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Five Horses Tavern, Somerville

There have been 4 restaurants in the last 8 years in this Davis Square space. Five Horses hopes that with their upscale comfort food (I’m sick of the term gastropub) and large craft beer list, it will break the curse of 400 Highland Ave.
 
There was a 10 minute wait on a busy Thursday night; the place was loud and hopping. Steve and I tried an array of food. There was a tasty pork belly taco that had pickled onions for contrast and a spicy sauce. The buttermilk fried chicken tenders were listed under appetizers but the 5 large pieces would have been enough for an entrée. I thought they were good, solid chicken tenders: moist, crispy and I liked the buttermilk scallion dipping sauce (although strangely served in a small plastic cup).  Steve, the chicken lover, thought they were okay, but nothing notable. The papas fritas were excellent (albeit a little overly salty); fingerling potatoes, with a crispy exterior and a tender interior. However they decided to drench half the plate in red pepper mayo – why not use another cheap plastic cup for those who don’t want their fries drowning in sauce?
 
Lastly, we shared the duck three ways. It consisted of a pan seared duck breast, confit duck leg, and a smoked sweet potato and duck stuffing, carrots and kale. The duck breast was delicious and a nice medium rare. The confit was a close second, although it, like the fries, was super salty. The stuffing was truly an abomination. I feel like the food was an insult and I would never have let that leave my kitchen, if I was the chef. The stuffing so burnt it was array of chunks indistinguishable from charcoal. The kale was saltier than the fries and confit put together. It was utterly inedible. The last time I was this offended by a dish was the Wonder bread French toast at Trina’s Starlite Lounge. I don’t care how good anything else was, if the kitchen is willing to send out that stuffing, then it’s a kitchen that doesn’t care what they are serving. It (literally) leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
 
Our server was in attentive and I resent that they charge ($4) for bread. Steve found the hipster plaid shirt uniform annoying. I have to concur. If you are in Davis Sq, hit Foundry on Elm instead, and have the spaetzle.  
 
Food: B-
Service: B-
Value: B+
Overall: B-

www.fivehorsestavern.com


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