Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rustic Kitchen - restaurant review

A friend and I were in Boston last weekend, and we were looking for somewhere to have dinner for the night we were there. We hadn't made dinner plans ahead of time as we'd just decided to wing it. We later discovered that on the way to our hotel, both she and I had noticed a particular restaurant on the way, though she was the one that remembered enough of the restaurant name for me to be able to look it up and find it. It also turned out that the restaurant, Rustic Kitchen, was right next door, almost adjacent, to the hotel we were staying at, so that was very convenient, and a perusal of the menu satisfied us both. We were going to be joined by a new friend for dinner, so I called the restaurant at about 4:30pm, and I made a reservation for 6pm.

We walked across the covered valet area to the restaurant and discovered a rather circuitous route to the hostess desk. The main entrance of the restaurant was actually off the street, so we'd really gone in through the side door. There were signs directing us through part of the restaurant to get to the hostess desk, and when we checked in, we discovered our dinner companion had already arrived and had been given a table, though she had made a visit to the ladies room, so we were led to the table as well, where she joined us shortly thereafter.

We perused the menu and there were a number of items that sounded really good, but all of that went out the door for me at least when the server came up and told us about the daily specials. I ended up ordering off the daily specials choices. The special soup for the evening was Boston clam chowder with smoked pancetta. Well, I was in Boston - why not some Boston clam chowder, and the addition of the pancetta sounded even better. All three of us ended up starting with the chowder. I then ordered the swordfish with lobster mashed potatoes and broccolini while my companions each ordered an entree salad.

Bread was also brought to our table, and it was accompanied by some kind of hummus as a dip (which was delicious) as well as Italian olives, which I loved.

We chatted a bit, and then our chowder arrived. It was actually a much more generous serving than I had expected, and it was absolutely delicious. I love having clam chowder that actually has clams as a main ingredient and not simply as an afterthought. It also wasn't very heavy on potatoes, which I like. I like potato chowder too, but I don't like it when potato chowder masquerades as clam chowder.

Boston clam chowder with smoked pancetta. I thought it was amusing that they served it with chopsticks.
(No, they're not really chopsticks, just breadsticks. But I thought it was funny.)

After enjoying our chowder, we had more time for good conversation before our entrees arrive. This time, I decided to spare my dinner companions the inconvenience of photographing their food, but they both enjoyed their salads very much. I also really enjoyed my swordfish. It had a nice texture and flavor and was very moist and tender and flavorful. The mashed potatoes were good, though I didn't finish them because the portion size was pretty generous, and I loved having the broccolini, which I'm partial to anyway, but again, it was a generous portion of vegetable on the dish.

Swordfish with lobster mashed potatoes and broccolini.

With my dinner, I had also decided to enjoy an adult beverage. I can't tell you what it tasted like in comparison to other drinks, but I can tell you that it was pretty yummy.

"Tastes like summer" is the name of this drink.

It wasn't particularly crowded when we had arrived, but that was probably earlier than most people normally have dinner. As our evening progressed, the dining room did get full.

We didn't end up having dessert at the restaurant partly because we were already full but mostly because we were headed to a show and needed to leave at a certain time.

Overall, we had a terrific meal, and the room was very nice and had great atmosphere, and our server was very good as well. He was attentive and available when we needed something, but he wasn't obtrusive as to interrupt our conversation. If I have the opportunity, I'd certainly go back, and I'd definitely recommend it to others.

Parking can be a bit tricky in that part of town since there's not much parking available, but there's a lot that serves both the nearby Radisson Hotel as well as Rustic Kitchen.

Rustic Kitchen
Boston at Park Square
210 Stuart Street
Boston, MA 02116-5426
(617) 423-5700

1 comment:

Sherry said...

I'm reading this as it rains outside, and now I want some of the Boston Clam Chowder again. Mmmmmm....chowdah!