I met up with some friends at Branch Line in the Arsenal Complex. I was looking forward to catching up with friends as well as the food. Overall, I really liked it but I don't think it's a destination kind of place. It's a great addition to the neighborhood.
From a few reviews, I thought I would have a hard time finding it. But, it was surprisingly easy. It's on the back side of Panera. I came down Arsenal (mall on left) and took the first left into the complex. Continue straight and then turn right. It's on the right hand side with plenty of parking. I think the garage is straight ahead.
There is a heated porch but the inside seating area was smaller then anticipated. Big bar. Big bummer is that it's wine and beer only, no cocktails. Red glasses of wine were listed from mildest to full bodies. I think none were over $10.
Food. It was hard to narrow down and we had to take one thing off the list (grilled whole branzino, sniff).
Fried cheese balls - size of tater tots and mouth poppable deliciousness.
Cukes in cream - ok
Snap pea salad with marcona almonds - this was fantastic. The whole salad was shredded which gave it a different spin.
Grilled avocado with stuff - also so delicious.
Half a grilled chicken - after the accolades, this was a disappointment to me. While tasty, the grilled chicken at Shepard is significantly better.
Whole grilled cauliflower - another hit. Nicely charred and it was crisp and soft in all the right places.
Olive oil cake with Sophia's honey yogurt - pretty good. I think I would have been more wowed if I didn't have Sophia's yogurt in my own fridge.
Salted caramel ice cream with hazelnut crumble - also really good. I could have had a bowl of that hazelnut crumble on its own. The ice cream really was the vehicle to get that crunchy salty sweet goodness.
All in all , I was really happy with the meal. If I did it again, I would lose the cukes and the chicken, get the grilled branzino and double up on the avocado and sugar snap peas.