Just returned from my short Cambridge/Boston trip.
Alive n Kickin lobster sandwich: delish. Great coffee at Peet's.
Dolphin Seafood - meh. Split the special appetizer "Rhode Island calamari", presumably meant to be a portion for one person: about 1.5 lbs. of battered calamari & hot peppers - the latter being a nice touch, but the batter was tasteless and so there was a lot of (bitching and moaning on my side) dipping into a decent tartar sauce. But still.... that portion was just ridonkulous.
Split a "Fisherman's Platter", advertised as flounder, scallops, and jumbo shrimp. Chose the "Greek-style" prep with hints of lemon, no discernible amount of oregano, parsley, and olive oil. Feh.
The scallops were bay scallops with their muscles still attached, the fish was bland, the shrimp overdone.
Not blaming anyone on the Boston board. Twas a rec from a generally reliable west coast CH who hadn't been there in 10 years or so. Things change, shit happens.
East Coast Grill dinner - a-ok. The portions are incredibly large, the chipotle-glazed chicken livers were battered, unfortunately, so we weren't able to finish them; the pork and shrimp dumplings were pretty awesome, as were the Buffalo shrimp.
Split the NY strip steak which was waay overdone, but we didn't feel like returning it as we were dining with a group of friends whose mains were fine.
The absolute highlight, however, was our dinner at Erbaluce on Friday night. While the room in the back seems a bit bare and the tables are pretty closely crowded together, the bar had a really nice atmosphere.
We had two special cocktails, the man had some sparkling citrus concoction with Champagne, mine was with grappa, lavender something, rosemary, and lime - lovely, both of them.
While sitting at the bar, we saw two mains being served next to us - a walnut & parmesan-crusted bavette steak and the special of the day: rabbit with root vegetables, sautéed bitter greens, and a sauce made with rabbit liver. It looked so amazing I HAD to get that one. But I'm getting ahead of myself here.
We moved to the table where we were served their relatively dense bread along with a white bean mousse that was light as air & delicious.
Our very nice server recited the specials WITH THE PRICE!!! I thought $36 for the rabbit was a bit much, but that didn't stop me from ordering it.
The man had speck with organic apples, mint, and sesame oil as an appetizer (tasty combo!), I chose the special appetizer: whole scallop served on the shell with its roe, ring, and all that jazz topped with a fresh & sun-dried tomato salsa. The salsa was very rich tasting, almost crustacean-ish with a hit of saffron. Outstanding.
My rabbit was probably the best rabbit I ever had - crispy skin, the breast stuffed with some sage and a farce with rabbit liver, the greens were lovely and the parsnips were nice, too.
My man's gnocchi were pretty amazing. I'm not a fan of gnocchi, even tho I consider it the perfect diet food: I have two and am usually full. But these were almost like gnocchi soufflés - light and fluffly, and the ragout rich and deeply flavored.
For dessert, we split a citrus tart with almond cream and a pink peppercorn honey sauce.
This was probably my best meal this year so far.
Thanks to everyone who made it happen, and I'll be glad to return the favor should you hounds ever make it across the big pond!!
East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
1105 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116