Has anyone been to "Kitchen" yet?
...in the old "Pops" space? I apologize if there have been threads on this, but I just did a search and couldn't find anything..which seems odd to me as I know they've been open around a month.
The concept seemed a little gimmick-y to me (highlighting old yet 'classic' recipes) but since it is in a prime location I'd be up for giving it a try ...but would love to hear what some who have been there already think.
Oddly, a friend of mine from the DC area is in town for business, and he just raved about Kitchen on Facebook: "What a cool concept: courses and cocktails sourced from cookbooks from the 1600s through the early 20th century. I had mock turtle soup from a 19th century recipe (turns out it was made from beef tongue and cheek -- super rich), and roast chicken, along with a bunch of cocktails I don't remember (and which my employer didn't pay for). Anyhow, "Kitchen" in Boston -- yum!"
I tend to trust his tastes (in food: his taste in pop music is a bit dodgy), so I'm officially more interested in trying this place.
As far as atmosphere, not too much has changed from when it was Pop's, but I found it to be more welcoming than Pop's. Kitchen seems like a natural progression for Scott Herritt from Marliave ( which I'm also a fan of). The concept shows restraint without being kitchy ( sorry couldn't help myself). It seems that Scott took to heart some valuable lessons learned from the opening of Marliave, which had a few minor hiccups, while he gained a broader understanding of the Boston dining "audience". The cookware some of the dishes are served in is beautiful.
The cocktail program is inline with Marliave, solid period recipes executed very well by the bar staff. For not being open all too long, I found the FOH and the kitchen to be firing on all cylinders, granted we were seated early on a Friday evening (a little before 6:00), but usually, if there is going to be a food or staff issue, it will make itself evident whether the place is empty or slammed.
I was really impressed with the menu, it takes some bold chances in not compromising with its historical ties. I was dining with a couple whom I don't know all that well food-wise, so Kitchen as a dining recommendation was a bit of a gamble, but as it turns out, they were very pleased with the choice.
On to the food. To my mind, at first blush, the menu seems as though it would be a bit more at home during the Autumn or Winter, but that's just picking a nit. For apps we shared steak tatare, a dozen Wellfleets ( from 5:00 to 6:00 $16 a dozen) and the Billi Bi (mussels in saffron cream). Welfleets were great, no shell and plenty of the requisite liquor intact. The tartare, competent and well executed, solid. The BilliBi was nicely refined, the mussles are severed without shells and the cream sauce was nicely balanced, the saffron didn't smack you in the face, but you know it's there. This could be a meal for someone who is not overly hungry, served with a nicely seasoned piece of garlic bread.
I chose two apps for my meal, the mock turtle soup ( this could also me a light meal) and Under Glass, it's description on the menu "Mushrooms, Oxtail. Eric's cheddar cheese toast" really doesn't do this dish justice. There's a variety of perfectly cooked moist and meaty mushrooms served, wait for it, under glass, and when presented table-side, the glass is lifted and a wonderful mushroom "smoke" wafts across the table. The accompanying oxtail was pretty darned luscious.The mock turtle soup was a substantial dish as well, almost bordering on a stew.
Others chose the Tournedos Rossini (Tenderloin, foie Gras, black truffle and madiera sauce). They could have been a tad more generous with the foie, but I'm from the camp of when it comes to foie, more is better. The madiera sauce was luscious, not sharp or acidic, wine sauces can be so hit or miss. The side of creamed spinach was creamy, cheesy wonderfulness.
"Pork and Beans", lots of protein on the plate, not quite a M vs.F challenge, but a sizable portion. The ribs were fall off the bone tender, there were "oohs and aahs" over the sausage, but I didn't get to try the offal meatball.
The last dish was the Lamb Pie, which I didn't get to try, but at the end of the meal, the dish was as clean as it was coming out of the dishwasher, so thats gotta say something.
We all shared two creme brûlées for desert, a nice thick crunchy top ( not a wimpy whisper) and very solid.
Pricing is in-line with Boston/ SE prices, apps $10-$15, entries at $16-$32. Wait staff was attentive and knowledgeable with a nice balance of making sure dishes were cleared appropriately while not being distracting, the pace of the dishes out of the kitchen was spot on, so yeah, I'll be back.
BTW http://www.kitchenbostonmass.com (it's a bitch to find using your favorite search engine).
Just returned from a brunch on the patio of Kitchen. The three of us wound up ordering more or less straightforward dishes (mushroom omelette, scrambled eggs with bacon, breakfast sandwich (toad in the hole toast, cheese, bacon). Very generous portions, piles of shoestring fries, we were all pretty pleased. They do have menu items like the mock turtle soup, billi bi, a beef eggs hollandaise and others which we were intrigued by, but didn't order. Maybe next time.
They didn't have the usual sweet brunch items like waffles or pancakes on the menu at all. I found that odd. They do have some items listed under desserts, such as doughnuts.