I dined with several friends at Journeyman in Union Square this weekend. Full disclosure: I *just slightly* know one of the owners, although not more than to just nod hello on the street.
First of all, the space is gorgeous, inside and out. The giant wooden panels on one wall, with the hanging garden in front of the floor-to-ceiling window on another, combined to make the space feel both sleekly modern and welcoming, not an easy trick to pull off. The only complaint I had about the decor was that for those sitting against one wall, the lights from the open kitchen were kind of harsh.
To start, we wanted a bottle of white, and the (friendly, knowledgeable) server recommended a bottle that was perfectly crisp and dry, exactly what we wanted. At $25, it was very reasonably priced as well.
I ordered the three-course vegetarian menu. It started off with a lovely amuse-bouche of "hot tomato, cold tomato" - a chilled wedge of green zebra tomato on top of a warm tomato confit. The sweetness of the confit worked really well against the tartness of the tomato. We were also brought a complimentary shot of beer that was bright and fresh - I wish I remembered what the waitress told us about it.
The appetizer was an egg custard, with fried shallots on top and diced preserved duck egg (white and yolk separate). The silkiness of the custard made a great foil for the crispiness of the tiny fried shallots.
The entree was stunning - grilled hen of the woods mushrooms alongside agnolotti filled with pureed eggplant and garlic and topped with a dash of wheat foam. Sophisticated and delicious.
The dessert's flavors were "plum, lime, coffee", and the plate had several different confections (from meringue to ice cream to a poached plum) that incorporated them. It was quite good, but my favorite part of dessert was the plate of tiny cookies they brought to our table afterward. There was a quarter-sized sugar/butter cookie, a little cube of something like preserved apricot, and a tiny, round morsel of warm chocolate cake. All three were incredible, the perfect way to end the meal.
They're still working out some kinks - we had to ask for forks for our appetizers, although after that everything came smoothly, and the appetizer we were told we were getting (polenta) wasn't what actually came out (egg custard). But overall, I would say they're doing a phenomenal job for their first week in business. I will definitely be returning.
9 Sanborn Ct, Somerville, MA 02143
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