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Highland Kitchen ?

Saw a mention of this in one of the glossy free magazines, I think Stuff@Night. Says owner was formerly of Green St. Grill and some other good spots. Going for the "Gastro-Pub" thing with upscale bar food. We see a little of this here in Boston, but it's one of the great parts of the Philly dining scene, second to their rich variety of BYOBs. Would be a nice addition here if done well.

Anyone been or know more details. Says it's in Davis Sq. and was supposed to open first week of December.

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  1. It's rather outside of Davis proper. We went by last week and we knew there ain't no way they'd be done last week. I doubt it'll be done even this weekend, but I will try to go by and post if it's opened. We are eagerly awaiting it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: digga

      I would sat that it's WAY outside Davis at 150 Highland Ave. More like central Somerville near the High School. Sounds nice, although there's nothing else at all of note in the neighborhood.

      Is this the place?

    2. As far as I know Highland Kitchen is where Devlin's and something else was, right near the corner of Highland and Central. That's not all that close to Davis -- Central is the road that goes from the Walgreens on Somerville Ave over to Medford and then Broadway (slightly to the Porter Sq side of Market Basket). Closest big landmark is the Hospital, which is closer to Davis. I posted some rumors in an earlier thread, but don't know any other details. I would compare it to Atwood's based on what I have heard....

      1 Reply
      1. re: itaunas

        It's definitely in an area of Somerville that has no sit-down dining options, other than the nearby tiny Thai place, etc. It is between Wilson Sq. and Magoun Sq. on the E-W axis and Davis and Union on the N-S axis, with a slight jog to the east. Like I said, there is nothing over in that neighborhood for many blocks.

      2. Gastro-Pub whah? This place has been a black hole since going from watering hole to ...well, whatever you wanted to call Madison's, which went through to iterations, and failed miserably at both. I can't imagine a simple rejiggering of the same formula will work in this locale - divey local pub is pretty much the only thing that seems to thrive here. Virgie's and Devlin's (which was pretty much the same thing) were always hopping, esp. late afternoons on weekdays and Friday and Saturday nights.

        In any even, nowhere near close to opening soon, but there's been exponentially faster progress over the last two weeks or so. Maybe first week in January?

        5 Replies
        1. re: dntbfwe

          Well, it's not some slouch who is opening the place - it's Mark Romano, formerly of Green Street Grill, as Ed Grimley states above. Don't be down on the place before it even has a chance to open!

          1. re: digga

            Agree -- I'd love to see the place do well. There isn't much in the area, it's true, but I'd be able to walk there and gladly would for a nice gastro-pub type place. When gini first asked about what was going in, my immediate hope was for a Gargoyle's like restaurant in my neighborhood but I'll take what I can get. Glad to hear the chef is a Green Street alum. That gives me hope.

            1. re: yumyum

              I too could walk easily, with no hill to climb after eating. It would be lovely to have a well-priced restaurant with good quality offerings in the neighborhood.

              1. re: smtucker

                Saw the menu posted on the window today. Small, but looks inviting - from what I can recall, there's a cuban, pulled pork sandwich, a handful of entrrees (chicken and pork chops, I think, were two?) in the 15-20 range. Still no word on when it's opening, but I know they were working last evening, even during the snow. Maybe before the end of the year?

              2. re: yumyum

                I'm in the same neighborhood, and would be happy to have it nearby, but I imagine I'd probably only go 3-4 times a year. I'm worried that going more upscale might not work in the spot - we don't exactly have much to draw people from other places.

          2. What exactly is the difference between a gastro-pub and a place like Alchemist, Franklin, Plough & Stars, etc.?

            5 Replies
            1. re: Joanie

              "Gastropub" originated in the UK. It's a voguish term that basically means "neighborhood pub with much-better-than-average food". The Biltmore calls itself this, and I do love their food -- the whole package, in fact.

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                So does Garden at the Cellar in Cambridge.

                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                  So as I thought, we basically already have a bunch of them but they're just not calling themselves "gastropub".

                2. re: MC Slim JB

                  Of course if they really want to follow the "gastropub" format I would expect (or hope for) some real ale on cask... It would be great to have another place for good beer around here.

                  1. re: davis_sq_pro

                    Yeah, it seems like the good beer places around here might tap a cask, say, once a week, and it disappears within the night. I guess it's just too much work to do more often.

              2. Sounds interesting. I hope they do better than Madison's and the rest. If it goes more upscale than the previous incarnation, the regulars from Devlin's might not go there anymore. Which would mean they'll need to pull in a new set of clientele. I hope they can make it cause it's close to home for me. At the least, they'll have a cuban that will have to be tasted and compared to Chez Henri's.

                1. Drove by tonight, and their new sign is up- shouldn't be long-

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: blacknbleu

                    Hello all. I'm phil the general manager @ Highland Kitchen. Seeing your posts about the opening, I just wanted to let you know (for those who are curious) that we are opening the doors this coming Wednesday, December 19th.

                    And just to let everyone know, we are going to be open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5 to 12; and the bar will stay open till 1am with last call at twelve thirty. Saturdays lunch will be from 11 to 2:30, Sunday brunch same hours. To start off, we will be closed mondays (Sorry!). But we open the doors Wednesday -- oh,! happy day

                    1. re: Fil

                      More importantly, will you have cask beers? :)

                      1. re: Fil

                        I am ridiculously excited to try your new place. I live about half a block from the restaurant. I loved Devlin's, but was very, very disappointed with Madison's. It would really be cool to have a neighborhood bar again. I'll be stopping in for dinner very soon.

                        1. re: Tom Servo

                          I have just returned from Highland Kitchen and I can't tell you how excited I am to have a place like this in the neighborhood. I met my girlfriend there for a drink after work ( a drink that turned into an unplanned dinner).

                          Everything about the ambiance in the place works. It it, first an foremost, a pub. The colors are muted, the decoration well thought out but not over the top in the least. I sat at the bar and found a good selection on tap (the Smuttynose Seasonal and Victory Pilsner being the two I ended up drinking while there). Even the jukebox seems well planned-- blues from very early on up and through the 1960s (you'll find Leadbelly and Junior Wells), along with some great classic country (Hank and Mr. Cash, of course) with the occasional much appreciated curve ball thrown in including Tom Waits and Steely Dan.

                          The bartender was friendly sure (this may be an understatement-- since the bar wasn't busy, he went out back and MADE fresh hot chocolate for my girl after she inquired if they had any-- coming out with a pot of hot milk and whisking the chocolate in until it was right), but more importantly knew what he was doing. When we ordered a margarita, fresh limes were squeezed-- there was no sno-cone concession or horribly thick sour mix anywhere to be found.

                          The menu, especially, shows that they've taken the neighborhood into consideration. Crowd pleasers like cheeseburgers, pulled pork sandwiches and fried fish share billing with stuffed pork and mahi-mahi. And the prices work, too. While nothing is over 20 bucks anyway, you could still get a large bowl of soup or gumbo for five bucks, or one of the many old style bar snackies (like deviled eggs) for even cheaper than that. I went with a braised short-rib that was on special and was not disappointed. The texture was amazing (cooked all day fall off the bone), the collards greens and potatoes that came with it were spot on. My girlfriend had the cheeseburger and it was cooked perfectly.

                          Anyway, this is not just a good neighborhood place. This is a good place, period. It maybe out of the way for many of you, but the 88 bus trip from Lechemere or Davis would be well worth it (or a simple 15 minutes walk from Davis when the weather is good). I hope people come out to support it cause it deserves to live.

                          1. re: Tom Servo

                            How exciting! I can't wait to visit, but, since I am not much of a drinker, will I feel awkward going for just the food? Or is drinking a given here? [If it is a given, I can always bring my friend Dave. ;-0 ]

                            1. re: smtucker

                              No, not at all! I should have mentioned that. There are more table and booth seats than bar stools. When I said it was first and foremost a pub, I meant in terms of the feel and the atmosphere. But there are hostesses waiting to great and seat you when you come in. Non drinkers rejoice! ; )

                            2. re: Tom Servo

                              Just came back from dinner there too. I agree with Tom BUT with a one exception. Wife and I arrived for dinner a little after 8:00 pm. The place was about 3/4 full with people sitting at the bar and tables. There was even a large group of 16 and a couple 8 tops there. We were greeted very nicely by the hostesses and were sat right away. The atmosphere/ambiance was subdued and tasteful. They didn't distract from the company I was with. We started with the mussels which were in a lobster broth with diced chorizo, tomato, celery and garlic. Very good, the chorizo lending a nice smokiness to the dish and the tomatoes and celery balancing it off with some acidity and crunch. The mussels were a tad on the small size but this is really a minor complaint. Then I had the cuban reuben sandwich, their twist on the cuban that included corned beef, pork, Russian dressing and coleslaw. This was wrapped in a nicely toasted french-style bread. Fries and a pickle accompanied the dish. The cuban was great. I have to say it rivals Chez Henri's version although the fries were a bit on the soggy side for my taste. I need to have CH's cuban again to really compare because it's been a while. My DC had a side of mac and cheese and a salad of romaine, beets, green beans, praline pecans and pears in a buttermilk dressing. She enjoyed the salad very much but thought the mac and cheese was too rich. I tried both of them and thought the salad was well done. The dressing was a good, subtle match with the other ingredients, not overpowering them. I liked the mac and cheese. Onion was the predominant background flavor to the mild cheese (couldn't tell what kind of cheese though). It is a side dish, so the portion is appropriately small. I thought it was rich too but as a side dish that was just fine. I had a pint of Smuttynose Winter Lager which went great with the meal. The one hitch to the good food and beer was that the service was inconsistent and slow. We waited at least 15-20 min after being seated before anyone came to say hi, take a drink order or even give us water. We then waited 45 min to close to an hour for our mussels to arrive. I do think it was a bit of a fluke though. They were very apologetic about the wait and comp-ed the appetizer. Looking around, it didn't seem like the other tables had as much of a wait. Also, it was their first night open, so I can't fault them all that much.
                              The prices are reasonable as Tom said. There are salads and sandwiches in the $10 range and there are entrees in the $15-20 range. There were 3 specials (one app - scallops, two entrees - short ribs that Tom had and mahi-mahi). I liked the beer list which included the cheap but good champagne of beers (Miller High Life) as well as Sam Smith brown and Brooklyn lager. There's about 5-6 beers on tap and a bunch others in bottles. They even have Abita Turbo Dog which is not as common around Boston pubs as I'd like. They have a cocktail menu that looked good but I didn't try any on this trip. I didn't look at the wine list but there seemed to be a decent variety. I'll have to take a closer look next visit.
                              Overall, we were pleased with the food. Service problems aside (eh, first night kinks) it's definitely a place we'll be returning to, especially since we live very close. Chowhounders, it's certainly worth checking out and Tom's right, it's not that far from Davis (about 20 min walk).

                              1. re: alsaman

                                Hope you go easy on them for the service issues - certainly would expect those kinds of things to get worked out once they've been open for more than a week or two.

                                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                  yeah, it didn't bother me that much especially knowing it was their first night. I'm not holding it against them and I'm definitely going back.

                          2. re: Fil

                            I called last night in anticipation of checking them out on their first night. I know, I know, I usually wait a few weeks before checking out a newly opened place, but I have a feeling this place will need some warm bodies to fill the dining room, particularly during this hectic time of the year for everyone. They couldn't make the opening last night and are opening tonight (Thurs, Dec 20).

                            1. re: Fil

                              yay! I live down the street, and like many people here, I am so excited to try this place. I have been hoping for a neighborhood joint and this sounds like it could be it.

                              1. re: cricketmoore

                                If the rest of the place is as cool as the sign/logo, I will be thrilled.

                              2. re: Fil

                                Added to places. I may stop by for a peek, but I probably won't eat there until after the holidays.

                                Highland Kitchen
                                150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                            2. We went tonight ~8pm. We were barely able to grab two seats at the bar (for the sports-adverse, do not worry, there is no audio; this is NOT a sports bar, nor is it a pub in the traditional sense, but it seems to welcome all). The place was absolutely PACKED. I was stunned and so were the sweet staff. The space is comfortable...a nod to Green Street circa, 2007. Modern but cozy (think sage green walls + pressed tin ceilinged bar, modern-ish lighting fixtures, painted brick walls). Bartender James was terrific (we admired him as he poured a beautiful take on a French 75 or 76 martini + a lovely blackberry in the bottom of the glass - whatever it is was, it was gorgeous). Perfect amount of attention (i.e., whenever we needed him, somehow, he was there). I stuck with the capable by-the-glass French red selection and he had Smuttynose draft. We started with RI style calamari, body rings and tentacles ($7; don't groan...it was delicious served with spicy peppers and a red pepper coulis). I had the mahi-mahi special ($16), a la Green Street - served on Scotch bonnet pepper salsa+ roasted half-potatoes. James worried about my red wine pairing so he brought me a taste of a sweet-ish white (sorry, I didn't note the varietal), which cut the spiciness, but honestly, I could have used more spice in my dish and I could have dispensed with the potatoes. He had the Cuban ($8), which he deemed delicious+ handcut fries. I stole a few fries - yum (some sweet potato in there)! Our barmate, John, was a wonderful conversationalist and is right around the corner, so he is totally psyched as I'm sure most locals are. Isn't this the kind of place that all of us crave, particularly for those bleak weeknight evenings when, sh!#, you don't want to cook? I think our bill totaled ~$65 (3 glasses of wine+2 beers+app+2 entrees). It could easily be less than that, but we were in a celebratory mood. Many interesting sides that we didn't sample. But we'll be back for more.

                              Edit - One could eat there solo in complete comfort at the bar (at least I could).

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: digga

                                This place sounds great, but I'm a vegetarian (usually the only one in my group). Are there veggie options other than the salad mentioned by alsaman? It does sound like a good salad, but I'm curious to find out if it would be a salad/side dish only type of place for us veggies.

                                1. re: soxchik

                                  As I was looking at the menu last night, I thought aloud that it might be a tough place for veggies. Menu leans heavily towards meat and seafood. You could cobble together a light meal from several of the sides (there were bitter greens and mashed turnip+potato dishes that I might try next time) unless they are cooked with some animal fat. I don't think I saw even a veggie burger.

                                  1. re: soxchik

                                    I can't recall if there were any veggie entrees or sandwiches but there certainly could have been. If you're a fish eating veggie then there are certainly options. There was a good selection of salads other than the one I mentioned which can be supplemented by side dishes of veggie nature.

                                    1. re: soxchik

                                      I have this problem at a lot of places as well and it always amazes me. My SO is a vegetarian and it's unbelievable the number of places we have to pass on because they choose not to cater to veggies. All of these places have the ingredients to whip up a couple of different dishes, yet they don't for some reason. They seem to think all that vegetarians need is a garden salad and they'll be content.

                                      Anyway - Phil, can you speak to this? Does your menu have veggie options?

                                      1. re: BangoBilly

                                        There was a very tasty mushroom-butternut squash lasagna as a special sat pm. Also, when I inquired, I was told that the cauliflower soup was veg. I believe there were also salads and a few veg sides. I thought the broccoli rabe was nice, though it doesn't rank as high as Vinny's as Night.

                                  2. Just got back from a great dinner + drinks. I have to say -- this is the most excitement this neighborhood has ever seen and you can just feel it in the air!

                                    My dc + I split deviled eggs, fried calamari, the short ribs, and the bread pudding. Deviled eggs were better than good (meaning better than the independent...not on par with Orleans); they could have had a bit more kick but a great snack! I loved the calamari (and have been searching for the perfect calamari for quite some time); batter was light and the dipping sauce was extraordinary. We split the amazing short ribs with mashed and greens. The ribs were really just falling off the bone, perfect. Dessert left us less than satisfied (not warm enough weird combo of real pudding, bread pudding, ice cream and drizzled caramel (yep...too much going on!)-- but we knew it would.

                                    The bartender is great (veteran of no 9 and upstairs) -- and service was generally excellent. We had a slight neglect experience but totally forgivable considering. Wine pairings were suggested, tastes given...all so much more than you would expect at a neighborhood place -- "gastro-pub" or not.

                                    (My partner is in the back saying "tell them we are thrilled and if it deteriorates we will be merciless!")

                                    Layout is fine. As a childless lesbian, I now understand that booths can successfully be used to trap and contain restless children -- fascinating. The jukebox is excellent.

                                    This place fits our neighborhood -- right price point, decor, and staff. Thanks for doing your homework and coming to us!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: RoseWethersfield

                                      I KNEW I recognized James from someplace (Upstairs, to be precise). Thanks for jogging my memory. He really was excellent.

                                    2. Last night my small family had our first dinner at the Highland Kitchen. We were greeted warmly by the two hostesses, and led to a booth on the bar side of the room. Overall the room has a nice feeling but I didn’t find it warm. There are too many rectangles and hard edges to combat the lovely color of the walls.

                                      Our server was very pleasant, and seemed eager to be helpful. He only grimaced for a brief second when it became clear that we weren’t drinking. In the future, I will try some of the wine-by-the-glass, but since I had more work to complete, no drinks last night.

                                      I ordered the Rhode Island calamari and the mixed green salad. I love Rhode Island calamari. It is one of those items I simply can’t replicate at home, and when I crave this dish, nothing else will substitute. My DC’s ordered the pulled pork sandwich and the Cuban Reuben.

                                      The pulled pork sandwich was served on a fresh roll with the pork and a cole slaw. The cole slaw was excellent. Fresh and bright cabbage, made with more vinegar/oil than mayo. The pulled pork was a little less successful. There was just too much vinegar. It might be nice if they emulated the eastern North Carolina model of serving the vinegar in a squeeze bottle on the side.

                                      My salad arrived first dressed with just the right amount of mustard vinaigrette. My Rhode Island calamari was okay, but not great. I am not sure if the oil wasn’t hot enough or the calamari was undercooked, but the texture was too flaccid. The flavor was spot on. I prefer more garlic, but that is just getting picky. The red sauce did nothing for me, but a quick request for lemon, and all was good.

                                      The Cuban Reuben was excellent on every level. This sandwich had the perfect balance of components including the perfect bread to filling ratio, one of my primary criteria for a great sandwich.

                                      Though I had hoped for truly “craveable” calamari, our dinner was very pleasant and we will return to try the calamari another time and work our way through the menu. The mix of people was really nice. There were town workers, young couples, a group of singles flirting with each other, and families of different shapes and sizes. This is a great addition to the neighborhood.

                                      1. just stopped in for drinks: good beer selection on tap more in the case -- not Buk's but very respectable for microbrews. had the homemade hot buttered rum....mmmm... so good. very nice bartender and the menu looked spectacular -- the bartender said the chef was still working on it so I anticipate lots of tweaks--he was thinking of deleting the french onion soup all together. lots of soups, salads, and sandwiches but also really tasty specials. the prices are very very good for the area, but i could see them increasing $1-$2 w/out hurting business at all.

                                        i expect tufts will overrun it at graduation etc. it's not a short walk from davis (bus is easy), but in the summer not so bad. street parking is vicious, but that's somerville. can't wait to go back, i see this place becoming a regular in our dining out rotation--finally something on this side of the river! :)

                                        1. I stopped by here last night and concur--this is a great addition to the neighborhood. Place was half-full on a Sunday, with the bar getting a bit more crowded as the night went on.

                                          I had the roasted chicken ($16.95, I think), which came with mashed potato/turnip and sauteed swiss chard. The chicken wasn't quite what I was expecting, it was a boneless, flattened half a chicken with a crispy skin that seemed more fried than straight-up roasted, but it was moist and flavorful. I did think it was oversalted though. The mash was very good, with the turnip lending a bit of sweetness. The swiss chard was perfectly done, with a nice garlicky taste and still some bite. My DC had the braised short rib special ($17.95) that others have talked about. It was exactly what you want in such a dish: rich, hearty and flavoriful. That was served over mashed potatoes with collard greens.

                                          The menu is interesting. Lots of basic entrees: roast chicken, grilled pork chop, steak frites, with some more interesting soups/appetizers (I want to try the seafood gumbo next)

                                          We then meandered to the bar for a drink. One bartender was very, very good. He talked a bit about the place (they are all happily surprised to come out of the gate so strong), asked about us, and generally was extremely personable. I had a properly poured pint of Guiness and my DC went for a Brooklyn lager bottle. The bar had a good mix of people, though I would say this is definitely not a college crowd.

                                          This place really seems to understand the changing face of this neighborhood, without totally abandoning the old guard. I wish it well.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: LeoLioness

                                            Anybody know when the menu will be up on the website? Also, is there anything for vegetarians in the entree department? Thanks!

                                            1. re: mipiace

                                              There are a number of vegetarian options, both on the menu and on the specials. I seem to recall some kind of mushroom lasagna as a special last night. then again, everything is kind of hazy this morning...

                                          2. Ate there last night. I wouldn't go driving across town for it, but it's a wonderful addition to the Somerville dining scene.

                                            There are a few minor kinks to work out. The [sincere, friendly] service was a little erratic. The volume of the music was all over the place. The single-sheet menu is weirdly laid-out so the starters, salads, and sandwiches are on the front, but you don't immediately think to flip over to look for the entrees and sides.

                                            But the food and drinks are great. Nice selection of cocktails, tasty upscale comfort food, and a short, better-than-average wine list.

                                            This is the upscale, non-occasion neighborhood restaurant I've long wanted right in Davis Square. It's everything I wish Orleans and Joshua Tree would be. In this weather, it's a short drive away for me, but I look forward to walking there on a nice summer night.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: finlero

                                              We were there last night too. I agree with finlero...still need to work out the small kinks but a nice place in that area was sorely needed. I'd like to see something like this open in Teele Sq...just not a fan of PJ Ryan's. I will say that they have nicest bunch of people working there I've seen in a very long time.

                                            2. To all that have been there already, what is the price range for apps, entrees, etc. at Highland Kitchen? Unfortunately the website isn't very informative yet, although the logo looks great!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: meaganl

                                                Entrees in the $15 - $20 range. Salads and apps $5 - $10. Sandwiches about $10. Glasses of wine/cocktails are $7 - $10. Most expensive bottle of wine is a $75 2001 Barolo, but most are well south of $50.

                                                1. re: finlero

                                                  I just realized that there were a bunch of prices listed above so thanks for reposting that info for me, finlero.

                                              2. Anyone been there yet for lunch/brunch on Sat/Sun? What is that menu like?

                                                1. Just got the chance to check this place out last night and was quite satisfied. My roommate and I arrived just before 8 and were told there would be about a half hour wait. The hostesses were helpful and pointed out the next people to be getting a table so we could snag their bar stools. I tried the Blackberry Capirinha and he had the Greyhound. I'm a big fan of standard capirinha's (though I don't think I'm spelling it correctly!) but wasn't bowled over by the blackberry version. Possibly just not the drink for me though because it seemed well made with nice freshly muddled mint at the bottom. Much preferred roommates Greyhound...a version similar to the standard of grapefruit and vodka, but punched up a bit with some blood orange juice.

                                                  We were seated in just a bit less than the half hour estimate and our waitress immediately came over to say hello and take drink orders. I was moving on to wine by the glass (nice, but not earthshattering selection) and was disappointed to hear they were out of the pinot noir. The waitress was helpful in making other recommendations and it was clear she had tasted them all enough to gain some familiarity. I ended up choosing something French (the name escapes me), which she helpfully offered to swap out in the event I felt she steered me wrong. As it turned out, I was pleased with it, and no switching necessary. My roommate had a Spanish white, which he enjoyed, but I didn't taste.

                                                  On to the dinner. I was on the fence between the roasted ck and the mahi mahi special, and asked for the waitresses rec. She said the ck is her current favorite, and a nice comfort meal for a chilly night, so I took her advice. Roommate tried the Hangar steak. Food came out in reasonable time, and we were placated with some delicious sour dough bread in the meantime. We were both pleased with the food...my ck was boneless, and pounded fairly thin. Skin was nice and crispy, with ck still moist underneath. It came over a Macomber turnip and potato mash that paired quite nicely alongside sauteed swiss chard. Roommate was happy with his steak, cooked perfectly medium rare. Hand cut fries on the side were so good they didn't need ketchup.

                                                  We were stuffed and satisfied by the end of the meal, but decided to listen to the dessert options, just for kicks. Didn't end up ordering anything, but I believe offerings included apple crisp, banana bread pudding, and maybe something chocolate? All feature Christina's ice cream, so that's one step in the right direction in my book.

                                                  Also glanced at the menu for Sunday Southern brunch which starts up soon (next weekend, maybe?)...don't remember all items, but the list included steak and eggs, biscuits and gravy, biscuit sandwich, omelet with something that sounded tasty, and buttermilk pancakes with bourbon maple syrup. Sounds like it will be a fun even with some live music to add excitement. Will definitely add it to the list.

                                                  Overall, a very nice evening. By the time we left (shortly before 10) there were still a handful of tables in service, and a decent crowd at the bar. Service was top notch, decor is well done and comfortable, and food was great. Welcome to the neighborhood, Highland Kitchen...you haven't seen the last of me!

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: italyinmind

                                                    I was prompted to reply to italyinmind's post right away because it was pretty clear that we were both there at the same time frame last night (Friday, Jan. 4th). My husband and I got there right around 8:30 but were seated pretty promptly. First off, I want to make it clear that I loved the food and the space and was excited to go back to try all the stuff that we didn't try last night.

                                                    However, the difference in the service that we received last night compared to italyinmind's experience was so great that I feel compelled to take note of it. First, after we were seated and given our menus, we waited at least ten minutes for our server to come and see us. Of course, by this time, we already knew what we wanted to order. So, we put in our orders (no drinks - perhaps that was the issue? if so, that sucks) and waited a while for the bus boy to offer us water. No bread. Appetizers show up. And after an appropriate time, main course. I ask the runner about some ingredients in my dish and he's very responsive, coming back right away with the answer. About after 2 minutes after main course shows up, we see our server for just the second time when he checks in with us about the food.

                                                    After we're done eating, no one comes by to offer dessert, re-fill our water, nothing. We don't even see our waiter. We probably waited 10-15 minutes before we end up asking the busboy for the check. Our waiter shows up for the third time to give us the credit card receipt. We pay and leave.

                                                    Things were pretty busy when we first got there but it quickly started to thin out. Our waiter did seem pretty frazzled when he took our order and said that it was the first night where they had gotten really slammed. But by the time that we ordered and then while we were eating, things had really slowed down. I just didn't really see why we only saw our waiter 3 times the whole time, why our water didn't get re-filled the whole night, why we waited so long to put in our order, why we had to finally flagged down the busboy to get our check.

                                                    The strangest thing was that all around us, there were all these other tables where the customers were getting great service. We saw wait staff explaining the menu items, bring out bread, chatting, etc. Just like italyinmind's experience. I have no idea why we got put on the back burner like that.

                                                    Like I said, the food was great. We ordered the fried plantain special for appetizer, which was really fantastic. I ordered the fried oyster po'boy with fries and my husband got the cheeseburger. We really enjoyed our dinner itself. And I think we're going to chalk up the poor service to the fact that the restaurant is still working things out.

                                                    1. re: sh3240

                                                      I really, REALLY think that with new restaurants, as a rule, the service takes a little time to come up to speed. It doesn't sound like this was a major issue -- they weren't rude, they didn't outright ignore you -- and I would expect them to work out the minor service kinks as they get with the flow. If this kind of thing happened with an established place that would be a different matter!

                                                      1. re: Sgt Snackers

                                                        My gf and I went on Friday night too! Service was fine for me - Anna got an A for effort, but never did bring water. It was fine.
                                                        Food impressions are similar to everyone else I think - gf had the chicken, which I tried and thought was great. I had the short rib special which was good as well. App of mussels was good. Bitter greens salad was very fresh. IIRC, there were a number of non-salad veggie options on the menu. Desserts not that inspiring. Drinks ok - I think I just do not like Sazeracs.

                                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                          >Sazeracs at Highland Kitchen

                                                          When I went, they were making them with Angostura bitters instead of Peychauds (which were listed as an ingredient on the drink list).

                                                          Also, what is up with them using long coffee stirs as cocktail straws?

                                                          1. re: ponyboy

                                                            I was already seated so I did not see what bitters were being used. Peychauds were still listed on the menu, however.

                                                            I believe I got a regular stirrer with my drink, so that might be fixed.

                                                  2. We went tonight, and are looking forward to going back. Got there 7ish and things were bustling, though we were seated right away. Had a Somerville Sidecar (regular sidecar w/ a bit of applejack) and the spouse had a Guinness. Mixed crowd, including a few families w/ kids. I had the bluefish cakes and side of broccoli rabe, husband had the mushroom-butternut lasagna, and kid had sides of mac and cheese and fries. This left us enough room for the desserts. Kid had the choc cake w/ choc ice cream, spouse & I shared apple crips w/ rum raisin ice cream. Desserts were on the smallish side, but reasonably priced at $6.

                                                    Service was perfectly fine, and very friendly, and I'm guessing it might be more attentive as things deveop. Decor was also comfy. Fun jukebox near the bar, which was drawing crowds of kids and parents. A great addition to the neighborhood; wish it had been there during my Somerville days!

                                                    1. we hit HK on Friday night. Grabbed two seats at the very busy bar. took a bit to be served (with 2 bartenders I don't know how they split the customers, but I like it when both are paying attention to me :) -- everyone at the bar was pretty much eating, one group was waiting for a table. the Bloodhound was ok (the fruit didn't zing like I expected, but with fresh squeezed fruit I'm sure it's hard to make sure everyone is as tasty as the last). and my peeve: I don't like drinks in martini glasses unless it's a martini :) next time i'll ask for a regular highball glass. Great selection of beer on tap including Victory Prima Pils, Smutty Winter, and CBC Porter. They didn't have the specials menus at the bar, and the ingredients are fairly complex, so it was annoying not to be able to read each delicious offering. The bartender read them to us from a blackboard across the room. The menu was pretty different from our first time, but still good.

                                                      We started w/the calamari, which is tasty and Rhode Island style (sliced hot peppers). The cornmeal was a nice texture and the calamari fresh tasting. the dipping sauce was immediately unforgettable, some sort of tomato-based sauce. I asked for bread and was happy to see Iggy's francese come out with stone cold butter in a dish (no knife).

                                                      My soup of the day was cauliflower, but really it was a potato, leek, and cauliflower bowl of creamy goodness. with fresh grated pepper on top, just perfect. DC had the gumbo, and it was some of the best he's had in the city. A very hefty portion, probably a whole sausage, and just the right spice, but (depending how you like it) a little too brothy.

                                                      these are such minor complaints for a restaurant that has just opened...the food is fantastic, so i'm quite confident everything else will fall right into place.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: MaineRed

                                                        Geez...we were all there Friday night!

                                                      2. I was there on Saturday night with 3 DCs. 2 had the pork chop, 1 steak, 1 catfish. We shared an order of calamari (should've gotten two orders!!) Only one said he had room for dessert--the banana bread pudding--but when it came, the rest of us devoured it like a swarm of locusts. Service was excellent--I especially liked the fact that our server checked before she brought the bottle to the table to make sure she had gotten our wine order correct (she hadn't, but it was no wonder because we started out asking about white wine, and then decided to get a bottle of red.) Water glasses were refilled and timing was quite good. I look forward to returning.

                                                        13 Replies
                                                        1. re: phoebek

                                                          Visited last night. I mostly liked the space. Service very attentive. Cocktail menu was a plus for my girlfriend, but we both agreed the beer selection was a bit minimal. I'd like to see them beef this up. A limited set of taps is one thing, justifiable via available space, etc., but the bottles selection seemed a bit weird, being mostly old-school generic U.S. venue beer with a minority of trendy micro/craft beers. Most of the imports section were U.K. beers -- yet the likes of Newcastle Brown are hardly curiosities in the U.S. market! And then a single, awkwardly selected Belgian. A 25oz bottle of Chimay, IIRC, costing 29 dollars! I would have expected at least one of the ~10oz standards from Chimay, Orval, Duvel, etc. This would encourage me to consider HK a site to sink Belgians in.

                                                          Instead I drank the Victory Pilsener on tap, which seemed nicely kept. The blackberry caipirinha was nice too.

                                                          The food is quite varied in style, but not an abundance of options. I would have been happy to see a few more safe sandwich and burger items on there.

                                                          Whether or not others would agree, for me this place invites direct comparison with Cambridge Common as the two are almost equidistant from where I live. I think CC wins on beer selection and depth in the menu, but I also feel that HK is trying to be a little higher-end than CC. Several items on the menu, and most of the specials, sounded more ambitious than in the CC/Christopher's comfort food model. Yet the prices are not outrageous. Definitely will go again.

                                                          It will win over CC if it doesn't have a stupid, anti-pub-philosophy rule of denying a table to drinkers during peak food hours as CC does. Pubs are for drinking, in my view...

                                                          1. re: chickendhansak

                                                            With the word "kitchen" right in the name, I wouldn't get your hopes up. Causal as it may be, this has instantly become one of the nicer restaurants in Somerville, and I'm guessing they'll want to reserve the tables for their dining clientele.

                                                            As you pointed out, they've definitely positioned themselves a few notches above a Cambridge Common or a Christopher's in terms of food style and quality; I think a more fitting analogue would be the B Side near Kendall.

                                                            1. re: finlero

                                                              I think you are right about the tables. But I see I was mistaken anyway in assuming it is presenting itself to us as a pub.

                                                              1. re: finlero

                                                                Cmon man, it has no equal ;)
                                                                Others have commented on comparisons to Green Street v. 1.0, as the owners are the same.

                                                                1. re: finlero

                                                                  I agree Finlero, HK is very different from CC. Not a pub (Plough & Stars), not a gastropub (Publick House), really it's a step down from Gargoyle's, so B Side is a good comparison. Especially with the drink list.

                                                                  I'm sure someone knows better than I do, but the way beer is distributed to restaurants/bars in this state is very strict. The fact that they have so many taps of craft beer means they fought hard for a good selection, which it is. The factory brewers (Miller/Bud/Sam/Guinness, even Harpoon) muscle in on distro and force bars/restaurants to purchase certain beers--so if you want Guinness you also have to take Miller Lite or whatever, which bogarts 2 of your taps.

                                                                  Belgian beers are pretty hot these days. I'd agree that $29 for a bottle is pretty random. I'm sure they'll work out selections as the menu itself evolves.

                                                                  The bottled selection reminded me of the $3/can PBR at Oleana (this was a few years back)... sort of a mishmash of random beers, but that's ok too.

                                                                  1. re: MaineRed

                                                                    Actually they probably do a lot of business with Craft Brewer's Guild (a distributor), which does microbrews, plus a lot of UK imports. I don't think they "muscled" Burke Distributing for any of those, although CBG has its own quirks (can't handle special orders, etc). Keeping a lot of taps can be expensive, particularly due to deposits, which in some cases is more expensive for microbrews (some of them charge higher keg deposits as keg theft really impacts their bottom line).

                                                                  2. re: finlero

                                                                    A family-friendly B-Side. I could bring my parents to HK. I don't think they would dig the B-Side, though. It's just too damned dark in there (don't get me wrong, something I like that!). I like the decidedly non-hipster non-smug-ness to HK, something which I find mildly annoying at the B-Side.

                                                                    As for the beer, selection, I agree that it's a nod to the 'hood. I don't think they want to alienate the neighbors - I got that sense, and it didn't come across as feeling forced or insincere. The guy sitting next to us at the bar was enjoying his Bud Light bottles all the while appreciating the menu. That's such a great balance in my mind.

                                                                  3. re: chickendhansak

                                                                    I went last night and agree that the beer selection could be massaged a bit to include some of the belgian styles that I like to drink, but you need some old school beers to welcome the whole community, not just the hounds.
                                                                    It was my first visit and I was quite impressed. This will be a nice place that I can walk to. The people there were incredibly friendly. I also like that the menu is not large and overwhelming. It will keep the quality up. I thought there were plenty of "safe" options. This is going to be a restaurant firstly, where you can have a drink, so I don't think it's out of the question to reserve tables for diners during peak hours. I was impressed with the food. I'm very happy to see this new place in the neighborhood.

                                                                    1. re: uman

                                                                      I wasn't expecting Belgians, as I know it is a minority interest. It's just that they evidently had given the subject some thought, but (in my opinion) chosen the wrong option by going for a large and expensive bottle of Chimay and nothing else.

                                                                      More surprising was how the domestic bottles lined up.

                                                                      It is really a minor criticism! I think they could easily get more interesting bottled beers on the menu and transform the beer options. But they were certainly adequate and they were doing a good job with the taps on the basis of the two pints I had.

                                                                      1. re: chickendhansak

                                                                        I have been twice. Once with toddler in tow early for saturday night. lots of families getting in a decent meal before the later crowd comes in. service was absolutely fine-all staff very nice and smily. it was really really friendly and easy. next time was mid week later for sandwich with spouse. again friendly and service was quick. I am so glad something fun and interesting has opened up in this area. makes it easier to pop down the street rather than drive to davis or union-rock on somerville!
                                                                        i recommend the following menu items:
                                                                        rueben cuban - tangy and tasty, fries were not crispy but tasty and went well with reuben sauce:)
                                                                        burger - yummy-nice bun just a good solid burger with tasty ground beef
                                                                        mac and cheese - small portion perfect as a side. rich not too creamy but tasty and filling
                                                                        chili - yum! spicy but not too hot
                                                                        salad with buttermilk - good to have with a side not to filling on its own
                                                                        beers - nice selection but they keep running out of smuttynose!
                                                                        cobb salad - meh its fine its a simple cobb.
                                                                        other dishes that looked really good:
                                                                        curried goat stew - oh so fragrant from the table next door-their dish was completely cleaned by the accompanying crusty bread
                                                                        hanger steak (i think) looked really good
                                                                        yay i will be happy to go back

                                                                        1. re: chickendhansak

                                                                          I would love some Belgians, as well, but I don't think they are positioning themselves as a beer bar (a whole new ball of wax), when I would expect Belgians. They are, however, a most welcome neighborhood addition. We stopped in tonight. We wanted to sit at the bar to catch the Celts game - James, perceptive as always, asked a couple of people to scoot down to make room for us. Nice!

                                                                          He had the pulled pork sandwich - what a steal! VINEGARY pork goodness, served with pickled veggies (cut on the bias, so easy to add to the sandwich). Tender - he couldn't stop "mmmm-ing." Fries for the side - great when they are piping hot. Got the collard greens side ($3) which he said were delicious. Only quibble is that the bun, while grilled, is a little flimsy. Sandwich is a steal at $7. Tasty Smuttynose Winter Warmer on tap.

                                                                          I had the sea scallop with hoisin BBQ sauce app as my entree. Lovely flavors, but only 2 scallops/order ($10) and they were a little gritty. Glad I ordered both the broccoli rabe and turnip+mashed potatoes sides ($3 each) to round out my meal. I had a Redhouse Shiraz ($8) and a South African Chenin Blanc ($8) with my meal. I really need to branch out and explore the cocktail menu, for which James is well-known. The Somerville Side-Car is calling my name. So is the oyster po' boy. Or the fried halibut plate with hush pupppies and cabbage slaw. $60 after tax and tip.

                                                                          1. re: digga

                                                                            update went again last night with party of six:
                                                                            again very friendly and affable waitstaff and good service all around. general response on drinks: bloodhound-very good, bourbon smash-very good, aj ginger beer-spicy and very refreshing, caphriana-very good. all said they would get again

                                                                            apps - deviled eggs, tasty! interesting app to start with- calmari, spicy but good ( i didnot have and cant remark on chewiness) -chili cheese fries, spicy and tasty, nice alternate to nachos

                                                                            entrees - oyster po boy, yummy, could have plate of these with just the remoulade on side, crunchy and went well with toasted bread-
                                                                            curried goat stew, tasty but pretty spicy you must be up for spicy to have it -
                                                                            pulled pork sandwich, north carolina vinegar inspired, laden with vinegar and pretty spicy, not to the recipients liking we all tried and some liked and some didn't -
                                                                            pork loin - served a bit to rare but good taste, wouldnt get again but would get other items again.

                                                                            chocolate cake with choc ice cream - airy but lovely cake, ice cream divine!
                                                                            apple crisp with cinnamon ice cream - really nicely done, apples perfect crisp (made with granny smith) streusel nice balance of crunch and soft, i would get again but would go straight for chocolate next time.

                                                                            dinner for six with two cocktails each : 160 before tip. gotta say that it wound up to be fun, tasty and economical night for all

                                                                      2. re: chickendhansak

                                                                        I guarantee you that they sell mostly Bud Lite. It's the top selling beer in every venue, no matter how varied or eclectic the selection. Plus I think people are really getting sick of cascade hops.

                                                                    2. So my boyfriend and I went last night becuase we saw Highland Kitchen on Phantom Gourmet.
                                                                      Here is our rating of it.
                                                                      The food was Okay, and by okay I mean just okay nothing great, nothing fantastic nothing super. I ordered a cucumber gazpacho, it was good but really really salty. Justin ordered a burger that looked amazing on phantom to groumet and he said it was boring and bland.
                                                                      I ordered blackened catfish po boy with high expectations and was totally totally disappointed. It was so blackened that I could not taste the fish or taste the rest of my food.

                                                                      It sucked. Our waiter was great at first but then he just got progressively worse. Justin ordered another beer and it took 20 minutes before I had to call the guy to remind him about it and then he was like oh yeah you wanted the longtrail right? And we were like no the high life. So another 10 minutes later (our food was not at the table either) it finally came out and he was like yeah I'm sorry the bar was busy. I looked over the bar had 3 empty stools, didn't look to busy to me.

                                                                      $50.00 for the two of us really really not that bad.

                                                                      If you want to go somewhere that is going to take a while to eat at and has mediocre food go to Highland Kitchen.

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: angellexis

                                                                        Angel--sorry you were disappointed. I've been a number of times and have always been happy with the service. On one occassion when we had to wait normal than longer for entrees we were sent a plate of deviled eggs with an apology for the delay. I have not tried any of the items you and your boygriend had, but have been pleased with the assortment of things I've tried. Is there another place you would recommend instead that does the trick better than Highland?

                                                                        1. re: angellexis

                                                                          Too bad to hear about your experience. A night like that seems to be an anomaly as I have been there half a dozen times now myself and, fortunately, have never had a bad meal or the type of lackadaisical service you are referring to. I have had the catfish and it seemed to be cooked perfectly and the servers, as others will attest to on this board, have always been fantastic. HK it seems has assembled an "all-star" team of sorts by getting servers with lots of experience at other very good area restaurants.

                                                                          I would definitely give it another shot!

                                                                          1. re: angellexis

                                                                            I tried to eat there once, and experienced/witnessed service issues. It was a Friday night, and we were quoted a 90 minute wait. We gave up and left when it was well over two hours. We had some decent drinks while waiting (nothing special), and watched as it took forever to turn these tables. The table for 5 that we were presumably waiting for sat with no food, no drinks, and no bill for 20 minutes. When a waiter got around to them and they ordered another round of drinks, we left. Haven't had the food yet, but I can testify to their severe slowwwnesss.

                                                                            My experience at Hungry Mother (similar target market, also opened this year) was very different. Service was friendly and efficient, and the food was good. However, I was there on a weeknight, and they were busy but not getting hammered, so maybe the comparison is unfair. But if you can't efficiently manage the weekend crush, you're leaving lots of money on the table - HK didn't appear to be doing as well as they could.

                                                                            1. re: angellexis

                                                                              Was at Highland Kitchen Saturday night around 8:15 - no wait, went right to the table (I have to admit - I was a little bummed - I was looking forward to sitting at the bar for a while and letting Paul mix his magical drinks for us...). We did have cocktails: I tried the gin and elderflower cocktail (HK something...), and my companion had a Gibson made with some sort of less herbal gin that they had from a special a few weeks ago. The waiter was incredibly helpful and attentive, and got into a several-minute conversation with my dining companion over the merits of different kinds of gin (I am not an afficionado, but it was clear they both are!). We had the steak au poivre and the fish and chips, with a side of sauteed greens on the steak since we were going to be inundated with french fries (never really a bad thing) with the fish. Both were excellent. A lot of poivre on the steak, but cooked perfectly, super flavorful, and I love a good watercress salad next to my steak. The fish and chips were excellent as usual. We finished with the banana bread pudding which was, you know, excellent. A lovely combination of custard, soft buttery sweet banana bread, and ice cream. I really love HK - it has never let me down, and it has been an excellent addition to my neighborhood. I realize I'm biased, because part of the appeal is that it's so close! Total, with tip (2 cocktails, 2 entrees, dessert): a little under $80.

                                                                              1. re: angellexis

                                                                                I'm a big fan of Highland Kitchen -- and when I recently learned that Michael was leaving the bar I was so bummed (yeah, my favorite master of cocktails is going to take the Bar exam -- we knew the team was all-star smart) but then realized this is HK, everyone is great on service. And, I believe that.

                                                                                I also don't think HK and HM are a fair comparison -- I've eaten at both numerous times. HM is not a neighborhood bar -- HK is. And the neighborhood in which HK resides -- with diversity intact -- is hard to please. You will not find postal workers on bar stools at the end of a week at HM -- you will at HK. HK, for better or worse, is also more family friendly (in price and child-trapping booth). I live around the corner, and it is very, very, very rare that I don't see at least another neighbor when I go to HK.

                                                                                On my last trip -- my partner and I had a fabulous soft shell crab to start (on bar with soft shells we have recently enjoyed at rendevous, front street (provincetown), and ross's (provincetown). We followed with fish and chips (which seemed like a radically different recipe -- more traditional than their earlier version which I prefer) and ended with a fantastic strawberry shortcake (perfect scone-type biscuits, right proportion of whipped and berries). Of course, we drank our way through dinner and were given some amazing dessert wine to finish the evening...

                                                                              2. I stopped in for a drink and a snack on Friday night. Got there around 7.45 and snagged seats at the bar. I started with the HK Fling (Hendriks Gin, St Germaine, Lime) and my roommate had the Blackberry Caipirina. The fling was delicious with a nice tartness from the lime. Caipirina was a bit sweeter than my roommate remembered, although I didn't notice a difference. I intended to have the mussels, but was disappointed to learn the last order had just been served, so instead I tried the bacon-wrapped scallops, an appetizer special for the evening. It was two good sized scallops wrapped in applewood smoked bacon, sitting on a bed of black-eyed peas). I believe the description I had been given prior to ordering was a black-eyed pea succotash, but there were only a few kernals of corn to it...would have enjoyed more. The scallops were well cooked, but I wished the bacon had been slighly crispier, though I know that is a challenge when trying to wrap it around a scallop. A solid dish overall, but not a favorite. My roommate had the burger, and he at the entire thing before I got to try it, so I'm assuming it was a winner! All in all, another great night at HK!

                                                                                1. We have eaten there twice in the past week and have been delighted with everything from service to seeing old friends behind the bar to the quality of the food. A few more experiences will bear out whether this is always the norm, but for now - we LOVE LOVE LOVE!! Some of the dishes we had were the chili, the mac and cheese side, the deviled eggs, the house made pickles, a scallop, grapefruit, avocado and beet special, the roast chicken and the Cuban Reuben. Each was delightful, and the price is right!!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Small Plates

                                                                                    The Cuban Reuben might be the tastiet sandwich around. I have a hard time not ordering it every time!

                                                                                  2. Damn this thread!! My mother is in town tonight and she is insisting on treating to dinner. Therefore we need to find somewhere reasonable but with great food. I had my heart set on a few gimlets and the cuban reuben. I forgot HK was closed on Monday's. Doh!

                                                                                    I was totally mentally committed. Now must figure out another option. We toyed with Gran Gusto, but mom will need her scotch.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Gabatta

                                                                                      Good luck, Gabatta. I, too, have been stymied MANY a Monday. Let me know where you end up...

                                                                                      1. re: Jeda

                                                                                        I went here last night for the first time. I like this place! The service was nice, and I really like how they somewhat separate the bar from the dining area so that when it's crowded you're not eating with someone's butt in your face.

                                                                                        Had the mac and cheese, the reuben, and the burger with American cheese. The mac and cheese is decent, is there a Worcestershire sauce taste in there? I liked it!
                                                                                        The reuben is nice, but kind of sloppily put together. their homemade pickled cabbage wasn't sour enough for me to cut through the heaviness of the russian dressing and meat. Maybe it's a batch related thing though.
                                                                                        My burger was fantastic. Thank goodness they offer it with American cheese. I ordered med-rare, and it came out close enough. The patty was seasoned well, a good dose of pepper, and the soft bun they serve it on is the terrific. Mainly, the burger is easy to eat and doesn't fall apart. Next time I would get it with the onions on the side because they didn't really add much for me. and I think that it's a good thing that you can eat the sandwich plain with no adornments and it's still very satisfying.

                                                                                    2. Just an update on the website front - the "highlandkitchen.com" still only has the logo, address and phone. The more complete website is now - http://www.myspace.com/highlandkitchen

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                        Also note that they have been opening Mondays since around the beginning of July (above it was mentioned that they were closed Mondays).

                                                                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                          Wow. That is a dreadful site for such a good place to eat. Nice to have the menu online though.

                                                                                        2. And not that anyone's asked, but the new black bean burger is delicious. They replaced the BBQ mushroom sandwich with this, and I was VERRRY suspicious until I tried it. Also, Joe (the awesome bartender) told me they can still make the mushroom sandwich if you ask for it.

                                                                                          Also - Monday is now frozen drinks and fried food night! Which sounds pretty excellent to me, though I haven't tried it.

                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Jeda

                                                                                            With Joe McGuirk running the blender... this will be hilarious.

                                                                                            1. re: ponyboy

                                                                                              I don't even know how Joe gets up in the morning for brunch. But more power to him. The food's solid and with Joe at the bar I'd gladly get up too and drink whatever he puts in front of me.

                                                                                            2. re: Jeda

                                                                                              Oh no! the mushroom sandwich is GONE? It was my favorite :( I'll be sure to ask for it just in case... thanks for the heads up!

                                                                                              1. re: mipiace

                                                                                                Definitely ask for it - I make a point of bringing it up every time I'm there. It'll be good to have someone else on the case as well. I'm pushing for its return to the menu as the weather cools.

                                                                                              2. re: Jeda

                                                                                                We went to Frozen and Fried about a month ago - it was DELISHHHHHHOUS! Oh god, I can't remember - but I think it was squash fritters with maple dipping sauce - soooooo good - I keep wanting to get back for Mondays - but I have not had the chance. We live so close by we stop in once a week or every other week - nothing here disappoints. What happened to James - anyone know?

                                                                                                1. re: Small Plates

                                                                                                  Oh gawd no...is James gone?! Say it ain't so!

                                                                                              3. A quick note regarding french fries. I recently complained about limp, underseasoned fries in another post, my ode to the Highland burger. I was back this week and had a TERRIFIC batch of fries. Crispy, flavorful and seasoned just right! So it seems the issue is consistency, rather than the ability to get it right. Here's hoping their fry-guy keeps it together.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: celeriac

                                                                                                  Great! We've also experienced the same inconsistency with the fries. Thanks for speaking up!

                                                                                                  BTW, how has it been in there since school went back in session? I am scared we'll never get in at a decent hour.

                                                                                                2. Went to HK last night around 6:15 pm, and it was fairly empty - we decided to go early in case it got busy with school back in session. When we left at 7:30ish there were still a couple of open tables. As usual, a very pleasant experience - I'd gone specifically because someone mentioned the black bean burger and I wasn't disappointed. I started with a specialty drink from the chalkboard - the Charlatka I think it was called. Very good if you like sweet drinks - vodka and apple juice. The DC had an Octoberfest on tap. For an app we split the gnocchi with ratatouille veggies and parmesan. The gnocchi was excellent - very peppery and buttery. The veggies were little pieces of tomato and zucchini. This would have been enough as a main dish for a lighter eater. For entrees I had the black bean burger which I really loved - tasted like black beans and spices, and that was about it. On top was guac and pico de gallo. The fries on the side were crispy, not mushy as I'd had in the past. The DC got the eggplant lasagna. It was a slightly different take on lasagna but the presentation was nice. Noodles, fried eggplant, tomato slices, a little pesto, and mozzarella. I tried some and we both agreed it was a bit bland but decent. After dinner I got a blackberry caipirinha which I can't wait to go back and order again. Dessert was a phenomenal blueberry and nectarine shortcake. If they keep it for a bit now that summer is winding down - get it - you won't be disappointed.

                                                                                                  1. Highland Kitchen does not appear to be feeling the recent economic pinch. Last night was a packed, convivial scene as usual. We nabbed one bar seat after some time standing around and then another (pleasant) wait for a table. Nothing at the bar ever opened up while we waited. The North African dip plate consisted of three dips and grilled pita wedges - hit the spot for two very hungry people. The free-form mushroom lasagna looked beautifully rustic, but I felt like something more meaty and went with the papardelle bolognese. Wonderfully toothsome pasta and the sauce was just-chunky enough. However, it was a bit too salty for my taste. Nevertheless, I finished my plate. B had the burger with blue cheese - I took a bite. Wow, what flavor! He almost always gets the pulled pork sandwich (we think it's one of Boston's best bargains at $6.95 for a huge, tasty, vinegar-y sandwich and fries). He is convert to HK's burger after last night. Fries were a little on the old side. Next table over, fries looked much more fresh. With Joe McGuirk helping out with FOH duties and Jimmy as our always competent server, it was another nice night at HK.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: digga

                                                                                                      100 posts on this one topic !
                                                                                                      Does anyone needs more information?
                                                                                                      Went but back to Highland for the first time in a while
                                                                                                      and I'm telling you
                                                                                                      This place is the bomb.
                                                                                                      Still loud (great jukebox) fun, very friendly,
                                                                                                      (super nice staff & management)
                                                                                                      It kinda helps when the owners are in the front
                                                                                                      And back of the house!
                                                                                                      We've never had anything go amis,
                                                                                                      but they'd fix it in a minute if it did.
                                                                                                      Being a sucker for anything in a thai red curry sauce:
                                                                                                      The mussels (w/nice real strips of crunchy ginger floating by)
                                                                                                      The broccoli rabe,
                                                                                                      the Fine light french vinegrette on the greens,
                                                                                                      even the chewey, spongy, Iggy's bread,
                                                                                                      were all standouts & indications of the care they take...

                                                                                                      Just a fine place to hang...

                                                                                                      The Dude
                                                                                                      (Version Ab Goosht 3.0)