Thursday, July 08, 2010

On the Road Eats: Boston Review of The Gallows

Over the years I have made it through much of Boston's restaurant scene. It's one of the things I love about that city — it's small enough that you can really get a thorough sense of what eats it has to offer, yet there's enough turnover so that there are always new places to try. The Gallows opened up just a few weeks before my visit in the same space as the now-defunct Cafe Umbra, a restaurant I had previously visited and liked a lot. The Gallows has a terrible name that could be an ominous statement on its future, but luckily, the food should keep it going for some time. It's a noisy, dark space and there weren't enough servers, but those are kinks that the restaurant may work out over time. The menu is original, extensive and in addition, there's a whole page of daily specials.

Longshoreman's Platter
The menu includes a set of platters and the ingredients used on any given day are part of the specials. This included smoked scallops, fennel cured salmon, horseradish beets, pickled vegetables, a dill cucumber mix, broiled brandade (yes, we had this twice in one day) and a few pieces of bread and a side of mustard. The smoked scallops were really interesting. I usually reject scallops for their bland taste and squishy texture, but here, the smokiness was lovely; it was akin to smoked mozzarella. The cod was served warm, giving it a leg up on the one we had at Coppa earlier in the day. And the salmon was wonderful with just a mild fennel undertone.

One of the unique offerings on the menu is the array of poutines, a mixture of french fries, gravy and cheese curds, native to Quebec. We settled on the summer poutine, mixed with vegetables — mostly carrots and fava beans. It was properly salty, glowing with umami. And the vegetables were a really great contrast with the french fries.

The whole roasted Duxbury fluke was also a special of the day. I have rarely seen fluke served this way. It's more often used for sashimi. This was topped with a fava, mint and radish salad. It was a nice, healthy entree, but I did worry that roasting could make it dry. That wasn't as much a problem as the lack of seasoning. The dry mix on top meant there wasn't much of a sauce to flavor the fish.

The berkshire pork was smoke roasted with fried green tomatoes and potato salad. The pork was intensely smokey and a bbq jus was a great way to bring that flavor to the plate without adding a heavy sauce that would overwhelm the meat. The tomatoes and potato salad were amazing.

Dessert options were uninspiring at The Gallows, so we traveled to Hungry Mother to finish off the night.

The roasted strawberry tart with basil ice cream was summery and fresh. I loved the crust of the tart and basil ice cream is a winning combination for me.

The salted caramel cake with anglaise and candied bacon was a little on the sweet side for me and though bacon may soon become more tired than innovative, I still consider it a delightful counterpoint to sweets.

No comments:

Post a Comment