This past weekend my husband and I ventured up north to Boston, Mass. for the weekend. A friend of mine from high school is getting her MBA at Harvard University and we went up for a visit and some site seeing. Along the way, we ate some really great food at some fun local spots. Thankfully, Boston is a walkable city otherwise we would have gained at least 30 pounds just over the weekend.
Of course, I'd like to share and review our dining experiences with you over the next few days. Here's the first of four restaurants to be reviewed:
Green Street Grill
If you didn't know it was there, then you'd probably pass right by this little place. Judging by the crowd on Friday nights however, this place has no problem with bringing in the patrons. On this particular evening, the bar was packed tight and there was an hour wait for a four-top. No worries though. We sidled up to the bar, grabbed a few drinks and ordered some of the Grill's appetizers. The grilled calamari, cheese plate and marinated olives made it to the small bar table quickly, despite the crowds, and helped stave off our appetites while we waited for a table. The olives and calamari were good, fresh and simply prepared. The cheese plate was a bit of a disappointment in that it cost $12 and had two, no that's not a misprint, yes count 'em two, pieces of cheese on it, a few slices of bread (very tasty raisin bread I might add), and some homemade spreads. There was a disproportionate amount of spread to cheese and bread, which I thought weird and wasteful. The two pieces of cheese that were on the plate were good - creamy and not too strong in flavor. They paired nicely with the spreads too, one being a crunchy homemade peanut butter and the other an apple onion jam. It was obvious that this cheese plate was all about quality over quantity but then the price should have been as well.
Moving on to dinner! The soup of the day, Lobster Bisque, was creamy and warm with bits of lobster scattered throughout. The clam stew, my entree, was delicious. Succulent little clams swimming in a garlicky tomato-based broth filled with onions, white beans and homemade sausage. It was served with perfectly grilled bread to sop up the juices.
The most intriguing item on the menu though, for all of us was the Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Brussel Sprouts and Bacon. This has to be the holy trinity of mac and cheese! In the name of the mac and cheese, brussel sprouts and bacon...A-MEN! What a fantastic combo! I can't believe I never thought of it myself since I have a passion for all three elements. Together these were tasty and complex. This is the most sophisticated mac and cheese you will ever crave. The bacon was crispy, the brussel sprouts were tender and the mac and cheese was creamy and bubbly with a topping of beautifully browned breadcrumbs and Parmesan to give it salt and crunch.
As you may have already guessed, we were too full for dessert. Still we definitely enjoyed a sweet ending at Green Street. We left with full, happy bellies and visions of brussel sprout mac and cheese dancing in our heads.
Atmosphere: B+ (A bit noisy in the dining room and very tight in the bar area when the crowds come in, but not awful. Definitely caters to a young, casual crowd.)
Overall Value: B+ (A bit on the pricey side but I really think you get fresh, well-prepared food at a pretty standard price - minus that skimpy cheese plate. It's upscale bar food done very very well.)
Garden At The Cellar, www.gardenatthecellar.com.