We had a lovely dinner with the in-laws tonight at Gargoyles on the Square in Davis Square in Somerville. Although it's been around for a while, a fine dining place next to Rosebud diner and across from Anna's taqueria seems out of place.
To start, I had the “Slow Cooked Kurobuta Bacon”
Apparently Kurobuta Pork is Japanese black hog, also known as Berkshire pork. Our waiter described how the pigs are only corn fed and “massaged with saki.” Now, is that while they are alive, or after they are dead, cut up in to chunks? Well, whatever they did to this pig, it was damn good. The plate arrived with a hunk of bacon, the size of a small filet mignon. I've seen entrees smaller than the size of this appetizer. It wasn't anything like a traditional strip of bacon, but more like a pork tenderloin, braised gently and covered in a crispy skin. It reminded me of the bacon and scallop appetizer I had at 51 Lincoln for my birthday. That bacon was a single perfect bacon bite, this was a bacon steak. Hubby got baby calamari stuffed with oxtail (it's been a oxtail filled week, hasn't it?). It was okay, a little bland in flavor. It was my least favorite out of all the apps. My mother-in-law, Lenore, got the Buttermilk Fried Chicken “Oysters”, it came with a red velvet waffle. Nothing like chicken and waffles. The red velvet waffle was interesting, as I think they may have just used a red velvet cake batter in a waffle iron. The chicken, despite being white meat, was flavorful and fried well. My father-in-law, Skip, had thai curry mussels. The mussels were tender, but I didn't try the curry sauce so I can't really give a full opinion on this one. The portions on all the apps were huge. I think CMB would have been much happier dining here than
On to the entrees. . .Lenore had the “signature” Hoisin & Honey Glazed Duck Confit, Skip had the
Grilled Kobe Skirt Steak, Hubby had a Veal Steak and I ordered the Grilled Rare Tuna. Everyone's entree came, except for mine, and when it did show up, it was the chicken. I let the waiter know that I had ordered the tuna and he left the chicken for me to nibble on while I waited for the tuna. I seldom order chicken in restaurants (JH and Casa de la Pedro being the exceptions). I hate white meat chicken, I think it's dry and tasteless. Plus, I can roast a mean chicken, so why go to a nice restaurant and order something I can do more to my liking at home? But this chicken was surprisingly decent, the breast side was still a little dry, but the dark meat was tender, moist and infused with smoky flavor. It's a good thing my tuna arrived when it did, or else I would have finished the dark meat.
The skirt steak entree was my favorite, it was tender, and so flavorful. The best part is it came with waffle fries! I love waffle fries! I kept sneaking them off of Skip's plate. The duck was also excellent; on par with the duck at Icarus. Hubby's veal steak and my tuna were both good, but, nothing special.
We got two desserts to share; Butterscotch cake with black truffle ice cream, and a trio of creme burlees; amaretto, bailey's and grand marnier. The black truffle ice cream was unique, as Hubby put it: “it was like eating ice cream, with an aftertaste of dirt.” I tried to convince him that it was “earthy,” to which he countered, “and what is the earth made of?” Touche. The burlees (hey, not a bad name for a band) had nice flavor, but the consistency of the custard was too liquidy for me. I don't want my creme burlee to drip off my spoon.
I really enjoyed our meal, service was good (other than the entree mix-up, but I didn't mind) and refreshingly generous portions. The only thing that was strange was how empty the restaurant was. We were there from 7-9:30 and there were never more than 4 other tables. I know it's the slow summer season, but on a friday night?
I'm going to guess Hubby and I will be back soon, I've read that the burger served on the bar menu is terrific, and there nothing he loves more than a good burger (and pancakes).