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RW Report: The Independent

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Restaurants & Bars

RW Report: The Independent

craia | Aug 22, 2003 11:23 AM

We ate at the Independent in Somerville last night. Unlike other restaurants in the RW promotion, there was no special menu for this promotion. You could order any appetizer, entree, and dessert off the regular menu or the nightly specials.

For appetizers my companion had the grilled octopus, which was chewy but tasty. It was accompanied by large chick pea fries which I found bland but which he liked. I had a special appetizer, a crab and chickpea cake. It was quite large, had lots of crab, but was a bit on the salty side.

We both had lamb entrees. The rack of lamb, a special, was perfectly cooked and was accompanied by a bulgar wheat with beans, fresh figs, and carrots, I think. The Turkish lamb kebab platter from the regular menu was excellent. There was a skewer of nicely cooked lamb chunks and a skewer of a ground lamb, similar to what you'd find in a gyro. There was tatziki, roasted tomatoes, a cucumber salad, an interesting pepper/walnut/pomegranite puree, and several large pieces of delicious grilled flatbread.

Desserts were less successful. My partner had a frozen crenshaw melon mousse which I didn't find sweet enough and which was hard as a rock; he finally gave up trying to eat it. It was accompanied by a macadamia biscotti. I had the sampler assortment of gelati and sorbet. It was beautifully served in six little earthenware cups, but I didn't find the textures or flavors all that wonderful.

All in all the meal was an excellent value, and we'll likely be back. The portions are large and a couple could easily make do with splitting one appetizer and one entree. I probably wouldn't bother with dessert again. Service was friendly and helpful though a bit slow. There's a very extensive wine and liquor menu, including quite a few choices of things like single malt scotch and flavored vodkas, though we didn't sample any last night.

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