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Sep 11, 2010 07:52 AM

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.