Perhaps it’s the rebuilt-from-the-rubble environs, but Boston’s waterfront has become a breeding ground for experimental eateries. The latest, 606 Congress, housed in the new Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, is a whip-smart collaboration between chef Toby Hill, formerly of Spire, and Boston restaurant bigwig Michael Schlow. In an impressive high-wire act, it manages to be inventive but not so haute as to offend the neighborhood’s ever-present convention crowd.
The menu is divided into six “courses,” starting with light fare like ceviche and working up to heartier stuff like braised short ribs. It’s gimmicky, and there’s a bit too much overlap among the dishes, but still, it gives the place a sense of fun and encourages sampling. Grilled shrimp with Thai chilies had bite and smokiness; toasted hazelnuts lent earthiness to a salad of duck confit and frisée. The showstopper, however, was a voluptuous butter-poached lobster with green curry. If this were a conventioneer’s only taste of the city, he’d leave with a good impression. 606 Congress St., Boston, 617-476-5606, marriott.com.