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Anyone been to the Haven?

I was intrigued to hear about the Haven in today's Globe. I loved seeing that they have savory pies and scotch eggs on the menu and lots of little mentions of pickled this and that. Are the renditions any good?

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  1. I haven't been, but it gets pretty good reviews on Yelp. I think the scotch egg sounds awesome, and for my own culinary education, I want to try the haggis, as I have never had the opportunity to try it

    1. I've only had chips and a beer but both were solid and the decor/vibe in super lovely.

      1 Reply
      1. re: celeriac

        Wanted to check back in after having a full meal at the Haven - I really like this place!! I shared several plates with my friends: the Scotch egg, beet salad, fish and chips, barley risotto and a side of green beans with smoked shallots.

        The scotch egg was pretty awesome, with a perfectly crisp, fried exterior. The salad was very nice, with copious, sweet beets and lots of pungent cheese. The greens were fine but not super-lively, and seemed to be of the California-bagged variety, but I didn't ask. It coudl have also seemed that way because they were a bit overdressed.

        The fish and chips were great, a very generous portion and perfectly fried, again. Incidentally, mine did come with tartar, so perhaps they have changed that in response to expectations. The minted mushy peas were delicious, much fresher and totally different than I recall from the UK. The barley risotto may have been the star with a chewy, toothsome texture, lots of nice pieces of flavorful mushrooms, nice grated cheese and lots of chervil. The green beans were nice, though the smoked shallots might have even been too smoky - really intense.

        Overall, good value and very solid food in a nice atmosphere. Not a destination restaurant but a terrific neighborhood spot. I really like the way that their food refers to Scottish cuisine with traditional dishes and ingredients, but is a bit fresher and not tied too slavishly to the style. I'll be back soon, no question.

      2. I've been a couple of times. Good beer selection (which changed in the month span between my visits) and a limited, but nicely varied, menu. Pickled veggies were nice, although not as bountiful as what you would typically get at East Coast Grill. Oat cakes with butter were also a good proxy for a bread basket. First visit I had the fish and chips with minted mashed peas and house (curry) ketchup. Batter was crispy, but somewhat bland and little prosaic. A bit skimpy on the hand-cut fries. Ketchup and peas were great. My DC had the beef pie with fennel crust, which was much better than the fish and quite traditional. Second visit I had the Tikka Masala. Standing alone, it was easily the best Tikka Masala I have ever had. However, the presentation was a bit muddled. The chicken was sliced and arranged on a too-large mound of rice, greens (spinach, I seem to recall) and a flavorful sauce. I loved the flavors, but it was a big mess. My DC had the burger, which was delicious, but difficult to negotiate (very large and somewhat overwhelmed by the onion and house sauce sauce (I think, it's been a few weeks)). Overall a great fit for Hyde Square. I just hope they change up the menu on a seasonal basis. Definitely worth trying.

        East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
        1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

        1. I've been once and would recommend it. I had the fish supper which I enjoyed, it wasn't so overwhelmingly huge that I wasn't able to finish it. The ketchup was homemade and there was no tartar sauce--I almost asked for some, but decided to try it without it and actually I think I enjoyed it without. It was lightly fried and the mushy peas were a perfect side with it.
          Loved the oatcakes and butter at the start--the pickled veggies were nice, wish we had gotten a few more, but still good.
          It definitely felt like cold weather food to me, so now that it's chillier out, I'll be back.
          Oh also--good music was playing (think indie rock w/ a brit slant).

          3 Replies
          1. re: langley

            No tartar sauce is fine, but was there malt vinegar?

            1. re: bostonbroad

              yes and I also liked the fish supper. as good a traditional english/scottish F&C that I've had in Boston.

            2. re: langley

              I ordered the fish dinner on Friday and got tartar sauce with mine. Perhaps they just forgot?

              And, the homemade ketchup? Holy crap. Best part of the meal. Will go back to the Haven just for that.

            3. The hospitality at this place is nonpareil.

              1. Just went with a Scottish friend of mine for the first time on Sunday. The food was excellent. The Haggis and Neeps was the star. A large ball of haggis, not too greasy, with a nice flavor (although we both felt it could have been more peppery). The Fish Dinner was excellent as well. A large piece of fish in a very crispy batter and sweet, flaky fish. The mushy peas were very tasty as well. I did have it served with a small dish of tartar sauce, as well as the malt vinegar.

                The hospitality was excellent as well. The owner was over to our table multiple times to see how everything was going. I'd definitely go back again sometime.

                1. We just had an amazing meal there tonight! Curried Duck and a Fish N Chips. Thick cut potato fries, tender duck, and hands down the best mash sweet potatoes I've ever had! They were so new on the menu, though, that no one could tell me what made them so magically delicious bc they didnt know yet themselves. But they were smokey and both our preschoolers gobbled them up (with the mushy minted peas). Dessert was good too. The atmosphere was at times neighborhood-y, warm and relaxed, and at other times a little flat. But it was a terrific meal whether you're there to have a few pints or eat some stellar food. One thing, I found the food a little heavy on salt--still tasty, but if that's not your thing, you might remember to ask for less of it. I'm definitely going back soon!

                  1. Another follow-up, I dropped into the Haven for a burger and beer a few nights ago, and man - I really like this place. The burger was very good, a loosely packed, fairly fatty patty that was nicely grilled with excellent onion/bacon jam and a tasty mayo-y sauce. The roll was a squishy, challah-type affair, also grilled. My only complaint is that in spite of the low light conditions making it had to judge for sure, but I'm pretty sure it was fairly overcooked - maybe tow notches past the requested med-rare - but that was forgivable since it was plenty fatty enough to keep things tasty. And their chips really are kind of awesome - far crisper than I expected while still retaining the thick chip shape.

                    The beers I had were both very tasty and reasonably priced from their nicely thought out list, and the service at the bar was warm, thoroughly person and very skilled. All in all, these guys are really doing a great job, and even with a minor food hiccup everything was very tasty. One of my new favorite places for combination of quality, originality and genuine care.

                    1. I know that this was an older thread but I had to revive it as I just went for the first time for Brunch this weekend and was beyond blown away. Firstly- the service was EXCELLENT, they were sweet, laid back, while I was there a child threw up all over a table and the staff handled it quietly and kindly. We shared the pancake which had lovely crisp edges, was topped with thick toffee sauce, bacon and maple whipped cream. We both basically licked the plate. We also shared the breakfast sandwich which had a square sausage patty, cheese, a mashed potato thingie, fried egg and a really tasty remoulade-like PICKLE sauce on a brioche bun. It was delicious, the flavors and textures easily made this the best breakfast sandwich I have had. It came with a yummy bowl of baconny beans and we ordered an additional side of their delicious house bacon. I was impressed from beginning to end with the food, vibe and service. Now I just have to get there for dinner...

                      1. Was just there last night. Loved it! Friendly place, good beers. Had the Haggis, the Hunter sausage, and for dessert; the chocolate bread pudding with coconut curry ice cream. The flavors of all meals were explosive. There were some cool old cats at the bar greeting folks. It was a great place with great atmosphere. I would go back!