Good eats at eat (long)
After getting a little clarification about the rules of posting last night at the duck fest, I feel okay about posting this "upscale" review. I only say upscale because it was more like $40 a head with wine -- the concept of eat is more homey than that.
Anyway... Saturday night 4 of us dined at eat, in Somerville's Union Square. It was busy at 8:30 when we arrived, but Charlie the owner gladly pushed a couple of two-tops together so we could be seated right away. One of the party had just converted all of his pocket change to real cash, so we were on a splurge meal, meaning apps, entrees, wine, dessert and coffee for all. Despite a few misses, I was impressed with the meal overall and the service was great -- knowledgeable server, not so chatty but engaging, no rush and no prodding. Just right.
To start, I had a warm root vegetable autumn salad with duck confit. It was absolutely delish on its own, but some of the duck fat had been spooned into the vinaigrette to make a luscious dressing, sending it over the top in a good way. Others tried the shrimp baked in tomato coulis which was dull, "like tapas on a bad day" said one. The simple salad starter was fine too, but nothing to write home about. Two of us had the skate wing for our main course, which was delightful. eat has been too salty in the past, but the chef has lightened up a bit and the tomato broth served with white beans and skate wing over was perfectly seasoned. A subtle fennel taste was detectable and the fish was perfectly cooked. (Skate wing has the texture of scallop and is a delicious clean-tasting white fish on a really funky rib-like wing. eat removes its skate from the bone, making it really easy to enjoy.) The slow roast cod served with bacalau got raves as did the club steak, although the acompanying risotto was too al dente and a little cool. However, it was cheerfully replaced with some hot more cooked risotto and all were happy. Dessert included creme brulee and chocolate banana cake. Both hit the spot, although the brulee was cooler than I wanted it to be, maybe there's a cold spot in the kitchen where they set the risotto too? eat makes great coffee and they definitely let you linger at the end of the night over a cup. If you haven't tried it, check out eat. It's a real comfort.
I have to join in and also recommend eat. Such a pleasant place, reasonably affordable, very reliable, and really good food.
I do have to toss in a disclaimer here: as a regular I almost feel like I have a conflict of interest in recommending it. But honest, I want it to be successful only to be sure I can keep going there. OK, OK, it doesn't hurt the neighborhood to have such a nice restaurant in walking distance either, but that's because it is a good restaurant! I wouldn't keep going back if it weren't good.
-kb, the Kent who will be taking his parents there New Year's Eve--one of the only 2 days of the year when they take reservations (the other is Valentine's Day).
P.S. Their web site has a couple broken links, but it is done part time by one of the waitfolks...