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Dinner at Gargoyles on the Square

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Haven't been to Gargoyles in a LONG time - usually I'm at Dali for dinner and after all the sangria and Cuarenta y Tres, I'm just too tired (and a bit too tootled! LOL) to go to Gargoyles afterwards. But tonight my friend and I went to Gargoyles for dinner.

A quiet night overall in both the bar and dining room - summer in Somerville, MA tends to be quiet without all of the college students, which is totally fine by me. :)

Started out with a couple of Maureen's sangrias - a bit different than those at Dalí's, but just as refreshing on a hot summer night. I chose the Lamb Bacon & Eggs - lamb bacon with a small quail egg on top. Surrounding the lamb bacon was crispy butterscotch pudding that was cubed and fried, a small fresh fig that were quartered, "tangerine lace" - although I'm not sure where that was. There seemed to be some aged balsamic drizzled around the plate - a nice complement to the figs, ever-so-slightly-salty lamb bacon, and sweet butterscotch pudding. It was a rich appetizer to start, but small enough that it didn't overwhelm.

My friend chose the Crunchy Lobster Tacos (she is a lobster freak!). Crisp taco shells filled with a combination of sweet lobster, cackalacky créma (a Southern hot sauce made into a cream sauce drizzled on the lobster), horchata (a small shot glass of creamy rice-based milk, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla, which she didn't like, but I thought wasn't bad - not that I know anything about horchata, never having tasted it before!), with some "burnt" agave and carica salsa (a papaya like fruit, I believe). Hers was good - my appetizer was better, IMO. :)

For mains, she chose the Mustard Glazed Pork Porterhouse with collard greens (which she didn't eat, but I liked when I tried them), mac 'n' cheese grits, with a fresh peach jam. The pork was done medium, and was very good, although it was a bit more sweet than I was expecting when I tested a taste. The mac 'n' cheese grits were excellent! Not sure if they were true "grits" but hot damn - they were good with the pork!

I chose the 36 Hour Sous Vide Short Ribs......O.....M.....G. This was absolutely heavenly! I talked with Jason, the chef, about it - he said it's a great seller, and they have to use a food-saver-type of machine to vacuum-seal the short ribs and whatever else they put in there, and it's cooked at 160°F. for 36 hours...they have a special piece of equipment that keeps it going at exactly that temperature. He says he has to prep some every single day - if they sell 50 one night he's got to prep 50 the next morning to be ready two days later.

Anyway, this was served over a fresh corn and cotija salad (a slightly salty cheese similar but not quite like feta - my first time having it and it was great mixed in with the fresh corn and served under the short ribs), with thin crispy batter-dipped zucchini strips fried like thin french fries and piled on top of the short ribs, with a black truffle aioli (which, quite frankly, I didn't taste, but the rest of the dish was so wonderful I didn't miss it! Could it have been the "sauce" that was rimming the shallow bowl?)

I had been craving a "fall-like" meal in the past few days, despite the fact it's been hot and humid. This was the perfect antidote to my craving. The beef was ever-so-tender, the corn and cotija salad a nice, tangy-sweet complement, and the thin, fried zucchini strips were a nice veggie topping.

I didn't *need* dessert, but of course - had some. :) I chose a combination sorbet - watermelon (meh), pineapple (good) and cantaloupe (absolutely wonderful!) My friend got a special chocolate tart off of the prix fixe menu - nice and light, with a very nice chocolately mousse with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries surrounding the tart. She also got a capucchino, and we both got a Cuarenta y Tres vanilla liqueur as an after-dinner drink.

A very nice dinner on a very nice night (the high humidity has dropped a LOT during the evening!

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  1. Oddly enough, my wife and a friend and I were in the bar/lounge for a bite before going to see a movie at the Somerville Theatre. I have avoided the dining room so far because it sounded like the price point value was much higher in the bar. I had another really good burger (I think this place and 75 Chestnut are my current reigning champs in the Boston area), served up with lettuce, tomato, raw red onion and lightly sauteed white onion, swiss cheese, a lovely chunky and maybe slightly spicy homemade ketchup and fried potatoes which were cut into slices with thick waffle cut surfaces. The fries were done to perfection, esp with the ketchup (which I normally don't use but this stuff was too good to pass up) and the Russian dressing. My wife's calamari salad was something of a disappointment -- calamari was fried up very nicely, but the salad underneath wasn't filling enough to justify the $12 price tag.

    Based on the description above, I just might need to head over to the dining room one night (it also did seem a good deal quieter than the bar especially as it got later).

    10 Replies
    1. re: Dr.Jimbob

      Jimbob - we weren't in the dining room, we always sit at the bar - you can get the full menu at the bar as well. Perhaps they only have the bar menu available for those sitting at the dining tables in the bar?

      1. re: LindaWhit

        I actually don't know if they offer the bar menu in the back, but I'd tend to bet against that. Funny though -- possibly the second time I was sitting in the same restaurant within 10 feet of another chowhounder!

        1. re: Dr.Jimbob

          I know what you mean. There have been times I've wanted to call out in a restaurant "Is anyone else a member of Chowhound?" LOL

          And I know they don't serve the bar menu in the dining room; but the full dining room menu *is* served at the bar. I was just saying you don't have to go into the dining room to get the full menu. Just can't remember if the full dining room menu is served at the tables within the bar/lounge area. Can anyone else chime in?

          1. re: LindaWhit

            The full menu is served at the tables in the bar/lounge area.

      2. re: Dr.Jimbob

        Great reviews from both of you. Much more descriptive than my recent post.Just a note to anyone thinking of dining here after reading these reviews- they offer a $29 prix fixed during the summer with 2 choices for each course, I found the choices really good-highlighting the creativity of the general menu. Another big plus is the free parking (after 6pm).

        1. re: fayth

          I was *very* close to ordering off the prix fixe menu, fayth - those grilled shrimp were calling, but the short ribs were louder. :-)

          1. re: LindaWhit

            Great reviews!! I've got to get over to Gargoyles; seems like when we head to that area it's always to tempting to go to East Coast Grill, but it's time for a change. The cojita is a Mexican cheese, BTW, the same as that used on Toro's signature tapa, I forget the name, but grilled corn with the cheese, some mayonnaise, lime juice and cayenne. The cheese goes great with corn, I guess!

          2. re: fayth

            Free parking on the street after 6; parking lots charge until 8 now. And they do ticket.

            1. re: Aromatherapy

              Actually, the lot directly behind GG is free after 6:00.
              Just give your license number to the host/hostess.

              1. re: betta

                Good to know, thanks. I had a pretty tough time finding on-street parking the one time I ventured over there.

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                Gargoyles On the Square
                219 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144