Just throwing in my two cents, agreeing that Eastern Standard is a fantastic neighborhood spot. Stopped in Sunday afternoon after that disatrous Sox game. At 5pm, there were 1-2 tables open on the patio, and we were able to snag one immediately. The bar was only moderately busy.
My 2 DCs and I ordered the fried calamari, salt cod fritters, charcuterie plate, and grilled cheese sandwich, as well as a couple glasses of wine and beer. Calamari was fine - nice fry job, but nothing special otherwise. The fritters were crispy and melty and delicious - wow. I can definitely see why everyone's got them on their top-10 list. The grilled cheese was fantastic as well - I usually find cheddar too greasy for grilled cheese (opting for oh-so-sophisticated American or velveeta) but this was perfect. The fries were good too, nice and salty, if perhaps not quite crispy enough. The charcuterie plate was a bit too adventurous for my DCs, so I was plenty happy to devour it pretty much by myself. I don't remember all 6 kinds, but the pork rilettes were definitely a highlight, as was the pork terrine with guanciale. For dessert, we ordered the Sweets to Share - botterscotch pots de creme (wow), hazelnut brownies (ehh), lavendar shortbread, and another delicious cookie I forget. (I would have preferred a cheese course, but I felt guilty about making them try charcuterie, so conceded the sweets!)
Overall, $100 pre-tip for 3 appetizers, a sandwich, dessert, 4 glasses of wine and one beer. Good service, great patio. A really great option! I'll definitely be back.
I have to say - I've been to Eastern Standard a couple of times recently, and I haven't been nearly as impressed as everyone else on this board has been. For instance, went again last night: I had the Cavetelli, my sister had the cod, we both started with the foie gras. The foie gras was served as a whipped mousse that seemed to have lost all the flavor of foie gras and was served with salt and pepper crostini that completely overwhelmed the mild taste. Both entrees were surprisingly (and unnecessarily) salty, and I was left thinking (again) that I shouldn't bother coming back. I find it adequate but uninteresting. This is perhaps the third or fourth time I've come in the past two years.
I am and always have been a huge fan of Eastern Standard. Except for Brunch.
I have noticed a few little things that have gone slightly downhill in the past couple of times I've been there (since the beginning of the year or so). The calamari isn't nearly as good as it used to be, the temp on the burgers seem to be hit or miss, even though they're so flavorful it's really not that big of a deal if they're slightly overdone, and just recently we had some cocktails that weren't as good as they used to be. For example, in the past the whiskey smash hasn't been filled with nearly as much crushed ice as the one we just had last week.
I still love the place and it will continue to be one of my favorites but I don't run over there as much as I used to.
I had been meaning to post on ES as we were there Monday for a birthday dinner. It was my first time and I really enjoyed it. It has the right feel for a Brasserie. The bar was packed while the dining room was pleasantly bustling. Service was excellent for such a busy place. The food is really very good for what it is. The flavors are bold and brassy (as they should be for a Brasserie), but I can see the overly salty comment. I had the salt cod fritters (excellent) and the roasted beet salad and the two were more than enough for dinner. Tastes of the bone marrow (very authentic), the lamb sausage special and the pea greens salad were all good. They comped a dessert for the birthday which was a nice gesture. I shared the beignets (good but not Cafe du Monde) and the semifreddo was too delicious to share according to DCs. I'm not usually a cocktail person but the pisco sour was remarkable. I didn't have wine but looking at the list, it looked good and the mark up was fair. In all, an excellent fun place for a birthday: mid priced bold food in a party atmosphere. It's not haute cuisine but that is what a Brasserie should be. I'll be back.
No restaurant is perfect. My favorite thing there is the chicken schnitzel, which each time they've managed to deliver hot and done just right. I've been impressed with their systems of runners and waiters; the food comes out at the same time and the hot stuff is hot. That is a basic service management issue many restaurants can't do. Some people are disappointed by the salads because they're composed and not a big bed of leafy greens with toppings.