Review: Abigail's in Kendall Square
My husband and I went to Abigail's on 3rd st. in Kendall Square with a friend this evening and had a really great evening-- it's exactly the sort of addition the neighborhood needs. Loved the decor. Husband thought the grout-work on the tile was really thoughtfully-chosen, and admired the steam-curved arch of wood that was artfully un-decorated.
Drinks: Nice beer & wine selection, and a short list of very well-thought-out cocktails. Mr. Grant was a Manhattan-like concoction including Rye, Amaro Meletti, and Carpano Antica Formula vermouth; a gin-St.Germaine-white wine mix was refreshing; and they had a fun gin-grapefruit highball with a salt rim that we liked as well.
For the actual food: Fried oysters came on their own shells, nestled in a spicy tartar sauce. Hot, delicious, light-- we nearly ordered another round. Panzanella was full of big flavorful tomatoes and basil and some nice mozzarella. The cucumber salad had tomatoes, too-- but not the same tomatoes as the panzanella, which I thought was interesting. They've obviously put some care into their choice of ingredients.
A corn bisque was deliciously flavored but lighter in texture than we expected a bisque to be. It was more of a corn broth, enhanced with a little cream. Actually kind of great, but sort of mismatch of expectations.
The burger was excellent. Not too huge, not too small. Cooked properly, juicy. I didn't much like the special house sauce, but that's just me not liking it, not it being bad.
The mussels were a little salty and one or two were slightly gritty, but certainly disappeared quickly, along with the bread and the Pernod-spiked broth.
We split a sweet ricotta tart for dessert, which was nicely flavored and had a good crust, but was also kind of dry. Not that we didn't eat every last crumb of it. But you know, have to nitpick. :)
Service was friendly and attentive- we could tell that more than one person was stepping up to make sure there were no holes in service and that everything was working to plan. The manager or maitre-d' helped bring out the food, which kind of made me smile, too: Glad to see the guy in the suit doing his share of schlepping and expediting and being a team player.
We'll definitely be back-- there's a lot more on the menu we want to try.
Ate here tonight - two of us split some small plates and a salad. We had the gouda fries, the fried oysters, the mussels in pernod, the marrow, and the panzanella. It was all delicious, but the marrow made me feel stupid for ordering it, there was so little in it. I was impressed that this selection of items wasn't as overly rich as it might have been, but it was a bit saltier than necessary. (This is a common complaint of mine; I may be extra sensitive to salt.) The service was excellent. The room was a little chilly -- the food was comforting, but I might wish for a little more warmth in colors and temperature inside to offset concrete Kendall.