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Mica Restaurant Review: Chip Roman Serves Prix Fixe Only in Chestnut Hill

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Mica’s hiramasa with English pea soup.Food blogs were all atwitter a few months ago, when the announcement came that Blackfish’s Chip Roman would be teaming up with former Lacroix chef Jason Cichonski to open a new restaurant in Chestnut Hill. Now open to the public, Mica has quickly garnered much-deserved raves from opinionated diners.

The 30-seat eatery is small, the design minimalist yet comfortable. Complete with a fireplace and reclaimed-wood tables and flooring, the front room is, in a word, homey. Just off the kitchen is a private dining room—home to an eight-person chef’s table.

The “progressive American” cuisine (Roman’s words) is bold, clean and a little unexpected. The menu is completely prix fixe; diners can choose from a $50 or $60 three- or four-course meal, or a $70 or $90 five- or seven-course chef’s tasting menu. Diners are encouraged to assemble their own culinary experience (order two appetizers and two entrées, if that’s what you’re in the mood for).
 

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The portions at Mica are on the small side, but you’ll savor every bite. Local ingredients are used to create beautifully plated dishes that show sophistication, skill and a sage understanding of ingredients that’s remarkable given the youth of both chefs.

The Santa Barbara sea urchin is a great way to start—delicate and briny atop a sweet whiskey custard with passion fruit and cucumber. Light and bursting with flavor, the second-course artichoke agnolotti (with morel mushrooms) were, quite simply, some of the best ravioli I’ve had anywhere. Recent third-course offerings included striped bass, lamb and an incredibly juicy sous-vide chicken.

Dessert is a must. The pecan panna cotta—with caramel, cocoa powder and freeze-dried raspberry—was delicious, as was the Manjari chocolate with tequila passion fruit, coffee crumbs and marshmallow ice cream. For coffee lovers, the 1961 Faema espresso machine is one of only six in the country.

8609 Germantown Ave., Chestnut Hill; (267) 335-3912, micarestaurant.com.

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