If you're going to name your restaurant "Chalkboard" and work your whole motif around posting daily specials on said surface, you'd best be prepared to "bring it" it in the writing surfaces department. Thankfully this place does. With a chalkboard big enough for most Fermi Lab computations, this timelessly sophisticated New American spot in the former Tournesol/Cork location brings trattoria-style board menus back into vogue.
A place of true elegance, Byzantine wallpaper flow seamlessly into a spacious and surprisingly conversation-friendly dining room while its grandiose chalkboard is yin-yanged by an equally graceful mirror stretching almost the entire length of the restaurant. Bathed in soothing tones and accented by floral arrangements and white linen tablecloths, Chalkboard has a far more traditional feel than its more modern-looking predecessors.
Menu items are straightforward enough. For appetizers, chef Gilbert Langlois serves up scallops with chicken confit, and anise-flavored salad along with a brilliant spin on the old Campbell's classic: tomato bisque with sharp cheese sandwiches. Though entrees tend to weigh on the meatier side, its lighter fare, such as the creamy vegetable pie and the bass with bacon risotto, give the menu its cheerful personality. Seasonal desserts like eggnog cheesecake are as sweet as the name implies, but the chocolate cake was a subdued thing of beauty that built to crescendo with every bite.
Expect to spend between $15 and $25 an entree, with appetizers and desserts hovering around the $10 range. There is a wine list (with its own chalkboard, of course) that oenophiles may consider impressive, though it lacks exotic panache; most offerings are domestic, with an almost equal mix of whites and reds.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Adam White