I haven’t spent much time in Somerville, well I guess much sober time in Somerville. Bennett picked me up and we drove about 10 minutes to get there, a pretty far drive from my little Beacon Hill bubble; almost feels like I could be in a different state given the quiet streets and dim street lamps. To my amazement, they have parking in this town! Right out front as a matter of fact. We park and head to the bar of Highland Kitchen. We had to wait about 20 minutes for our table, no big deal, it was a pretty hoppin’ Thursday night and this of course is no problem for me since I love cocktails. As I order a blood orange martini and a beer for Bennett, I find myself instantly jovial by the Toots and the Maytals playing throughout the bar. The interior is well laid out, 30 or so tables, large-ish bar waiting area, with couples and friends gathering for the Bruin’s game. The atmosphere is cheerful and there are people from all walks of life; families with kiddies, the local tattoo shop employees, band members, foodies, and people from the neighborhood. There is some serious happy energy here.
Bennett and I are seated at a tiny table in between the slue of another six or so tiny two-man tables. It was a bit uncomfortable at first to feel like you are literally at the same table with twelve other people who have no intention of talking to you. The music is rather loud, I’m slightly buzzed from my second martini, and Bennett and I are naturally louder than most, so, sorry people! You might not like us.
I have been extremely excited to eat at Highland Kitchen for awhile now; it is all I’ve heard about from B for sometime, “you haven’t been to Highland Kitchen yet? you gotta go!” So finally, here. we. are. I hope I’m impressed. We started with their app special of the night, Fried Ipswich Clams, they were so-so, I like clams and since they are from a neighboring town, I dig supporting local. I just wish that the kitchen did a better job with them; they were over-breaded and not cooked long enough. Not undercooked, just a flimsy, hasty, fry job. Whatev, it’s just fried clams, moving on… Buffalo Brussels Sprouts… is your mouth water yet? Because mine is, just writing that! This tasty app was one of the best I’ve ever had. I plan to recreate at home for my roommate, Kaitlin ‘loves anything in buffalo sauce” Curran. These little fried bites of Brussels sprouts dunked in batter, fried (well, this time) and tossed in tangy buffalo sauce was a really fun spin on the widely unaccepted vegetable. I could have stopped right there, they were that good. Okay, time to tack on another blood orange martini and get the spicy tang of the buffalo sauce out of my mouth, dinner’s coming!
Let me start off by saying I always order badly when I’m slightly full. I’m an adventurous eater I like to think. I tend to get things at restaurants that I might not normally make myself or have the chance to try often. This particular night, I wanted to try the Goat Stew, but I settled for the Skirt Steak entrée, solely because it came sided with stringed potatoes both Sweet and Russet fried in Duck fat. Duck fat, my new found demise, thanks for that Chef Herron. Potatoes are good, everything else ehh.. alright, it was skirt steak, so you know, thin, chewy, braided with the tougher part of cow muscle and fat. The leftovers, cold, were better, just sayin’. This is my particular opinion about skirt steak, I’ve had some great ones, but in general I have not, I took a gamble this night and didn’t win. Too stuffed for dessert, we order another drink and anxiously await the interesting looking band setting up.
My experience at Highland Kitchen faired well, I enjoyed the space, the atmosphere, the cocktails, my dining companion, those BRUSSELS SPROUTS and I will definitely go back again, but this time for the knock out Goat stew I hear so frequently about. It was my fault I chose the wrong dish that night, never again. Bennett and I gossiped, laughed, eyed/made fun of our fellow diners, and enjoyed the soulful tunes of the band. It was a really great evening, thanks Bennett for doing some ‘research’ with me. “I like your Goat’ee”- right Bennett?