Russell House Tavern

It was like diving into a sea of people walking in. There were crowds everywhere, many  holding beautifully made, vibrantly colored cocktails. “City of Eternal Spring” and “Always Sunny” sounds quite promising, don’t they? You can always try something exotic like the “Kobayashi Maru.” Or if you can’t decide at all, “Wigglesworth” and “Mr. Balloon Hands” sounds like fun to sip on.

And man, they are good. I got the Kobayashi Maru ($10, on the left) and it contained Yamazaki 12yr Whiskey, Green Tea Simple, Apricot Liqueur, Lemon, Angostura Orange and Orange Flower Water. How could you possibly say no to that? The thing I loved most about my cocktail is that all the ingredients supported the flavor of good quality whiskey and the amount of sweetness was just perfect. There were no disgustingly artificial syrups that resembled dense oil sluggishly floating around in my drink. Nope, no way at Russell’s house!

He also offers creative small plates along with his entrees, such as the famous Ozark Heritage Pork Trio that I regrettably did not try. Instead, I shared four small plates with my friend. We thought since the place was a bit pricey, we might as well get a variety, right? Maybe not. Although not horrible at all, I classify each dish as “not bad.” There wasn’t a dish that stood out to me and teased my fork to really dig into it.
Here’s the breakdown:

Archer Farms Beef Heart Ravioli - $9

Beef heart ravioli with Pecorino crunchies, red wine sauce and pickled apple was good- “not bad.” Because the title itself sounds so adventurous, I was expecting big, bold flavors to knock the socks off my taste buds- because taste buds wear socks. After the first bite, all I could think was “oooh… okay.” Kind of like when you’re on a fun night on the town, all dressed up and ready for a drink… You finally arrive at the bar and you order your favorite cocktail. The bartender tells you he’s missing the one ingredient that makes your drink perfect. Instead he says he’s going to make another one he’s sure you’ll like.

“Oooh… okay.”

Jonah Crab Cake - $8

Next up, deliciousness; tons of compacted crab meat and crab flavor, tangy sweet pickle tartar and a refreshing bite of herby Gala apple salad. For $8, it was a tiny little thing. So if you decide to order this, order 2 crab cakes for $12 instead. 

Lamb Belly - $9

And lastly for small tapas, lamb belly with chickpeas and a tomato sauce. The sauce had immensely bold and earthy flavors, but lamb meat was sparse. Once again, I was disappointed with the portion and the price attached to it.

After 3 small plates, we have yet to be full. Heck, let’s order a pizza. You can never go wrong with pizza.

House Made Cotechino Sausage - $13

An extremely thin and crispy crust manages to hold a load of ricotta, tomato gravy and chunks of Cotechino sausage. This was probably the best dish out of the four. Although not very memorable, it was still a yummy and the sausage was made with a great blend of spices.

I don’t mean to be Negative Nancy (I hate how my name is actually Nancy), but after reading such wonderful reviews from so many different websites, I was disappointed with what I received for shelling out $60-70.

This most certainly does not mean that I will not give this place another try though. Next time, I will just be more safe with my orders and stick to what others recommend. Since I’ve heard a lot about their brunch and lunch sandwiches, those are definitely on my next to-try list.

Until we meet again, Russell House Tavern.
Total Meal: ~$65
Servings: 2 people

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Green Street

Green Street’s appearance is low key and the people that pass by it can easily miss it if it wasn’t for one thing: you can overhear the buzz of intriguing conversations that can only be sparked by a great selection of beer. For me, it was the Double Aught Lager from Bear Republic. Yep, a light, crisp, hoppy pilsner made my night. And the food! Not too shabby, Green Street.

Pan Fried Corn Bread - $8

Starting off the bustling Saturday night was the Pan Fried Corn Bread. This dish has opened a “cornbread window” for me! Being from Boston, I have never had real southern cornbread. It’s dense, it’s chewy, moist and gritty- most importantly, it is savory and I don’t know if I can ever go back to the sweet stuff. To make it even tastier, on top of the corn bread was a mild, salty layer of melted feta cheese, and on top of that was spicy tomato jam. Oh my lawd, that corn bread was sweet, tangy, salty scrumptiousness. I would like another serving please?

Macaroni & Cheese - $17

Bacon Double Cheeseburger - $11

Pan Roasted Gianonne Chicken - $22

Although the service was excellent, the food came out unbearably slow which made my hopes high for a darn good dinner. When we finally received our entrees, I could tell from the smile on everyone’s faces that they just took a really satisfying bite. The best way to describe Green Street’s food is that they highlight the main ingredient in such a simplistic way that it makes you really appreciate the art of cooking without superfluous seasonings. A perfect example of this is the Pan Fried Gianonne Chicken. Recommended by the waiter, I was a bit disappointed when I first took a bite. Plain. Took another bite… tender and full of juices. Then came the dark meat section. All clouds part now and let that light shine down! I’ve forgotten what it’s like to eat something so beautifully cooked that it’s nice to be reminded again. The macaroni & cheese was delicious too. With thickly diced bacon, tomatoes, and aged Grafton Cheddar, it was full of light flavors (if that makes sense). I did not try the Bacon Double Cheeseburger, but my friend said it was on par with the other dishes- but a bit on the greasy side. Also, extra points that they make their own chips.

English Toffee Pudding Cake - $7

Ricotta & Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Triffle - $7

Lastly, the dessert… The subtle flavors of ricotta and light cheesecake came to life, thanks to the incorporation of thinly sliced lemon rinds. The triffle was good to experience, but was nothing compared to the English Toffee Pudding Cake. Candied walnuts, whipped cream, crunchy bits of toffee and toffee syrup were all lusciously delectable, but it did not take away from the main attraction- one of the best bread puddings I’ve tasted.

All in all, I enjoyed Green Street Grill, but do not see myself coming here unless I am in Cambridge. When in the area, I’ll be comforted knowing there is a kickass beer selection nearby, comfort foods cooked to perfection, and energetic, friendly service.

Converting me to Southern corn bread, Green Street, you are good.
Total Meal: ~$95.00
Servings: 4 people

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