Nosh on: Gem’s a diamond in the rough

Gem has a definite Victorian feel. Entrees range from $15 to $35.

If there’s one noticeable thing about Gem’s menu, it’s brevity — there’s a handful of entrees and only a slightly larger selection of appetizers.

Despite that, it’s a hard choice. The preparations are each quite enticing. For fall, the menu, which debuted in April at the restaurant’s opening, has added seasonal twists. Sup a warming soup that’s a delicate shade of orange, like a spectacular but spare winter sunset. It’s made with Long Island cheese pumpkins, rendered with cream to a smooth, satisfying liquid and finished with silky pumpkin seed oil, aromatic brown sage and crisp rye croutons.

A lightly grilled romaine accompanied by blackened sashimi tuna and spots of Caesar dressing is hearty winter salad that, as with any decent Caesar, is garnished with salty white anchovies. Another appetizer is a light, fluffy gnudi, a gnocchi-type pasta made with ricotta and a small amount of flour. The dish gets a big flavor boost from succulent hon shimeji mushrooms, and its creamy sauce has a hint of cognac and truffle oil.

These join some already popular standards — from light diced tuna and hamachi tartare tossed together with cucumber and a piquant soy dressing, to a sizeable plate of crispy chicken — the recipe borrowed from elder sibling restaurant Tosca in Hingham — which is made with a naturally raised bird.

Gem’s carefully culled wine list also is succinct but tantalizing (honeyed Californian sparkling, citrusy New Zealand SB), and dessert offers up just two options: a pan-grilled ricotta cheesecake with spiced fruit compote, or a mocha parfait.

After all, choice, if overdone, is just more baggage.

A jewel to behold in many ways

It must be fun decorating restaurants in these days of ad hoc, mismatched prints and patterns. Gem’s interior is a mix of voluptuous Victoriana — three different patterned brocades upholster comfy seating ­and wood that fits and sits grandly into Downtown Crossing.

Menu highlights

Penne Bolognese
Pressed Crisp Chicken
Tuna Sashimi Sandwich
Roasted Sea Bass
Nicoise ‘A La Aquitaine’

If you go
   
Gem

42 Province St.,
Boston
617-482-1213
www.gemboston.com

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."