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Restaurants & Bars 3

Rapscallions, Acton, Massachusetts

garnetmemory | Jun 10, 2016 12:02 PM

Rapscallions is a hidden gem in Acton.

Friends and I had a 6:45 reservation here on a Friday in late May. I arrived first and the place was BUSY. It took a few minutes to get seated but the hostess (I think she is the owners' mom) brought me to a table in the back room. It seemed fine but the sun was right in my eyes and there were no curtains to block the light. At the table next to me was a young couple with a cute baby who was mostly well behaved. When the rest of my party arrived the sun was completely blinding. The hostess offered to hang a menu in the window as a way to deal with the situation. Accommodating, yes, but in such a pretty location, blinds or shutters would be a nice touch.

I think our waiter's name was Ben and he was very welcoming. We have a tendency to over order apps. We got the cornbread, the twice smoked beef loaded potato skins, the chick pea fritters and the chicken wings.

Between the baby's screaming and the need for sunglasses, I decided to ask for another table. As I said, the place was busy but they were very understanding and moved us.

It took a while for apps to arrive but when they did we devoured them. The honey butter and jalapeno jelly were perfect with the cornbread but the bread itself was . . . off. It was served in a small cast iron skillet but the skillet was cold and the bottom crust had none of the crunchy texture you'd get from a well made cornbread baked in a hot skillet. The smoked beef was fantastic. So flavorful and moist with crispy potatoes, cheese and sour cream. More please!

Also wonderful were the chickpea fritters served on a well flavored tomato sauce. In my mind I was expecting something more like falafel but these were more like soft billowy pancakes. Delicious. With a small side salad they'd make a great meat free lunch. Finally the wings. I am not a chicken wing person. Never have been. They seem like a waste to me. Too much work for not a lot of meat. If you are not a wing person either, definitely try these. Huge, moist and with the perfect amount of smoke.

For mains we ordered the smoked salmon burger, the strawberry arugula salad with steak tips, a lobster grilled cheese (hold the lobster) and the steak tips frites. I loved the salmon burger. Great flavor, still moist and really unique. My dining partner did ask for the red pepper aioli on the side. That note didn't make it to the kitchen. With the long wait for apps and then for dinner, he didn't want to wait for it to be remade. I still thought it was good, but it was disappointing that it was not served as he ordered it. I was told the salad was good. I did taste the grilled cheese and it was crispy and melty yumminess. The lobster bisque that comes with it had a strange flavor. After all the apps and tasting everyone else's food, I was really too full to eat the steak frites. The few bites I had were tasty but the meat was tough. I wanted to look at the dessert menu but it was getting late, so that is something to look forward to enjoying next time.

One of the owner's did stop over to say hello and answered some questions about private parties. He was very friendly and approachable, As mentioned the hostess was obliging to our request. The servers were polite, friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. I loved the outside seating area. It has a laid back vibe and looks like the perfect spot for a summer cocktail.

Overall I loved this place and we went back two weeks later. We sat in a room with no direct sun, so a definite plus. We ordered the pulled beef potato skins again and they were just as good. Another order of the smoked wings was a hit. The lamb short ribs were tender but the tzaztiki was the star.

I loved the pulled beef so much I ordered it as a sandwich for dinner. My table mates ordered the blue cheese salad, the fish and chips and the tacos. After we were seated another four-top sat next to us. When food came out, the runners brought it to the other table instead of to us. Oops! Turned out there was some confusion because the other table ordered exactly what we did.

Once that was sorted out, dinner was delicious. This time we ordered dessert - a chocolate cheesecake and a riff on a strawberry short cake. Make sure to save room.

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