Saturday, December 3, 2011

Finale: Boston: Back Bay

I was talking to three girls the other day who happened to mention that they went to try out Finale one night and left completely dissatisfied.  Then they spotted Trader Joe's nearby, got the Triple Ginger Snap Lemon Ice Cream and had a real dessert.  We all wondered together as to how the Finale people get any business.  "I assume it's all just first time customers who want to try it out and then never come back," one girl said. That's definitely my experience of it.

It seems like such a great idea: a place that specializes in desserts. Sometimes, especially if you've been to dinner followed by a show and drinks, you want a dessert, but it can be difficult to figure out where to go (that's still open) for a dessert that will be good. Finale seems like the perfect answer. And when I entered and read the menu, I was pleased. It seemed like everything that's wrong with Max Brenner's, they got right at Finale (though I have my suspicions that, at the very least, the same dude designed their menus). The food items are a little elevated, in case you do want a meal first, for instance:

  • Crispy Chicken: Panko-crusted chicken breast served with orange pineapple chutney and parsnip mash - $9.99
  • Finale Short Ribs: Boneless short ribs dry-rubbed with Valrhona cocoa and illy coffee, braised in dark beer and caramelized onions and served with roasted carrots and yellow potatoes - $14.99
  • Plus daily soups, including Thai Chicken and Butternut Squash Apple

And many of the desserts actually sound interesting and foodie-approved:


  • Finale Cheesecake: Our light, creamy, crustless cheesecake served with strawberry and fig compote and graham florentine - $8.99 (I don't know what "graham florentine" means, but it certainly appeals to my asshole-ness! Probably it's just a chocolate coating.)
  • Manjari Mousse: Bittersweet Valrhona Manjari chocolate mousse layered with chocolate buttermilk cake and served with a napoleon of blackberry cabernet sorbet and strudel dough - $11.99
  • Apple a la Mode: Warm and lightly spiced Macintosh apple and cranberry tart served with Tahitian vanilla gelato, lavender soaked hazelnut financier and honey caramel sauce - $8.99

It all sounds peachy-keen, doesn't it?  So for $9.99 my companion and I ordered a dessert sample trio in order to be able to try a few of these goodies.



Dessert Trio, Left to Right:
  • Gelati and Sorbet (daily flavors)
  • I'm honestly not positive I even remember what that bull shit in the middle was supposed to be, but I think it was the "Pineapple Upside Down Cake: Warm pineapple upside down cake with Tahitian vanilla gelato, a molasses crisp cookie and Tahitian vanilla with pineapple sauce - $8.99."  But as you can see, anything you might've been excited about on the menu is stripped away when you order it in sampler form.  This was just a sliver of pineapple cake with a little pineapple sauce.
  • Manjari Mousse: "Bittersweet Valrhona Manjari chocolate mousse layered with chocolate buttermilk cake and served with a napoleon of blackberry cabernet sorbet and strudel dough - $11.99" - Where the fuck was the blackberry cabernet sorbet? I guess that tiny little thing on top was strudel dough. It seemed more like the salted peanut brittle that's supposed to come with the peanut butter pie. Or else the one on the left was the Manjari Mousse, and the one on the right was something we didn't order.
None of these was memorable. All I remember thinking is, "Huh, this isn't particularly good at all, and I'm kinda drunk. I'm glad I'm not paying for this crap." We weren't even tempted to finish these Lego people-sized treats. These uniform desserts are clearly coming straight out of a freezer, having been made at some factory-type place before being distributed to the three Finale locations. Whoever's working in the back just does the plate drizzle and then plops them down on top.

This place should be run out of business, but sheeple keep filing in to end their "fancy evenings," saying, "Ooooh, look, it's so pretty!" Then, even if they secretly think, "Hmm, this isn't that great, and I still want a piece of fucking cheesecake or some goddamned ice cream," everything looks pretty darn cute, so they take some pictures for their boring blogs their friends are forced to read so that they can show everyone what sophisticated urbanites they are. I have news for you: the emperor is fucking naked.

Espresso: Single for $2.79, Double for $4.00

By the way, this espresso, which costs twice as much here as at any good coffee shop, was about one notch up from Starbucks' shitty espresso. Also, almost all of the alcoholic beverages are extremely overpriced.


If you have any taste, the first and final time you go there will be one and the same. Or you could take my word for it and skip this overpriced bull shit in the first place.

Finale on Urbanspoon