Last night I found myself at Magoun's Saloon in Somerville (Magoun Square) for the first time. They're running 'Italian Night' specials every Wednesday in November, and the menu looked pretty ambitious for a place that appeared to be a regular pub - oxtail ragu, chicken livers with a marsala sauce, seafood risotto... not normally the kind of stuff I'd expect to see next to burgers and nachos.
Anyhow, my love of chicken livers compelled me to order the dish ($8). It was awesome. Would not have been out of place at a higher-end establishment, and I wouldn't have blinked had it being 50% more in cost. The chicken livers were cornmeal-crusted, probably fried (oh man, tasty), and piled on top of a vol-au-vent puff pastry, with pearl onions and a marsala gravy. The whole shebang was topped with a pile of microgreens, and there was some mashed potato on the side.
Super delicious, really well-made, and totally exceeded my expectations. I was sad I couldn't also try the house-made gnocchi with oxtail ragu ($6 for a half portion, $12 for a whole) or pumpkin ravioli with sage and brown butter ($6/$12).
We also got the nachos with chicken and guacamole - I liked the house-made tortilla chips, but the nachos weren't the best I've had - good fresh salsa and guac, but no cheese to speak of, and not very good chip-coverage with the toppings. And I tried the mac and cheese, which my friends rave about... it was tasty, but more like a macaroni and bechamel than what I think about when I think about mac and cheese... pretty mild (but creamy) flavor.
Bonus points to the waitress for being able to explain every beer on tap, and for serving each beer in an appropriate glass.
I will definitely be back, and hope to make it on another Wednesday in November!