Tag Archives: polenta

Best Brunch Pick: Nick’s On Broadway, Providence

5 Apr

After reading some rave reviews, my guy and I decided to try Nick’s for brunch. We arrived at 12:30 pm on a Sunday, and waited about 40 minutes – just what the hostess had estimated. Nick’s accepts names until 3 pm. Unless you arrive after 2:30, expect to wait. In any case, the wait is well worth it!

The restaurant is divided into two. One side has the  impressively-stocked bar, with bar seating and high-tops each seating two people. It seems the thing to do while you’re waiting for a table is to order a Bloody Mary or the mimosa special.  The special that day was a Prosecco with apple puree. It looked yummy, though I didn’t try it. The other side of Nick’s has bar seating facing an open kitchen, and tables for larger parties.

Everything we had was amazing!  Nick’s uses locally-sourced meats, seafood, and vegetables so there is a whole list of specials, depending on what ingredients are plentiful.

Nick's on Broadway - eggs benny with beef hashThe hash special was a beef and onion hash with mushroom gravy and poached eggs. My boyfriend ordered it on top of a Benedict, with house-made biscuits and Hollandaise sauce, served with home fries which included some sweet potatoes.

Other specials of the day (it was tough to remember  them all the details as our server recited them) included a very yummy-sounding burger, a cassoulet with lamb, pork sausage, and white beans, served with grilled bread, and a fish dish.

 

IMAG2381I had the creamy corn-butternut squash polenta topped with spinach, two poached eggs, pumpkin-seed pesto, and Parmesan cheese.

 

Nick's on Broadway - French toastThe full order of vanilla-battered French toast was two thick slices, he ordered it with warm berry compote (strawberry rhubarb today i think) and Vermont maple syrup. The house-made bread was very soft on the inside.

 

Nick's on Broadway - bread puddingI had the maple-walnut bread pudding – a dense square topped with house-made cranberry ice cream, over a smear of gooey caramel.

Our waitress was super nice and attentive. Our coffee mugs and water glasses never went empty. Interestingly, coffee is not on the drink menu, though there is a plethora of teas. I would definitely return to Nick’s. Actually, I can’t wait to go back!

Food: 5/5 | Service: 5/5 | Value: 5/5

Info: Nick’s On Broadway, 500 Broadway, Providence RI 02909
Nick's on Broadway on Urbanspoon

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Upscale food, casual atmosphere: Highland Kitchen, Somerville

18 Aug

My boyfriend and I dined at Highland Kitchen on a Sunday night – it was hopping. Tables were packed, and there were plenty of patrons mingling around the bar. I ordered the drink special of the night – the Pimm’s Cup and braced myself for a long wait. We snagged a table after waiting just 10 minutes because it was just the two of us. 

Sitting just inches from the table next to us, it was cozy.  Expect to find tables for two really close to the next table. The ambience at the Highland Kitchen is, well, loud. The music wasn’t all that loud, but perhaps the low ceilings and the fact that the restaurant is one big room filled to the brim with chatty diners made it seem that way. It was about as easy to listen in on the awkward first date at the neighboring table as it was to hear my boyfriend. At least the close proximity allowed me to peer at what others were eating – the Caesar salad with grilled chicken was quite a large portion. Grilled pork short ribs was an impressive tower of meat over grits, served with green beans.

 

pork belly tacos

We started with the pork belly tacos – succulent fatty pork meat topped with queso and cilantro, on soft corn tortillas. Absolutely yummy.

The Shrimp, Chorizo, and Fried Yucca appetizer came with four perfectly cooked shrimp and plenty of chorizo in a buttery wine “mojo sauce”. The green olives paired well with the chorizo, and fried yucca rounded out this garlicky dish.

 

wild mushroom ragout

For our entrees, I had the wild mushroom ragout with triangles of polenta that were creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside (above). This is possibly the best polenta I’ve had in Boston. The ragout itself was flavourful, speckled with spring peas, crunchy asparagus and lima beans to balance the creamy polenta and delicate mushrooms.

curried goat stew

He had the spicy curried goat stew – tender pulled goat meat, yucca, squash, and very sweet fried plantains served with jasmine rice.

Our food came out quickly, though we never felt rushed. Service was friendly and attentive, and our water glasses never more than half empty.

The Final Word: The Highland Kitchen serves the kind of food you’d find at much fancier and more upscale places, at much higher prices. It’s not the kind of ambiance that’s good for a romantic date, or a first date (unless you expect to find your date so boring you want to drown them out with the noise); it’s the place to enjoy a few drinks with friends and revel in amazing food.

Info: Highland Kitchen, 150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143
Highland Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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