Thursday, September 13, 2012

West Bridge and the Friendly Toast, Kendall Square

Now that I'm officially back in Boston for graduate school, it only makes sense that I start posting more about my dining escapades out and about in Beantown. 

One late night, Michael and I made the trek to One Kendall Square (I found this to be quite a walk from the Red Line T stop) to try out West Bridge. Their food can be best categorized by the ambiguous "new American" or as American tapas/ small plates. Regardless of the name, I was thoroughly impressed. Their stuff is delicious. 

We started off with complementary chilled melon soup, which was the seasonal amuse bouche. I hear that it used to be crab toast, which sounds mouthwateringly good. But anyways, check out the photo below of the bread basket. Why is that amount of butter necessary? Given that it's nicely creamed and all, but still. Talk about excessive. Moving on. 

We decided to share a handful of appetizers because were were quite set on heading to the Friendly Toast for dessert. We started with the cauliflower, which left me quite speechless. It was charred with bone marrow and served with verjus grapes and sherry vinaigrette. Honestly, I've never had such delicious cauliflower in my life. Be back soon for more. 

The duck liver terrine was a simple dish served with toast and puffed chickpeas. The spread was very rich and buttery, and they did a great pairing of apple sauce with it. 

The egg in a jar was such a delight. It was, as titled, a duck egg in a jar with pomme puree (pureed potatoes), hen of the woods (a mushroom), and crisp duck skin. In short, it was a glorified modern shepherd's pie. In long, it was a deliciously layered dish featuring a mixture of textures. The crispy duck skin offered great bursts of flavors with every bite, and the liquidy egg yolk brought it all together. Damn, it was good.   

Most creative? Definitely the calamari "tonerelli." Think pasta, except it's made with shredded calamari. Now toss that with whelks, cockles, and juicy sweet 100's (tomatoes) in a fragrant wine and garlic sauce. Are you drooling yet? 

I've been aching to return to West Bridge, and I'm sure I will soon. But just a quick side question: why are all the diners over the age of 40? I'm sure the younger set would definitely appreciate the innovation and flavors here as well! 

Chilled melon soup

Bread and butter

Cauliflower and duck liver terrine

Egg in a jar and Calamari "Tonerelli"
West Bridge
One Kendall Square
Cambridge, MA 02141

As I mentioned, we saved some of our stomachs so we could get some French toast at the Friendly Toast. I think it was close to midnight by this point, and we were the only diners in the sizable joint, but it was pleasant eating in an empty retro-themed diner.

I was really tempted to get the pumpkin pancakes, but I settled for the anadama (a classic New England bread made with oatmeal and molasses) French toast with vanilla ice cream, and Michael got the same but with cinnamon-raisin bread. I don't know which one I preferred more! The anadama makes great French toast, but it wasn't quite as flavorful or spiced as the cinnamon-raisin. But whatever, the matter is that I love any place that serves breakfast all day.

Note: do not order the strawberry milk. It tastes artificial beyond belief.

Interestingly curated kind of forced retro decor
Late night french toast a la mode! 
So friendly! 

The Friendly Toast 
1 Hampshire Street
Cambridge, MA 02141

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