Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Its no secret here that I am a fan of Columbus Hospitality Group restaurants, having had not only amazing meals but great overall experiences at L'AndanaMistral, and Sorellina. When I heard they were opening a new restaurant, Ostra, in the Back Bay I had high expectations for the final product. After the initial reviews were positive, Nick and I decided to suck up the higher price point and celebrate nothing in particular on a Saturday night date night out in the city.

Wonderful foccacia bread
Our reservations were at 8:30 and after the hostess checked us in (we barely made it at 8:29) she said they were running a bit behind, so we grabbed some drinks at the bar. Even with our reservations we had to wait about a half hour to be seated - turns out they somewhat ambitiously schedule their evenings, but the menu doesn't necessarily fit well will turning the tables over quickly. Fortunately we had no where to be, and they had a pink sparkling wine served by the glass for me to enjoy and a yummy cocktail for Nick, so we were happy to relax at the bar.

Oysters - one of the many selections from their complex raw bar
I find that most of CHG's restaurants are decorated warmly, but Ostra is almost shockingly stark - lots of white throughout the space. Somehow, though, it is not cold feeling - the impressive art on the walls and dark floor work to make the place sleek but inviting.

photo source
Ostra's wine list is extensive, and someone obviously thought hard about what to add. I was surprised at some of the listings, like Littorai, which is definitely not something you find on most menus. We ultimately settled on the 2011 Saldo Zinfindel. After being in Healdsburg where it is a popular grape varietal we have been hooked. This bottle did not fail us and was a great compliment to our meal with its berry and rich fall spice flavors. In fact, we have actually since purchased a few bottles to have on hand at home!

Ricotta Gnocchetti, Maine Lobster, Beech Mushrooms, Shaved Black Truffle
After sharing some of the oysters from the raw bar, we split an order of the Ricotta Gnocchetti appetizer, which was outrageously delicious. The gnocchetti themselves were so light in texture, and the lobster and the buttery sauce were so rich and tasty. Needless to say we used the rest of the bread on our table to mop up the sauce!  This is a must order.

For main courses I chose the halibut and Nick went with the skate. Both came highly recommended from our super helpful server. Also, while recommended, they definitely were two of the more affordable items on the menu. Each of these dishes were wonderful - he fish was cooked perfectly and so flavorful, and the accompaniments of the mushrooms, mashed potatoes and the broccoli rabe added a depth to the dish. Nothing was added to the plate as a filler.

Warm Chocolate Tort with Milk Jam and Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream
I don't know how we had room (come to think of it, I don't think we really did), but since the rest of the meal was so delicious we had to get dessert. I think they had run out of our first choice dessert for the evening so we ordered the chocolate tort. Sometimes these can be a bit of a let down in the cake department, but this was just as well prepared as the rest of the meal. Warm and moist, the tort was lovely, and the vanilla ice cream was the perfect cap.

Obviously we totally enjoyed every aspect of this meal. Ostra is definitely a destination worthy of a special night out.

Ostra on Urbanspoon


  1. I want to eat more skate! everything looks great

  2. I love Zinfandels. And I'm hoping to get to Ostra one of these days. Everything you had looks amazing and definitely worth it!


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