>> Friday, August 12, 2011
Nuts, Olives, and Pickles
I'm still a long way away from being completely unpacked. Thankfully, my new place is starting to look like a real home, not just a storage facility for boxes.
It's surprisingly different living here.
Our old place faced a major road. We had completely gotten used to the background roar of subways, constant hum of city buses, and occasional shouts from the slightly inebriated spilling out of nearby bars. It gave the neighborhood character; in some ways, we never felt alone.
Our new place is on a leafy residential street which is super quiet. I couldn't get over the eerie silence that first night. It felt like I was camping in the woods, even though I was less than a 10-minute walk away from Harvard Square.
Another difference? We have less restaurants close by. Whereas before we could walk just one minute to our favorite local haunt, now we have no restaurants on our residential street. Help! What to do?
Why hello, Ten Tables! I didn't see you tucked inside that residential complex right on Craigie Street.
I'm so glad you decided just recently to add a bar and also a bar menu. The timing could not be more perfect for our move into the neighborhood.
Equinox Farm Baby Dandelion Greens with Crispy House-smoked Pork Belly, Hazelnuts & Pickled Ramp Vinaigrette
I first met David Punch at (of all places) the bar at Bergamot. David Punch is the co-owner and executive chef at Ten Tables Cambridge. The day we visited, he had just opened up the new bar and was introducing the bar menu in the form of a fun little six-course tasting menu. Of course we were curious to see what it had.
We began with a nice assortment of classic bar treats with an upscale twist (pictured at topb of post). The olives were delicious (I loved the variety), and both the seasoned nuts and pickles were house-made. The second course - pork belly dandelion greens salad (pictured above) - was also fantastic. The pork belly was cooked perfectly, and I really enjoyed the textural interplay between the crisp greens, crunchy hazelnuts, and juicy charred pork belly.
Blue Crab Beignets with Spicy Remoulade Sauce & Lemon
These little beignets were Dave's creative interpretation of a crab cake, and we both liked it a lot.
Prosciutto wrapper melon
Dave sent these out as a free mezzo - a sort of palate cleanser that came in between courses.
Vermont Rabbit Meatballs with Fava Beans, Ricotta Dumplings, Garlic Chives & Pistachio
These meatballs were hearty and flavorful, with a deep, meaty sauce that went perfectly with the house-made ricotta dumplings.
Artisanal Cheese Board with Cherry Jam & Toast
The cheese board was fun, and later we found out that Dave got some of these at Formaggio Kitchen, the famous cheese shop that Julia Child loved (and which is also now in my hood!)
Sticky Apricot Pudding with Vanilla Creme Fraiche
We absolutely fell in love with this dessert. It was dense, rich, and had a wonderful deep, caramelized flavor. It was a perfect way to end such a great meal.
I will always miss my old haunt (which was so convenient and so close). However, I am thrilled there is such an excellent place that's still so close.