Henrietta’s Table

My favorite time of year is here… Restaurant Week! This program allows for customers to enjoy a 3-course meal for $33.12 at all participating restaurants. Some also feature a 2-course lunch for $15.12 and/or a 3-course lunch for $20.12. I tend to make reservations at restaurants that are known for their expensive menus, that way I can really get my money’s worth!  To explore the Boston area restaurant’s participating in Restaurant Week, click here: www.restaurantweekboston.com/

My second of five RW dinners was last night at Henrietta’s Table in the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square.

Bread: Three types of bread were served with a circle of butter, 2 of which were dry but the cranberry walnut slices were excellent.

Menu: Henrietta’s Table offered their full menu for Restaurant Week which included a side, and you could even choose a starter from the Specials menu (for an additional $10 you could choose a Special entrée as well). The menu differed slightly from the RW menu I found online, but this is typical for restaurants that use fresh & local ingredients. Click below to get an idea of what Henrietta’s Table is offering:
http://www.restaurantweekboston.com/restaurant/henriettas-table-at-charles-hotel/

Food/Presentation:
Heirloom Tomatoes with Arugula Pesto & Balsamic Reduction
It was between this Special Starter and another special, Tomato & Summer Vegetable Soup. I love tomatoes and as summer is inevitably winding down I decided to take advantage while this fruit is still in season and you can eat it fresh & raw. A light and tasty way to start the meal!

Swordfish with Herbed Polenta and Peppers & Onions
A small rectangular piece of swordfish was served over the herbed polenta and topped with sautéed peppers & onions. Before ordering I asked our server how the polenta was prepared (I prefer a creamy polenta over a polenta cake) and she described it perfectly as being stiff enough to hold up the fish but still soft enough to have that gritty texture. It was really excellent, a different preparation of polenta that I’ve never had and truly enjoyed.

Campfire Taza Chocolate S’mores Skillet
I was really intrigued by the Warm Blueberry Upside Down Cake but earlier in the evening I saw the S’mores Skillet walking by and just couldn’t resist! Served in a warm cast iron skillet with a mound of melting chocolate, toasted marshmallow, 2 cinnamon graham crackers, and scoop of vanilla ice cream, this dessert was heaven. My only issue is that after devouring evening you see in the photo I was left with a large piece of chocolate that didn’t quite melt; some may see this as a perk but I’m not a fan of just a plain chunk of chocolate.

Service: This service on this particular evening was a little spotty; I had to ask for bread which I hate doing, it took quite a while for our waitress to even approach our table, and the courses were served rather swiftly, which I don’t mind but I felt like we were being rushed at times. 

Overall: Henrietta’s Table is a great spot to try for Restaurant Week as it offers its full menu and then some. Along with our 3 courses we were also able to choose a side dish; I went with the Spicy Squash & Zucchini while Matt had the Mashed Potatoes – both were excellent. The sangria however (consisting of Pinot Grigio, Bacardi Rum, Creme de Cassis, sparkling wine, cranberry juice, fresh squeezed orange juice, sugar, mixed berries) tasted like a fruity alcoholic drink gone wrong – way too sweet, extremely disappointing. We sat outside on their patio (on a perfect summer evening) so I didn’t fully experience the dining room. We did walk through the restaurant and it’s quite casual, you almost feel as though you’re having dinner at someone’s kitchen table. A relaxed and rustic setting for a low-key date night or a family dinner.

Spicy Squash & Zucchini, Mashed Potatoes

Spicy Squash & Zucchini, Mashed Potatoes

Sangria

Sangria

The Perfect Bite: Graham cracker dipped in melted chocolate with a scoop of toasted marshmallow.

http://www.henriettastable.com

For more photos & descriptions of what everyone in my party ate, visit my Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/ThePerfectBiteBoston
Or follow me on Instagram and Twitter! Search ThePerfectBiteBoston…

 

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Bambara

My favorite time of year is here… Restaurant Week! This program allows for customers to enjoy a 3-course meal for $33.12 at all participating restaurants. Some also feature a 2-course lunch for $15.12 and/or a 3-course lunch for $20.12. I tend to make reservations at restaurants that are known for their expensive menus, that way I can really get my money’s worth!  To explore the Boston area restaurant’s participating in Restaurant Week, you can find the full list here: www.restaurantweekboston.com/

 

My first of 4 RW dinners was last night at Bambara in Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge.

Bread: Four rustic rolls were served with softened salted butter. The couple we dined with arrived before us and received the bread before we sat; my roll was a little hard and not warm, but perhaps it was when it was served? It was still good and I of course ate the entire thing.

Menu: It seemed as though Bambara was offering their full menu for Restaurant Week as there were many options for each course. For the 1st course you could choose between the Salad and Appetizer section which complicated my decision making, in a good way. See Bambara’s full Restaurant Week menu here: www.restaurantweekboston.com/restaurant/bambara-at-hotel-marlowe/

Food/Presentation:
Spicy Tuna Tartare: avocado puree, waffled potato crisps
A square of tuna came topped with a dollop of avocado puree and a bowl full of salty waffle chips. The “spicy” component came from the sliver of red (maybe sriracha) sauce in the center. The chips were unfortunately too thin to pick up the tuna on their own and kept breaking! Otherwise this was a great start to the meal.

Summer Vegetable Fricassee: heirloom tomatoes, Verrill Farm sweet corn, local mild chilies, roasted zucchini, baby leeks, crispy polenta, herbs
This dish was so scrumptious! The “crispy polenta” was actually warm and soft underneath all of the vegetables, almost like a potato cake. The corn was crisp and fresh, and leeks were so flavorful, and the sauce has a great consistency without being too creamy. Great veggie entrée!

Bread Pudding: caramelized bananas, creme anglaise, caramel
This was not your typical bread pudding. I was initially slightly disappointed at the sight of it, but after one bite I immediately changed my mind. The dessert was more of a pound cake/banana bread type, topped with sugary banana slices and drizzled with caramel. I wouldn’t call it bread pudding, but whatever it was, it was delicious.

Bathroom: This restroom wasn’t part of Bambara, as the restaurant is in the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge. The restroom is in the hotel’s lobby and therefore did not reflect the character or style of Bambara. However I did love the shutter stall doors and automatic soap dispenser and sinks.

Service: Our server was present when he needed to be and helped my friend choose the Salmon which was the “Catch of the Week” over the Pan Roasted Cod. Our water glasses were filled regularly and he checked on us throughout the meal. 

Overall: Restaurant Week wise, I recommend Bambara based on the wide variety of options and excellent quality of food. The portions were appropriate for a 3-course meal; some may say the desserts were small but after a full app & entrée I was delighted by the medium slice of banana “bread pudding” and multiple-bite sized Caramel Date Cake. Another plus, we parked in the Cambridge Side Galleria for $3.99! You won’t find that pricing in a Boston lot/garage.

The Perfect Bite: Soft polenta, crisp corn, baby leek… and any other veggie I can fit on the fork!

www.bambara-cambridge.com

For more photos & descriptions of what everyone in my party ate, visit my Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/ThePerfectBiteBoston