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The Independent, Union Square Somerville: Excellent Upscale Tavern Dinner

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The Independent, Union Square Somerville: Excellent Upscale Tavern Dinner

opinionatedchef | Apr 13, 2011 12:04 AM

This small neighborhood cozy spot has seen alot of kitchen changes since opening a few yrs ago. I'm guessing that the pay must be the issue, as a number of talented young chefs seem to have passed through here pretty quickly. ( If you decide to go there in a month or two, you might want to check this thread for updates.)

We had a really good meal - 8:30 Monday night; very quiet. It's much smaller than i remember it; the non-bar side having 3 larger booths and a handful of tables and smaller booths.
I also had no recollection of the tv screens and somewhat loud rock from the bar (separated from the dining room by a half wall w/ openings.) I bet the music is not so noticeable when the room is full of diners, but I must say, the music really seemed incongruous with the food.

Highlights:
Apps:
-- ZATAR & CORIANDER CRUSTED SEARED TUNA* GRAPEFRUIT, ALFONSO OLIVES, PICKLED SALSIFY, AVOCADO PURÉE ~ 12
"A must" for the server,this odd sounding dish worked delightfully well.

- Croquettes filled w/ ham and fontina, w/ truffle aioli . I could live on these. A bit heavy, but great flavor; the fontina really came through. No need for the aioli though.( Wait, did I say that? Notary Public!)

-- BRAISED PORK CHEEKS SPAGHETTI SQUASH, PICKLED GRAPES, POMEGRANATE JUS ~ 11
You can see that the components here really reveal a good palate; the sweet and sour notes playing off the richness of the pork, with the mild earthiness and texture of the spaghetti squash.

Entree:
-- GRILLED PORK CHOP BRAISED MUSTARD GREENS, CRISPY SPATZLE, PARSNIP BUERRE BLANC ~ 18
Terrifically well balanced delightful dish. (I wonder if Cina worked somewhere w/ the chef of Foundry on Elm - their delicious spaetzle are near identical )
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Chicken pot pie was fine, v. good crust, moist chicken and root veggies, but not memorable.

Portions were very generous. For the amount and quality of the food, we felt pricing was totally reasonable. This chef, Mark Cina, is a talented fellow.

http://www.theindo.com/menus.html

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The Independent
75 Union Sq, Somerville, MA 02143

Foundry on Elm
255 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

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