Venerable Somerville bistro Gargoyles on the Square has freshened up its menu, putting a new emphasis on small plates and hearty mains that provide a lot for the price. Word is that Chef Jason Santos’ food is still good.

“Wow,” says natecsd, who particularly liked the black truffle arancini over a cauliflower purée: “Perfectly fried arancini that were rich, tempered by slightly pickled veggies and a yummy purée.” The half chicken over preserved lemon polenta with “a wealth” of wild mushrooms was “also fabulous … These were substantial portions, with nary an off-note. Probably the best table of entrées I’ve had in the Boston area in a while (allowing for a superstar entrée here and there), and for an average of $20 per entrée, an amazing value,” says natecsd.

Avoid the lobster tacos, which are getting no love on the boards. “Just OK,” says kate used to be 50, while natecsd says they are “strangely not as flavorful as expected.” Instead, order the tomato soup, served with what the menu calls a “flight of grilled cheese” but kate terms “three small grill cheese on rye (my preferred bread especially with grilled cheese).” nate also champions the scallop appetizer, “with a heavenly and hefty slice of slab bacon in the middle.”

Drinks are not up to the pristine cocktails of Eastern Standard, Craigie, or Drink, advises nate, but the Rob Roy and Gargoyle’s Vesper are both good. To end the meal, nate suggests the butterscotch fondant with black truffle ice cream and the “simply enormous” cheese plate: “Two cheeses, a pile of poached, jammy figs, a large portion of candied nuts (cashews, almonds, hazelnuts), a larger portion of grapes, and a very yummy dish of truffled honey. This plate alone would have fed our entire table.”

Oh, and one last thing: the new bar menu does still have the duck fat french fries.

Gargoyles on the Square [Somerville]
219 Elm Street, Somerville

Board link: Gargoyle’s new menu?

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