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Russell House Tavern...everyone's favorite small plates there?

coweepooh Sep 14, 2011 10:18 AM

Going to Russell House Tavern this Friday and noticed lots of delicious looking small plates on their dinner menu.

My bf and I may just order all small plates (tapas style) and skip the entrees, though the Ozark Heritage Pork Trio entree did catch our eye :)

Was just curious what people's favorites were off the Russell House Tavern dinner menu...

Some items that piqued our interest were:

--Short Rib Wellington

--House Charcuterie Board

--Melted Cambazola Cheese

--Crispy Pigs Head Cake

--House Made Terrine (though I dunno if we'd get this AND the House Charcuterie Board, may be too similar?)

--Foie Gras and Laphroig Terrine

--Brandt Farms Marrow Bone (had a delicious bone marrow tapas at Toro and was curious about this one too)

--Crispy Soft Poached Chip-in Farm Egg


--Deviled Local Farm Egg

(which egg dish have you guys liked better?)

And also--anything from the Raw Bar worth trying? We usually would go to a B&G or Neptune Oyster or Island Creek Oysters for raw bar items unless there is something quite delicious here too :)


Neptune Oyster
63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

Chip-in Farm
201 Hartwell Rd, Bedford, MA

Russell House Tavern
14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Island Creek Oyster Bar
500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

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  1. g
    Gabatta RE: coweepooh Sep 14, 2011 10:25 AM

    The crispy poached egg is my favorite thing on the entire menu (by far). We were pretty underwhelmed by their charcuterie.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Gabatta
      Prav RE: Gabatta Sep 14, 2011 10:51 AM

      2nd for the crispy poached egg. I still think about that egg.

      1. re: Prav
        cpingenot RE: Prav Sep 14, 2011 11:05 AM

        third! I liked it so much, I've tried to make it at home, with limited success. Definitely my favorite thing I've tried there.

        1. re: cpingenot
          twentyoystahs RE: cpingenot Sep 14, 2011 06:45 PM

          4th for the egg! It's a must-get anytime we are lucky enough to dine there.

    2. n
      nachovegas RE: coweepooh Sep 14, 2011 10:55 AM

      I have really enjoyed the charcuterie board and the terrine's. Also the poached egg although it's difficult to share. I'm not crazy about the raw bar there at all. The oysters and crab leg that I've had there have always been kind of "mushy" IMO. I just think there are way better raw bars around if that's what you want. But I like their housemade charcuterie quite a bit and have found their portions to be more generous than alot of places when it comes to the meats.

      1. k
        Klunco RE: coweepooh Sep 14, 2011 11:00 AM

        A surprise hit that I've enjoyed is the smoked mussel salad with bacon. Delicious with bread! I also really enjoy their "Dirty Caesar" salad.

        Last time I had a half dozen Oysters and they were fine. Well shucked, no complaints.

        1. r
          Ruprecht RE: coweepooh Sep 14, 2011 11:23 AM

          My favorite from dinner this past weekend was something whose complete name I can't remember, but featured smoked lamb belly.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ruprecht
            Niblet RE: Ruprecht Sep 15, 2011 10:07 AM

            I had that this week too and really liked it: smoked lamb belly on crostini, I think it was. It was like fried lardons of lamb belly, not what I expected but very tasty.

            Also really liked the crispy pigs head cake as others have said, which is topped with a poached egg. All kinds of flavor and texture. And definitely worth getting bread to sop it up.

          2. k
            kimfair1 RE: coweepooh Sep 14, 2011 11:40 AM

            The Crispy soft poaced egg is divine. I've enjoyed the Crispy Pigs Head Cake as well.

            1. l
              lypp RE: coweepooh Sep 14, 2011 12:28 PM

              I'm a big fan of small plate dining/sharing too and here are a few of my favorites from RHT: crispy poached egg definitely. The deviled eggs are also really good. The lobster sliders are the best lobster sandwich version I've ever had. So good! If the chef is doing a clam pizza that night do not miss it - it's that good (all the pizzas are good but that's a personal favorite). And the seared arctic char is really good too - excellent crispy skin and perfectly cooked fish. I've never had any issues with anything from the raw bar and surprisingly while I feel there's rarely anything special about shrimp cocktail I think the version here is amazing!

              1 Reply
              1. re: lypp
                LeoLioness RE: lypp Sep 14, 2011 01:48 PM

                I totally agree re: the shrimp cocktail. It's normally the last thing I would ever order, but ever since having RHT's version as part of a raw platter I'm hooked! I just love that avacodao-honeydew-serrano salsa.

              2. kobuta RE: coweepooh Sep 14, 2011 06:14 PM

                One more endorsement for the poached egg. A perfectly poached egg is just about food perfection for me.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kobuta
                  twentyoystahs RE: kobuta Sep 14, 2011 06:46 PM

                  yeah and when you add bacon(or is it pancetta?) that just puts it over the edge!

                2. k
                  katzzz RE: coweepooh Sep 15, 2011 10:12 AM

                  The pork trio is worth getting. Dee-lish.

                  1. yumyum RE: coweepooh Sep 15, 2011 10:15 AM

                    I like most of the small plates I've had here, but have to give a warning on this one:

                    Foie Gras and Laphroig Terrine

                    You have to REALLY REALLY dig the taste of whiskey to enjoy this. Fortunately I do, but this isn't a dish for everyone.

                    This summer I veered from the rez and tried the deviled eggs instead of the crispy fried. They are really delicious, topped with little shrimp and served with a honeydew salsa of sorts and some micro-greens. If it's on the menu I'd highly recommend you try it.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: yumyum
                      Northender RE: yumyum Sep 15, 2011 02:48 PM

                      yumyum, is Mike Scelfo still the chef there??

                      1. re: Northender
                        yumyum RE: Northender Sep 15, 2011 03:34 PM

                        Yep. And he's spookily talented. Especially with eggs. Go figure.

                        1. re: yumyum
                          Northender RE: yumyum Sep 15, 2011 04:10 PM

                          thanks, i gotta get over there and try those eggs. Does he still make his own pickles?

                    2. p
                      Parsnipity RE: coweepooh Mar 27, 2012 11:09 AM

                      Had dinner here last night and sorry to report we were underwhelmed. The entrees didn't really appeal so we got a collection of apps and small plates. Lobster sliders seemed bready with not very flavorful lobster. The burger was good and properly cooked med-rare, but underseasoned, and the fries were limp, greasy and also underseasoned. A three cheese pizza with figs was tasty and actually had some saltiness to it, but greasy. The crab cakes had a nice garnish of pickled radish and (maybe) watermelon rind slivers, but tasted more of breadcrumbs than crab. Finally, fried oysters were nicely fried but again would have benefit from a pinch of sea salt on top. We didn't stay for dessert because at that point Pinkberry was sounding good, and Chowbaby (who had no complaints with her side of mashed potatoes) was ready to go. Service was fine, but I sadly won't be headed back soon.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Parsnipity
                        Klunco RE: Parsnipity Mar 27, 2012 11:17 AM

                        Interesting to hear that you found a lot of the food under-seasoned. On my last few visits, the last of which was about two months ago, I found the food way over-seasoned with a few of the fryer items almost inedibly salty.

                        I know several people who felt the same way, so I wonder if the under-seasoning is a recalibration of the kitchen or just inconsistency.

                        1. re: Klunco
                          Parsnipity RE: Klunco Mar 27, 2012 01:10 PM

                          Hmm. I would say my personal seasoning preferences are about average. I usually agree with other posters on this board when they say something is over or under, so maybe there was a kitchen adjustment. Those fries were just dreadful and I'm not sure even some salt would have saved them.

                        2. re: Parsnipity
                          Blumie RE: Parsnipity Mar 27, 2012 11:59 AM

                          I ate at RHT over the weekend. Our table of six shared two pizzas (cheese, and a special pizza with lamb sausage, ramps, and egg), and then I had a burger. I thought the the burger and fries were fine, but not extraordinary. But we all LOVED the pizzas. Next time, pizza and salad all around!

                          1. re: Blumie
                            ChinaCat RE: Blumie Mar 28, 2012 10:51 AM

                            we went there a few weeks ago, and I agree the pizza we had was one of the best things. We tried the one with duck confit and stinky cheese and it was delicious.

                            Also the smoked lamb belly crostini was incredibly tasty.

                            I did find the fries over salty. and I like salt.

                        3. b
                          Bellachefa RE: coweepooh Mar 27, 2012 12:20 PM

                          Any updates on how brunch stands up these days?

                          1. c
                            cods RE: coweepooh Mar 27, 2012 01:13 PM

                            Overall I really wanted to like RHT small plates more than I did. That being said, the crispy poached egg is one of the best things I ate in 2011, the pig cake was also very good and we had a nice crudo dish on one visit. Oysters have always been good there as well. I would avoid the foie dish as yumyum noted, overpoweringly "scotchy". The terrine on the day we had it was a bland disappointment, but other charcuterie has been pretty decent though not amazing.

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