Farmstead Table

Farmstead Table is a small farm-to-table restaurant, tucked away on Union Street in Newton Center. The menu is constantly evolving based on the local and seasonally available ingredients. Which means you can go back every couple of months and always have a variety a of new items to chose from ūüôā Although I hope it doesn’t change too frequently, because there were about 4 entrees on the menu that I desperately wanted to try.

The three I missed out on: Lentil and Sweet Potato Stuffed Cabbage (shiitakes, celery root puree, roasted carrots mutsu apple); Grilled Scottish Salmon (sweet potato puree, roasted cauliflower); and the Halibut special that came with butternut squash two ways (puree, roasted), and roasted brussel sprouts. I try not to repeat restaurants since there are so many I want to try, but I may be heading back to Farmstead Table sooner rather than later.

Thick slices of bread was served, one for each of us. It tasted like a subtle rye and was served with whipped softened butter.

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White Bean Hummus
Luckily the hummus came out soon after the bread; it is served with only a few slices of carrots which is not nearly enough for the amount of hummus that was given. More crudités please! We fortunately spread some hummus on our bread, which was perfect.

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Hadley Parsnip Soup: hazelnuts, clove, pomegranate reduction
I have trouble resisting soup, especially any kind of vegetable puree. This cup of parsnip soup was a great start to the meal; extremely smooth with hazelnuts for crunch and texture. I’m glad I didn’t miss out on this one.

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Braised Lamb Shank Rag√Ļ: hand-cut pappardelle, red wine mushrooms, parsnip cream, pecorino romano
I also have trouble resisting pasta. However, this was the perfect choice for me, because I wasn’t hungry enough to have hummus, soup, and a full entree. Luckily they offered a 1/2 portion of the lamb shank rag√Ļ. The $14 price was a little steep for the small appetizer size, but it was really good, so I don’t mind paying for a good quality meal. There was plenty of lamb and mushrooms in the dish, I just wish there were a few more noodles!

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I forget exactly what was on the dessert menu, but I do recall seeing a line about S’mores that I tried to avoid looking directly at. If I read the full description I’m sure I would have forced myself to order and eat the entire thing. I scanned the rest and definitely saw at least 3 options that I would have had in a heartbeat, but I was honestly stuffed to the brim. Oh well, maybe next time!

The prices at Farmstead Table are moderate for Boston/Newton; all entrees were in the $20 range, with the Rib-Eye Steak taking the top spot at $29. The appetizers were a little pricer as apps go, $8-$14. I drank only water but my friends noticed that the wine was pricey (I think the least expensive choice was around $14). The service was great, our waiter was attentive, refilled our water, checked on us an appropriate amount of times. The interior is warm, cozy, and welcoming. And most importantly, we all absolutely licked our plates clean! I look forward to going back soon.

The Perfect Bite: fork full of pasta with lamb and a cut of mushroom!

http://www.farmsteadtable.com

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Hamersley’s Bistro

Bread: The bread basket had 3 varieties, wheat slices, rustic rolls, and a small onion loaf. I only tried a piece of wheat with a smear of the softened butter, and it was a bit plain. Would have been much better toasted! Matt wasn’t a huge fan of either of the other kinds as well. A bit disappointing, but I do appreciate the variety.
IMG_5200IMG_5201¬†Menu: Small Plates, Appetizers, Vegetarian, Entrees, Sides, Desserts. My eyes went right to the soup in the Vegetarian section, which offered appetizer sized plates. I eat meat and fish but again I was drawn to the vegetarian entree. I saw “artichoke” and couldn’t look away! There were quite a few fish dishes that looked amazing (such as the¬†Skillet-Cooked Arctic Char with orange, radish, and red currant salad, quinoa and aged sherry vinegar), and 1 option each among popular meats (chicken, pork, lamb, beef).

Hamersley's Bistro menu

Hamersley’s Bistro menu

Food / Presentation:
Spring Dug Parsnip Soup with Cr√®me Fra√ģche and Basl-Pistachio Pesto
I love soup! Especially purees. Among the smooth but slightly grainy consistency, the pistachios added a subtle crunch which I enjoyed. When delivered, the server instructed me to stir all of the components together to bring out the intended flavor. A good start to the meal.
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Roasted Artichoke and Ricotta Crêpes with Spring Vegetables, French Lentils and Parmesan-Chive Sauce
Two savory crêpes, stuffed with ricotta cheese and a few artichokes, were divided by lentils and surrounded by cut carrots, peppers, asparagus and peas. The dish could have use more artichokes in my opinion, but either way this was a light and satisfying vegetarian entrée.
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Service: Our server was really great. We didn’t have too many questions about the menu but you could just tell they are well trained to know their stuff. Specials were memorized, crumb scraper cleaned our tabletop after entrees were cleared, and each course was delivered at appropriate times. She was also friendly and quit personable which is always a plus.
Bathroom: A single individual bathroom, one for women, one for men, one handicap. The women’s room was clean, mostly white with a emerald green door. And a lovely piece of art above the toilet ūüėČ
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Overall: The menu has a nice variety, including multiple veggie, fish and meat entrees. The dining room is sophisticated and just casual, with wood accents, high ceilings, and simple chandeliers.¬†Hamersley’s Bistro¬†has been in the Boston restaurant scene for 20+ years and is constantly being reviewed as one of the top restaurants in Boston. ¬†I think because of it’s longevity it tends to attract an older crowd, people who have been fans for years and years (I’d say the average age this Friday night was 50+). If you’re in the mood for a lively and energetic atmosphere this may not be the first restaurant I’d suggest, but if you’re looking for solid service, a menu filled with fresh & local ingredients, and food that won’t disappoint then¬†Hamersley’s Bistro¬†is the way to go. It is and always will be a Boston classic!
The Perfect Bite: Crêpe, ricotta, artichoke, peas, lentils.