A Culinary Delight: Lyric Restaurant

We have been following Chef Toby Hill around the greater
Boston/Cape Cod area for ten years.  We
discovered him when we first moved to Chatham and he was the Executive Chef at
a local restaurant.  He served his
innovative dishes with accompaniments like bacon foam and palate cleansers such
as beet sorbet.  His lamb lollipops were
to die for and his menu featured a selection of caviar which was presented with
mini blinis, capers, and egg.  For dessert,
an artisan cheese cart was wheeled out by Toby himself and he made his own root
beer for root beer floats.  We were
sold.  From there, he moved on to other
restaurants in the area and out to Boston for a stint, but he has now landed at
Lyric in Yarmouth, which was always quite good, but Toby has taken to a whole
new level.

I dined with James and
his parents, all self described “foodies.” 
We all agree that the bread is indicative of the meal to follow.  Toby’s homemade brown bread muffins led us to
believe that the upcoming dishes would be a memorable dining experience.  We were right.  To start, we shared a bowl of the soup of the
day – carrot and ginger with a spicy component I can’t remember the name of, but
really gave the soup a nice kick, steak tartar with garlic aioli, crispy shallots,
caperberries and housemade focaccia, and Tuna Crudo with smoked paprika
vinaigrette, pickled fennel and plumped raisins.  I wanted more of everything, particularly the
tuna which was bursting with flavor and served totally rare with components not
often associated with traditional tuna appetizers.

We all ordered a
different entrée – chicken fried pork chop with homemade mac ‘n cheese for
James, a swordfish special for his dad, and salmon with fingerlings, cipolinni,
and pancetta for his mom.  Since I like
to taste as much of the menu as possible, I opted for a grilled octopus salad
with white beans and bacon, and a half portion of duck Bolognese with ricotta
gnocchi, shaved parmesan, and truffle oil. 
There was silence at the table for about a minute after our entrees were
placed before us.  I think we were all in
our own little culinary heavens.  Then
the sound effects started.  James’ dad is
notorious for singing the praises of his dishes rather loudly.  We all had to shush him as his enjoyment was
well beyond his average vocal outbursts. 
As is our tradition, we passed plates to determine who had ordered
best.  Nobody could decide, but nobody
had food envy. 

Rarely do the four of us
dine out without any criticism, but last night, we were hard pressed to find
any fault.  The only drawback for our
guests might be the distance from Chatham, but the 25 minute straight shot down
route 6 to Lyric is an easy drive and well worth a few extra minutes to delight in Toby
Hill’s consistently innovative and exceptional cuisine.

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