite large and could have fed three. It was a perfectly fresh mix of yummy eggplant, red peppers, meats, and zucchini slices with thick discs of mozzarella and Parmesan.
We also tried two appetizers, the butternut squash ravioli with brown butter sage sauce ($10) and the chicken liver paté ($9), which was served with tiny pickles, crostinis, and grilled onions. The ravioli was obviously homemade and packed with the thick, mushy veggie. Each pasta square was topped with dried cranberries and nuts.
I know this sounds weird, but if you can, order both of these appetizers and combine them. Take the paté and spread it on the restaurant’s fresh bread (you may have to ask for it), and then dip the bread in the ravioli sauce. Trust me. The combo took me to a happy place of sweet and savory.
For an entrée, I went with the chicken Madeira ($20). The meat was tender, but I was more interested in the cake of Asiago risotto that I dipped in the sweet and light truffle sauce that came with it.
The seafood fra diavolo ($25) was a heaping portion of cod, clams, mussels, and calamari in a mildly spicy tomato sauce that didn’t overwhelm the mollusks.
We chose the homemade linguini to go with the dish, but we also had the option of a smaller homemade pasta that was described as “gnocchi-like.’’ Chef Lori Muse does so well with pasta that we’ll be sure to try that one next time.
For dessert, we ordered the chocolate key lime pie ($7). It’s best described as a triangle that combines the taste and consistency of key lime pie, crème brulee, and peppermint patties. Not for everyone, but admirably unique.
Our meal took about 2 1/2 hours, and yes, the service was anything but urgent. But as the meal progressed, we minded less and less. The staff wasn’t being lazy or forgetful, just familiar. At one point, our server sat down with us to chat about what we might want for dessert. That was kind of nice. The whole experience was pretty relaxing. Every now and then, it’s good to take your time.