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Posted by Danielle Capalbo November 12, 2007 01:47 PM


The sparkling hardwood floors at 1625 Tremont St. took me by surprise Sunday afternoon. Last time I checked, the eclectic Mission Hill eatery was still the Solstice Cafe, a rustic Brigham Circle fixture where patrons could enjoy hearty entrees and jazz performances inside, or out back when weather permitted. But late this summer, new owners transformed the space into the Savant Project bistro. I had my apprehensions as a once-regular at the Solstice, but one never knows until one tries.

On Sunday afternoon, around 3, the new bistro was dark enough inside for a friend and I to wonder if it was open; it was, and we took a tiny table off to the side. Turns out, the shift from neighborhood refuge to culinary savant didn't cost the bistro its warm, cozy charm. (It's much swankier than before, though, with lighting fixtures and a menu to prove it.)

The dim lights were a comfortable plus, and the Project gets bonus points for serving breakfast well into the afternoon. My friend ordered an egg-white omelet with feta, while I opted for scrambled eggs, both accompanied by potatoes (cooked and spiced to perfection), an English muffin, and a cold, fresh fruit puree. We added some piping hot coffee and relaxed, watching through the Projectís big, sidewalk windows as bundled-up locals trudged by. It's not the Solstice, but a welcome Sunday solace.

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