Wednesday, June 19, 2013

puritan & company

To continue our support of the Gilson family, T & I went to Puritan & Company on Saturday night. Opening in 2012 in Inman Square of Cambridge, Puritan & Company has already been nominated for a James Beard award for Best New Restaurant. Will Gilson creates an ever-changing menu with local & seasonal ingredients, resulting in deliciously clean dishes being swept out of the kitchen. On our way to dinner, I checked their website to peruse the menu and found Marc Sheehan, of Brasstacks, was the sous chef! Shocked, we stepped on the gas pedal with a sense of urgency and hustled to our reservation. With high expectations we were a bit nervous, but I can honestly say that both T & I loved each and every dish we had, and Puritan & Company has shot up to being somewhere in our top 2 favorite spots (and we already have made another reservation for July).


Having eaten at Gilson's family's Herb Lyceum the evening before, we couldn't help but draw parallels between the two spots. With the cool neutral colors with the trim of white, cabinets, and rustic tables, we felt as though we were visiting a friend in their old study of their old home. A warmth radiated in every corner of this little gem. With many small tables, 7 seats at a prep station near the kitchen, and one long table where multiple groups were placed (like the evening prior at the Herb Lyceum), there was a constant buzz of energy.

T started with one of their many beers on tap and was fascinated by the glass which looked just like a beer can.

Although we were given (two) servings of the rolls, we also ordered the gougeres with rosemary and a clothbound cheddar mornay, because I can't say no to cheese and pastry dough.

We started with the swordfish pastrami. Yes, swordfish pastrami. It was thinly sliced and wrapped around the clean components including pumpernickel, mustard, and pickles. And is that samphire I spy, again?

Next T had ordered the lamb belly with eggplant, orange, and moxie. I was raised not eating veal, lamb, or any other baby animal, and I'm sorry, Mom, but I have to admit that this was delicious. Crispy on top and tender on the inside, lean, and packed with flavor, this is a dish I could actually order myself...and not really feel too badly about it.

To start I ordered the local vegetables, which I imaged to be some sort of a roasted vegetable dish with potatoes, carrots, and hearty veggies, but was pleasantly surprised to see a local salad of sunchokes, peas, pickled carrots, farmer's cheese and a delicious slew of mystery veggies. I hate salads, and I could probably eat this every day it was the perfect combination of veggies.

The moment I saw chicken on the menu, I obviously had to give it a shot, since my rule is if a restaurant has chicken on the menu, it better be the best chicken I've ever had and a chicken that I couldn't make myself at home. Yep, this was my favorite chicken I've encountered. I love this chicken, and I've had a lot of chicken. A dish full of free-range chicken, fingerlings, and a few browned brussel sprouts, I was in heaven. With crisp skin, succulent chicken, and the best fingerlings I've ever had, I was a happy customer.


T went with a massive portion of wagyu steak with pommes ana, a browned brussel sprout, delicately caramelized carrots, and an egg sauce. Between happy "oh man"s, I was able to sneak a carrot, a piece of steak, and a bit of the potatoes. Everything was prepared perfectly, and T was especially impressed with the potatoes which he compared to a crisped hashbrown.

Pleasantly full we wound down with some coffee and tea. Sadly there was no mint tea of the menu (my favorite after-dinner flavor), so I settled with a nutty green, which was still nice.

At this point we were full, but never too full for dessert. We ordered a dessert which I can't remember the specifics of (sorry, but true) but it was lemon curd with bites of pistachio and earthly flowery flavors along with an ice of sorts. Nevertheless, I whole-heartedly recommend this light refreshing palate-cleansing finale. With the texture and taste of the lemon reminiscent of a key lime pie (despite the fact that it looks like deviled-egg fillings), we weren't pushed over the too-full-level, and were able to leave happy as clams with stomachs full of delicious combinations. 

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