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Hamersley's want menu recommendations

We're going on Sunday night. Anyone been there fairly recently? Help me choose what to order. Think I will finally get the roast chicken for the entree. Thanks.

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  1. My husband loves the halibut /clam roast that is usually on the menu in some form. And, they serve one of the best duck confit appetizers anywhere. We've also shared some wonderful pork dishes when they are on the menu.


          1. re: 9lives

            however, i have also had some amazing off-menu nightly specials. gordon has such a hard-core base of devoted regulars that expects to find certain dishes on the menu and howl with loss if he changes them off. a few summers back i had a lobster/chorizo/sweetbreads dish that i still dream about.

      1. i would recommend the cassoulet if it is offered.

        1. I had the roast chicken a little while back and was surprised when it arrived at the table as I had expected some type of potato or veg garnish but it was chicken and sauce alone. The waiter had to "hussle" the kitchen for a side of potatoes for me. I was a bit put off but all told it was a delicious meal. (In my defense I had had the famous chicken many years ago in the original Hamersley's Bistro and it came with garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus). So consider ordering a side dish or two if you get the chicken. I usually get the cassoulet but it isn't always offered.

          Hamersley's Bistro
          553 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

          1 Reply
          1. re: Berheenia

            That must have been one of their very infrequent errors. The chicken at Hamersley comes with roasted garlic, onions, potato and a luscious gravy. My husband and I sop up very spec of it with the wonderful focaccia.


            That link will take you to a detailed report and photo from my Serious East colleague Liz Bomze who covers Boston's signature dishes.


          2. I recently went to Hamersley's - my first time. The chicken does have a reputation and how good could it be? As other people have said, there's chicken and then there's chicken. Maybe the chicken at your local diner would give Hamersley's chicken a run for its money. My opinion: Hamersley's chicken is one of the better roasted chicken dishes I've had. I think one thing is that it has this reputation and so the kitchen definitely delivers on that. It probably IS as good as the same dish you ordered on that menu ten years ago. It's tender, it's moist, without being mush. It doesn't have a crispy skin - instead it has a layer of something crispy coating the very top of the chicken piece - bread? Dunno, but it's got a delicious flavor and lovely texture. I think I'd call it somewhat buttery. With some herbs helping that flavor.

            If I got that same chicken tomorrow night if I dined there again, I'd think, 'Wow, I'm going to be coming here a lot for this particular dish...' just because it takes a lot of control to make a dish come out flavorful and tender every single time. So far, that is what I have heard about the chicken at Hamersley, so it's all good.

            1. So what did you end up ordering?

              My husband and I went this past weekend. I had slow roasted breast of pheasant with cippolines, celeriac puree and caramelized apples that was fantastic. He had the braised rabbit which was also outstanding.

              Husband also had the previously mentioned duck confit app. Yes, that was very, very yummy

              We thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Though I must say it seems like they keep trying to cram more tables into that little space. It was really quite cramped and noisy. I don't remember it being so crowded on previous visits, but maybe I just don't remember.

              1. We finally went Friday night, left wondering why it took us so very long to try - and determined we'll be back (note the criticisms detailed below are minor and did not tarnish the experience at all - more like potential refinements suggested to inch closer to perfection.)

                The interior and atmosphere are really inviting - high ceilings, simple decor, and an energetic buzz that's not overwhelming or too loud for conversation.

                The roast chicken is justly the signature of the establishment these past 20+ years - and it's amazing - worth every penny of the $27.50 price, even without any sides - we've made it at home and it's our favorite but the real thing was better - probably the birds and resting longer before serving....).

                Our waiter was just awesome - a real experienced professional (which seems to be getting rarer based on recent experiences...) - always there and helpful, but never at all intrusive - his wine recommendation was spot on (a hearty Chablis with some age on it ) - and the entire wine list is really interesting as well as very fairly priced by the glass, half bottle or bottle.

                The spicy halibut with clam roast was perfectly cooked and super tasty - my only gripe is that it had TWO tiny littlenecks - they were good, but that's only a garnish - it shouldn't be part of the dish name. The braised greens were also a small, tasty afterthought sort of like another garnish. The perfect sauce required dipping of the fresh, soft Iggy's olive rolls and Francese slices.

                Ours broccoli side was delicious. The garlicky roasted potatoes were very ordinary and could use some attention to both seasoning and cooking - they were fine, just not special like almost everything else served.

                Appetizers were the scallops - aggressively seared (almost black in spots, but not burnt) and delicious,. as well as the tiny duck meatballs - three golf ball size tasty morsels in rich sherry sauce.

                We shared pumpkin cheesecake for dessert along with a memorable glass of Sauternes. It was a cheesecake lover's dessert (great for my wife!) but the pumpkin was mostly for color / texture I guess (couldn't really taste it - bummer for me). The tart, spiced cranberry compote with it was a perfect pairing to the rich sweet dessert (and wine).

                We were able to watch Chef Gordon working away all night - the high quality and consistency that have kept this a top spot forever in Boston were completely evident throughout our experience. We look forward to a return much sooner than it took to get here initially - in fact, we'll probably take our NYC-born francophile relatives with terrific palates here the next time they visit.

                Hamersley's Bistro
                553 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116