May 10th, 2008

Eastern Standard, Kenmore Square

We took R's parents out to dinner at Eastern Standard for Mother's day. The space is lovely; large and roomy with high ceilings and a beautiful marble bar. We were seated a large leather booth (love booths). For appetizers, I had a frisee salad with poached egg, sweetbreads, bacon and hazelnuts. R had escargot (he can't resist ordering snails, he even passed up the calamari!), and his parents got shrimp cocktail and a green salad (boring). I enjoyed my salad, although there were too many hazelnuts going on. R's escargot were delicious, they came de-shelled in a bowl of garlic lemon butter and a hunk of French bread for dipping. The lemon was a departure from classic escargot recipe and I loved the acid and complexity it gave the dish.

Instead of one entree, I ordered two appetizers for dinner. I had the salt cod fritters and roasted bone marrow (both highly recommended on chowhound). R had the rib-eye (of course), Skip had the steak frites and Lenore ordered a stuffed artichoke. The cod fritters excellent. It was well fried and the cod and potato made a very creamy and fluffy center. Roasted bone marrow is not a dish for everyone, but for those who enjoy offal and the like, roasted bone marrow is fantastic. It's like meat butter. You spread it on a toasted baguette with a little whole grain mustard and salt and it's heavenly. R's ribeye was good, but uninteresting. Skip said his hanger steak was on the tough side. I also thought his fries were cutting too thin. The outer leaves of Lenore's artichoke were also tough, but the inside leaves and the stuffing were good. Her dish came with sauteed broccoli rabe with I couldn't stop eating.

Eastern Standard is very generous with the dessert portions. I tried to order the black forest cake, but they were still baking it, so instead I got the confectioner's plate with a changing daily assortment of desserts. All the desserts were $7, and this plate was $9, so I didn't expect it to be much bigger than a regular dessert. I was so wrong. My plate came with a huge walnut fudge brownie, a rhubarb crumble, 2 jam cookies and a chocolate covered toffee. It would have been enough for all four of us. The brownie was the best dessert, hands down. It was so rich and decadent. I need to get my hands on this recipe. The rhubarb was a nice contrast of sweet and tart on a tender pastry. The toffee was also good. The jam cookies were dry. R had the Creme Burlee. It had a nice crisp sugar top and the custard was the correct texture, temperature and had good vanilla flavor. Skip's strawberry shortcake was unremarkable and I thought Lenore's Zeppole was too doughy.

Service was attentive and the bread basket had an assortment of French rolls (which were warm!) and other bread. I really enjoyed our meal. I will definitely be back. There's a bunch of other menu item I want to try: mussels, calamari and my friend Billy mentioned that their burger is really good, so I'll get that next time, too.