Tag Archives: seafood stew

Creative Comfort Food: The Gallows, Boston

22 Feb

My boyfriend and I hit The Gallows in Boston’s South End just before 6:30 PM on a Friday night. After a brief wait, we were seated in the cozy restaurant, lit by candles at each table, and glowing birdcages hanging from the ceiling. The Gallows has a bar at the front, with windows on two sides, one facing Washington Street. Come here late and you and your date will have to sit side by side at the stools facing the window. And by late, I mean around 7 PM. That’s when all the tables were filled.

We started with two appies – the Scotch egg and a stuffed corn muffin. The Scotch egg was a soft boiled egg wrapped in a thin layer of sausage, crunchy on the outside. The yolk was a deep orange, gooey, and oozing slightly as I cut into it.

The Gallows - Scotch egg

The pulled pork stuffed corn muffin was sooooo good. The muffin itself was soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. The pork was delicious, both smoky and sweet. A jalepeno pepper jelly added both sweetness and spice, cooled by the avocado, and kicked up again by pickled cabbage.

The gallows - stuffed corn muffin

We saw several orders of poutine pass by our table. Served in large, deep bowls, theses are a great for four people to share, or a most indulgent heart attack for one. There’s even a vegetarian version that replaces gravy with Bearnaise sauce.

The Carpet burger – topped with a fried oyster – was definitely creative. The burger itself arrived a juicy medium-well as we requested, with melted American cheese and pickles. The fries were nothing special, but they did come with a barbecue-like ketchup.

The Gallows - burger with fried oyster

The Fish Special was a Portugese stew – three plump and peeled shrimp, scallops, mussels, and lots of fava beans in a tantalizing tomato-based broth. Two garlic butter-soaked toasted focaccia triangles completed the dish – you definitely want to soak up all that amazing broth.

The Gallows - seafood stew

Everything was delicious, but the appetizers were really amazing. We overheard that even the Brussels sprouts are good! We skipped dessert, as our server explained, The Gallows is a “one dessert place”. The dessert that night was a bananas foster peanut butter fluffernutter – that is, a peanut butter mousse with bananas foster and marshmallow fluff. Definitely intriguing but not exactly my type of thing.

The Final Word: I’m definitely coming back, for the hip atmosphere, the creative food, and especially the awesome appies.

Info: The Gallows, 1395 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118 USA

The Gallows on Urbanspoon

Much Ado About Toro, Boston

25 Jan

A search for Boston’s best restaurants brings up Toro. After a foodie friend recommended the Spanish restaurant, my boyfriend and I decided to give it a try. Toro does not accept reservations, so we arrived relatively early – at 5 PM on a Sunday evening. We waited for a table, eagerly anticipating the delicious tapas to come. 15 minutes later, we are seated at two bar stools facing the front window, overlooking the patio. All the tables inside were filled, with empty seats available only at long communal tables. Here’s how our evening went:

5:20 PM: Our glasses of water arrive, and we wait hungrily, hoping to be able to place our order.

5:40 PM: Finally, our waitress comes to take our order.

Toro - tuna belly6:00 PM: After what feels like a neverending wait, our tapas begin to arrive slowly, one by one. The ventresca (tuna belly) arrives first, as one lonely serving – two slices of tuna on one toasted slice of bread, and topped with celery. We awkwardly try to cut this thing into two pieces. This dish is saved only by the yummy tomato tapenade that had soaked into the bread.

IMAG1481Pork meatballs are juicy yet airy, melt-in-your mouth, flavourful goodness.

Toro - stewI really enjoyed the Catalan seafood stew (suquet marisco) with its complex flavours, full of lobster and clams.

IMAG1483Empanadas have a crispy corn shell and a soft interior of potatoes and chicken. They are served with a fine  green tomatillo salsa and light mayo.

IMAG1484The smokey flavour of the smoked duck leg is complemented by the sweetness of a quince glaze.

IMAG1486-1My favourite dish of the night was probably the beef check – it was tender and melted in my mouth, served with a cold farro salad with radish.

IMAG1487Lubina a la Sal, a salt-crusted Mediterranean bass is impressively presented. The whole fish is served on a plank, crusted with sea salt and herbs, and dotted inside with garlic cloves.

7:00 PM – We are finished eating and a busboy takes our plates away.

7:10 PM  – We request the check.

7:20 PM – Finally, the check is signed and we leave.

The Final Word: The food was delicious, but service felt incredibly slow, and it was difficult to get our waitress’ attention. Is Toro Boston’s best Spanish restaurant? Maybe, though Solea, just west of the city, gives Toro a good run for its money.

Info: Toro, 1704 Washington Street, Boston, MA, 02118 USA

Toro on Urbanspoon

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