City Landing

City Landing is located in the Financial District near the Aquarium, filling Sel de la Terre’s old space on Atlantic Ave (at State Street). It’s been on my list since it opened about 2 years ago, but the original menu seemed a bit pricey so I never stopped by. I took a peek recently, and not only did the prices look more appealing, but the menu had such a great variety I knew it’d be a great spot to bring a large group of people.

Not only does City Landing have a wide range of contemporary American dishes, but it also offers a full vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menu. Even the dessert menu has at least 1 vegan option. I’ll eat just about anything from any menu, but it’s nice to have so many options for different types of people / dietary restrictions.

It took a while to decide what to order – soup and entree? salad and pizzetta? – but the fall flavors made up my mind for me. It’s hard for me to not order seasonal dishes – like pumpkin anything – so I knew I’d be trying the Curried Mussel-Pumpkin Bisque with thyme creme fraiche. A beautiful presentation that matched the amazing flavor. I’ve never seen pumpkin bisque paired with mussels, and it didn’t upset me, but it also didn’t make or break the dish. Mussels or no mussels, this is one of the best pumpkin soups I’ve had all season.

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{We actually went back to City Landing a couple of weeks later with a different group of friends, and while I wanted the pumpkin bisque again, I made myself try the Yellow Tomato Bisque with creme fraiche, chive oil. Another gorgeous presentation, and this one had just as much flavor as the pumpkin. I highly recommend you somehow find a way to try both!}
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For my entree I had the Veggie Burger with chipotle aioli, avocado, roasted red pepper, pea tendrils. This burger was loaded with toppings / condiments that really made this dish what it is. It held together well and had a nice consistency, but the flavor really came from the aioli, avocado, and red peppers. A winner in my book, and I’ve had a lot of veggie burgers in my time.
IMG_6207The veggie burger came with a “choice of fries or greens” but instead I asked for a side of the Butternut Squash Crisp with sage sunflower seed streusel. I confirmed before I ordered that it was in fact a sweet side. Sweet or savory, it sounded too good to pass up, and I was right. The crisp topping is the same you’d find on any fruit crisp. A perfect fall / Thanksgiving-inspired side dish.
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I told my husband he could try a few bites of the Butternut Squash Crisp if I could dig into his side of Creamy Pumpkin Polenta. This is my favorite preparation of polenta: creamy but slightly gritty. If you’re a polenta fan it’s definitely worth a try.
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The women’s room was well decorated with a pretty statement mirror.
IMG_6204Overall I would absolutely recommend City Landing. We went twice within 3 weeks, and each person we ate with really enjoyed their meals. Some popular and well-liked dishes among our friends were the Roasted Boneless Half Chicken, the Caramelized Day Boat Scallops with mushroom ravioli, and the Bucatini Lamb Bolognese. The second time around I had the tomato soup with the large New England Chopped Salad with no blue cheese or bacon. The salad was ok, but that was my own doing since I removed 2 key ingredients. The Caesar Salad was popular however (my husband ordered it both times). Besides my poor salad decision, every dish everyone ordered went over very well!

http://www.citylanding.com

Beacon Street Tavern

On this particular evening, OpenTable determined our dining fate; we were looking for something near by that had seating within an hour. Sure we could probably gone up the street to Devlin’s or Smokin’ Joes, but I want my points baby so OpenTable led us to Beacon Street Tavern in Brookline.

Bread: After ordering the chips & guac our server asked if we wanted bread as well, and we really only got it for the sake of the blog. Two rustic rolls were served with a small tin of butter. The bread wasn’t bad, but would have been really great if it was served warm.

Menu: This was an interesting menu with sections like Snacks, Shared, Platters, and Sides. Matt & I were given two different meus at first; our Snacks sections differed, which was disappointing because we had our eyes on the Smokey Duck Confit Grilled Cheese, but it turns out that was on the incorrect menu. I was tempted by the Salmon and Scallop additions but we opted for the selections below.

Food/Presentation:
Chips & Guacamole
It’s rare that we don’t give in to guac, and this was probably the one time we should have said no to the temptation. The chips were great, I love a salty chip! But the guacamole was way too smooth and almost tasted like a paste. It had little flavor and no chunks or texture. Not the best.

Hummus & Cheese Platter – grilled halloumi cheese, vermont cheddar, grilled figs with gorgonzola and balsamic reduction, quinoa salad, mixed olives, grilled pita bread with edamame and spiced hummus
I was pleasantly surprised by this Shared Platter! I’ve never heard of or tried halloumi cheese and will now be looking for it in the grocery store. The figs were warm, stuffed with cheese and topped with a sweet drizzle of balsamic reduction (my 2nd favorite item on the plate). The hummus was good but my favorite was the quinoa salad; it was tossed with corn and cranberries and had a hint of sweetness.

Veggie Burger – black beans, guacamole, arugula, on ciabatta & fries
The burger was topped with guac and served with fries (we substituted for the sweet potato version). Unless it’s dry or falls apart, it’s hard to really screw up a veggie burger. This was pretty decent but the fries stole the show. It’s difficult to get a good crispy sweet potato fry and each one of these were just that.. not one limpy fry in sight!

Bathroom: 2 stalls, 2 sinks, 2 mirrors. I didn’t expect much decor for a bar/tavern, but it was clean, had a pretty tiled mirror, and cheerful purple walls that held black & white photos.

Service: The fastest service in the history of dining. We sat around 6:50pm and maybe ordered everything within 10 minutes, asking that the chips & guac come out as an appetizer. The bread & app were brought out one after the other, and as soon as we finished the guacamole the Hummus & Cheese and Veggie Burger were immediately delivered. We were done eating by 7:28pm. Perhaps they were rushing us b/c there were people waiting for tables? Either way I wasn’t disturbed by it, just surprised by how fast everything happened!

Overall: Beacon Street Tavern has a great outdoor patio, a lounge/bar area, and booths, tables and high tops for indoor dining. The menu is different with a few salads and soups, sandwiches, and entrees, but mostly appetizer type offerings made for sharing. I don’t think you need to rush there for dinner but it’s a nice spot for some decently priced good food and drink. I really enjoyed their cocktail menu because they told you what drink is served in what glass, which makes it easier to determine what’s a martini, what’s on the rocks etc. They had an extensive beer selection as well. Overall a good meal!

Kool Mo Tea

Kool Mo Tea


The Perfect Bite
: That Hummus Platter was pretty good. I liked everything on it but really loved the quinoa salad! Who knew a bar/tavern could whip that up.

www.beacon1032.com

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