Tag Archives: lamb

Russell House Tavern

14 Feb

Most amazing selection of house made charcuterie

Valentine’s Day is here, and again Susan and I will acknowledge its existence, but we won’t be buying flowers or going out to dinner.  I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day as it always seemed to be more of a greeting card holiday than anything else.  Susan and I came together eleven years ago now, and when February rolled around the first time for us, she expressed the very same feelings for the 14th day of the second month of the year.  “Everyday is Valentine’s Day” she explains, and last Thursday we shared our own Valentine’s dinner at Russell House Tavern in Harvard Square.

Some plans changed at the last-minute for Susan last Thursday night so we decided to take the opportunity to meet in the Square after work for a drink and some appetizers.  I follow Russell House Tavern Executive Chef Michael Scelfo on twitter, and I’d noticed that he had been busy all week preparing some new forcemeats and charcuterie.  With tweets like this, “foie gras, fernet, & duck terrine. country-style and wrapped in bacon @russellhousetav,” Susan and I were very excited.

Everything was amazing.

I arrived at the Russell House early and stopped upstairs at the bar for a drink and some oysters.  Nick was behind the bar and in short order I had a Last Word and six oysters, from Island Creek in Duxbury.  I was introduced to the Last Word, a prohibition era cocktail that has recently made a comeback, at The Russell House and it can’t be beat.  I plan on a full post on the Last Word soon.

Susan's Ozark Heritage Pork Trio with Grits and Sauce Vinegar

Susan had the Ozark Heritage Pork Trio, and it was a tasty plate of perfection.  Served atop grits, the pork loin, belly, and shoulder were prepared in three different manners that complemented each.  My preference was the smoked shoulder, but they were all pretty amazing.  To top it off, I even scored the left-overs for lunch the next day.

Duck Confit

I was going to pick the pork trio as well, but in the interest of sharing, I chose the Crispy Long Island Duck Confit.   It came with a stew of black figs, fresh sage, roasted chestnuts, and pork belly.  The duck confit was done to perfection, falling off the bone as I dug at it with my fork.  The crispiness of the duck skin and the depth of flavor was off the chart good.

Orange Creamsicle

We finished the evening sharing a dessert, an Orange Creamsicle.  A vanilla & orange mousse, with creamy caramel and orange candy on top was the perfect finish to one of the most lovely anti-valentine’s days ever.  Service at Russell House was outstanding, as good as we’ve ever had. We were greeted downstairs by Andrew and shown to our table. Despite the place being full, Steven, our server was efficient, knowledgeable and most helpful.

Remember, Food is Love!

Cheers,

Justin

Sportello

28 Jan

Last night our family celebrated a Christmas present by catching PSY at the Majestic Theatre.   PSY is an amazing show by a performance troupe from Montreal, Québec.  We figured since we would be downtown already, that we would get dinner prior to the show.  We are eating at The Butcher Shop next week, so we picked Sportello in the Fort Point Channel part of Boston, and as always, it was wonderful.

Kuri squash soup with pork belly

We started by sharing two appetizers, a kuri squash soup with pork belly and lamb tartare with artichoke.   The sweetness of the squash was balanced by the savory flavor that the pork belly brought to the dish, and the pumpkin seed oil added just the right amount of unctuous luxury.

Lamb tartare with artichoke

The tartare was slightly saltier than I expected, but the fresh lamb and artichoke was delicious spread on the croutons.  For our entrees Marina, our daughter, chose braised lamb colletto in jus, which was tender and came with the most wonderful carrot puree. Susan had day boat scallops with brussel sprouts and pancetta, and I chose trenette with braised rabbit and picholine olives and rosemary.

Braised lamb colletto

Day boat scallops with brussel sprouts and pancetta

Braised rabbit with trenette pasta

Dinner was amazing, and we all enjoyed our entrees.  The carrot puree that came with the braised lamb was sweet and wonderful, and the lamb was so tender that no knife was needed. My braised rabbit and pasta was perfect for a cold evening and the olives together with the rabbit and a touch of rosemary brought an earthy flavor to the dish that I love.   On top was shaved parmesan, which brought everything together.  Susan’s scallops were seared to perfection with a crisp crust on the outside that gave way to an inside that melted in your mouth.

Buttermilk tart, maple custard and roasted bananas

We ordered three desserts, but I only had a chance to photograph one before they were gone!  I had the buttermilk tart with maple custard, roasted bananas and cashews, shown above, but what wasn’t photographed was the orange mascarpone gelato sandwich and a banana cake and nutella frosting cupcake.  Needless to say, they were all amazing.

Dinner was great and our service the same.   As we were leaving we ran into Chef Barbara** and had a chance to chat with her.  It was great to see her and for her to see how much Marina has grown.

When you have a chance take a stroll down to the Fort Point Channel area and sit at the counter at Sportello and enjoy a great night.   After dinner head downstairs to Drink for a nightcap to top off your evening.

Remember, Food is Love!

Cheers,

Justin

** Full disclosure – I work for Barbara Lynch Gruppo as a freelance photographer, but that doesn’t change how good her food is!