Dinner with a group of 10 friends at the Birch Street Bistro last night was a very enjoyable experience. The restaurant is right across the street from the Roslindale T stop. As noted by MichaelB, the space is great (and the flatware really is nice!). Given the never-ending nasty weather, we ate inside, but the patio looked extremely pleasant.
We started with a couple bottles of prosecco. All of the wine is chosen by the owner of the little wine shop in Milton, near Mattapan Square. Also had a bottle of Alsation white and a bottle of Australian merlot -- sorry I don't remember more details. The wine list was thoughtfully chosen, with most bottles under $30.
Everyone was interested in the duck confit springrolls, so we shared two orders of the springrolls and the cheese plate to start. Both were great. Lots of nice crispy duck, with a great noodle accompaniment -- pleasantly spicy. The cheeses were from Formaggio and well chosen.
A couple of people had the beef spareribs, which were tender and enjoyable, if not spectacular. The vegetarian dish was great -- mushroom strudel with red and golden beets. The gnocchi were nice and light, with a number of tender prawns, if I'm not mixing up dishes. A hamburger was thick and juicy. A stuffed chicken breast dish was nice, if a tad dry. However, it came with a 3 grain side dish, which was great -- very nutty and crunchy. I had the pink peppercorn crusted tuna, cooked rare as ordered, and very very tasty. Not quite up to East Coast Grill, but not too far behind, although ECG's sides are much better. We shared a molten chocolate cake and a creme brulee. Both were good, if not spectacular. But then, I'm not much of a dessert person, so don't necessarily take my word for it.
Prices top out around $22 for a steak (which none of us had), and start at $11 for the hamburger. Our waiter was friendly and efficient. He handled our large party well, and was patient with our birthday festivities. Overall, this is a great neighborhood restaurant serving consistently good food. I can't wait to try it again when the patio is open.