We usually stay away from 'First Night' openings, but when we stopped into CLUCKIT's on Sat. night around 7, it was quiet and welcoming. (Quiet, that is, AFTER the cavalcade of loud motorbikes
blared past, through the open doors of this well-lit spot on the corner of Mass. Ave and Tremont.)
I like the idea behind this place- spicy grilled chicken , pork or shrimp, with great salads and sides.
It's sister predecessor, Estelle's, had been deep fryville, apparently, so chef/owner Brian Poe wanted some healthier and spicier hang-out food.
As I wrote on another thread, the app we started with- turned out to be the possibly hottest thing on the menu- Spicy Piri Broth with Clams and Chorizo. One bite, no, make that two, proved that it was a terrific dish in flavor and texture, but also INedible for this non-dragon mouth. I contemplated squirreling it away home, to add (9 parts)chicken broth and some lime juice but I handed it over to My Love instead and he 'finished' it, but still left behind that killer broth. I'm very interested to see (my fingers are major crossed here) if Poe decides to turn down the piri in it...... We also had the spice rubbed wings , which had a nice crust but needed, surprisingly, salt and flavor. We also had a half chicken, which was part boneless and moist,but seemed otherwise unflavored. ( DIY piri piri table sauces were Medium and 2 Super Spicy grades; I could handle the Medium when I applied it sparingly.) I know that this was the first night, and we were told that the menu and the recipes are all works in progress, allowing for surprises and new developments, so I hope they decide to grill the protein with some base of assertive flavor marinades or coatings, and then still give you the option of making it hotter with the table sauces. The fries and the cassava (yucca) fries are unexpectedly terrific. It turns out they're coated in a thin beer batter, so they are crispy and textured. I've always wanted to like cassava but I never have, before these. Wow!
Salads were definitely a highlight. It was very hard to choose between the three, but the spinach with toasted quinoa, carrots, idiziabel and sherry vinaigrette -was full of flavor and texture and healthfulness. The cuke salad was a bit heavy on onion but made a cooling companion to the spicier notes. There were ~ 9 others sides that were appealing and varied,and we look forward to trying those on our next visit.
With some time to look back on it, my thoughts are that it would be really super if they added cornbread of some type (baked, fritters etc) and refreshing sangria (for the non-beer folks). Dessert? How 'bout one great pie and some Toscanini's?
I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop at CLUCKIT; I bet youall will enjoy it.It is open wicked late, and also does Brunch.