What you read isn't what you get at Cuisine Tony
By Matthew Gray
Advertiser Restaurant Critic
Once inside the door, I asked the smiling waitress what kind of food Cuisine Tony had to offer.
Taken slightly aback, she replied, "We're sort of a fusion-style place."
"Uh-oh," I muttered to myself, knowing that many fusion attempts are more about confusion than their more noble pursuit.
"I'll be in later tonight for dinner," I declared, while grabbing a copy of the menu to peruse at home.
The first thing I ordered on this out-of-the-ordinary menu was borscht ($3.95), a dish I grew up with, which is a soup made with fresh beets, usually topped with a dollop of sour cream.It turned out to be tomato-based cabbage soup, not bad, but definitely not in the same universe as borscht.
I found little correlation between what you'll read on the menu and what actually shows up on your plate, except for the Chinese-style dishes.
There's a page of pasta dishes, a page of Chinese dishes, several chef's specials (meals including soup of the day, a choice of fries, spaghetti, rice or bread, and coffee or tea), several meat dishes and a few sandwiches.
The European clam chowder ($3.95) was simply mediocre New England-style chowder, the creamy variety. I sensed nothing European in this.
The Swiss chicken wing ($6.95) turns out to be a local-style braised wing with soy-sauce flavoring. There wasn't anything remotely Swiss about this dish. The soft-shell crab ($6.95) was deep-fried but tasted a bit too fishy for me.The deep-fried Thai curry shrimp roll ($5.95) was crunchy curry shrimp triangles served with sweet chili sauce. At least this dish tasted close to its menu description.
The stir-fried pasta with garlic and basil ($6.95) contained no basil.When asked about where this main ingredient was, our waitress brought the plate back into the kitchen, returning the plate a moment later with no basil and no explanation.
Ditto for the smoked chicken and artichoke sausage pasta ($10.95), which had no artichoke or smoked chicken.Yes, there was a piece of chicken, but it wasn't smoked, and the sausage was a too-spicy variety that tasted store-bought.
The filet of sole with white-wine sauce ($13.95) was flavorful and moist, but it was dipped in an egg batter and fried. It did not resemble the standard fish dish you'd get at most places.The Russian lamb chop ($15.95) revealed tiny chops swimming in a tomatoey sauce of onions and peppers.
I won't talk about the Chinese dishes (which were fine, but not great) because you'd probably not choose Cuisine Tony as your Chinese-food destination.
On the upside, the soufflé ($4.50) was delicious, plain, sweet and puffy straight from the oven. The Portuguese custard pudding ($3.50) is what I'd call flan or creme caramel, and it, too, was sweetly satisfying.
The menu is poorly written. Words such as Russian, Swiss and European won't help you understand the food here. The management needs to more accurately describe the food that is being served.
If you're wondering about the name of this place, Cuisine Tony, this is the story I was told: The chef, from Macao, the owner, from Hong Kong, and his assistant all are named Tony. Fair enough.
Reach Matthew Gray at email@example.com.