Last month my friends and I planned a girls’ weekend getaway to historic Boston.
One of the many activities we crammed into our 2-day soiree was dinner out on the town. At the suggestion of my husband, I booked reservations at Eastern Standard on Kenmore Square – within spitting distance of Fenway Park.
For me, the instant appeal of Eastern Standard was its concept – Old School New England food in a hip environment with a classic Prohibition Era cocktail menu.
After a boisterous and harried cab ride across this compact city, we were swiftly and deftly deposited at the front door of Eastern Standard. We walked in and I instantly got excited about the decor. To the left of the entrance was a fabulous tiled wall piece with classic starlets from the 1930’s and 1940’s – instant mood setter. Huge glass globe lanterns were suspended above the dining area and there were lipstick red banquettes. Love!
Greeted, seated and menu’d, we immediately dove in to see what this place would offer us. While my posse started exploring the dining options, I immediately dove into the cocktail menu and started absorbing ingredients:
Tarragon, St. Germain, Absinthe, cardamom, Medjool date, Chartreuse, compounded bitters, allspice, raw egg…
Oh joy! I hadn’t seen this exciting of a cocktail menu since the last time I hit NYC!
We each ordered 2 rounds of unique cocktails. The favorite of the night was by far The Pink Lady – one of the raw egg potions. When it was ordered, we were informed by our server that the bartenders always get excited when someone is brave enough to order off the “ceuf” section of the cocktail menu.
On to the food.
Immediately after being seated we were the recipients of a wonderful dish of complimentary pickled veggie goodness. A far cry from the tired old bread and butter service indeed. Appetizers included fresh Alaskan King Crab legs and a Fisee aux Lardons salad.
Being the wife of an executive chef guarantees that I am a food snob by osmosis alone and usually the most adventurous of my friends when it comes to dining. The Frisee aux Lardons was no exception. This salad featured hazlenuts, a poached egg, and (gasp!) sweetbreads.
At last! The perfect opportunity to experience what some might consider an extreme food. And I have to admit the little devil on my left shoulder did a back handspring of joy at the idea of coaxing my friends into trying sweetbreads and finding they liked it without ever knowing what it was.
~insert maniacal laugh here~
If you don’t know, as my poor, unsuspecting friends didn’t know, sweetbreads are the thymus (throat, gullet, or neck sweetbread) and the pancreas (heart, stomach, or belly sweetbread) of the calf and lamb. But guess what. Every single one of them loved the sweetbreads.
Every item ordered off the menu was exceptionally prepared and thorougly enjoyed. Definitely stop by Eastern Standard the next time you find yourself in Beantown. Be sure to check out the raw bar menu and the raw bar kitchen near the back of the establishment.