Apr 13 2013

Hammersley's Bistro

I am a huge fan of the Frommers travel guides and whenever I go to a new city, I always buy the Frommers guide and follow many of their suggestions. My Boston Frommers guide recommended me to visit Hammersley’s Bistro as according to them, this was one of the best dining experiences in Boston, as Hammersley’s Bistro is both a neighbourhood restaurant and a special occasion restaurant, and the chef and TV personality Julia Child encouraged Gordon and Fiona Hamersley to open Hammersley’s Bistro

We went there on a Saturday evening for dinner. It looked welcoming and nice from the outside, located in one of the nicest parts of Boston, the South End, so I can see how it is a neighbourhood restaurant. The restaurant consists of two areas, a larger dining area that is buzzing and that has an open kitchen on one side and much to my disappointment we were seated in the other, smaller and more quiet side of the restaurant, but we did have a window seat, and so I could watch outside.

Hamersley's Bistro serves “hearty, rustic dishes that draw on the diverse ingredients of New England”, but that are “inspired by the robust, enduring spirit of the bistros of France”, and “the food is simple, hearty, seasonal and local”. I have to say Hammersley’s Bistro did not remind me of a French bistro at all, and I thought the menu was more creative and much more different than what you would find in a French bistro. You can have dishes in Moroccan style, and chickpeas, also Italian polenta, but also some French things like pate, confit, fois gras, but even then these dishes would have an interesting twist to them, things like “Seared Foie Gras with Black Mission Fig and Smoked Foie Gras Butter on Toasted Brioche, Pickled Beans and Toasted Almonds” or “Crispy Duck Confit with Creamy Garlic and Morels, Warm Cheese Gougère”, so if you are used to European French bistros, you will think this place is very creative and interesting.

The menu was divided into small plates, appetizers, vegetarian dishes and entrees. They brought us lovely varied bread, including my favourite bread in the whole world, onion bread, and I could not stop eating it, and had way too much of it. We chose one of the small plates to share, lamb meatballs, which were nice, but not that memorable. My boyfriend decided to have their signature dish and the dish that everyone always associates with Hammersley’s Bistro (according to my Frommers guide and according to food blogs, and the menu changes frequently but this is one dish that remains there), the “Roast Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Parsley”, and the chicken was lovely, flavoursome yet simple at the same time, well made. I think this chicken probably gets more fame than it deserves, but it was good. To go with the food he had some roast potatoes and I loved these, they were delicious, topped with salt and rosemary, really lovely. I was not that hungry so I went for a salad with carrots, cabbage, fennel and broccoli, and I was a bit surprised to see how small it was, but the taste of it was ok, it was decent.

I did enjoy Hammersley’s Bistro but this would not be my top destination in Boston. I thought the food was good, and this to me seems more like a casual with friends very good brunch restaurant as opposed to a special occasion place. I did like the creative food and combinations of things I have not seen in Europe, but when the dishes came I was expecting a bit more, but then again I maybe did not order the right things.

Price for 2 people, no alcohol: $71.16 (and including service charge, we left $85)
Date: 13/04/13
Location: Boston

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Hammersley's Bistro
553 Tremont Street, MA 02116,
United States
Hammersley's Bistro Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3