Wednesday, September 17, 2008

O'Hara's Food And Spirits, Newton Highlands

Cheers, the well renowned television show from the '80s may have really been on to something. Sometimes, you really just want to go to a place where "everybody knows your name", where you can watch your favorite game, drink a pint or two, and even better- enjoy a good meal. I find that the combination of all of these things is difficult. Some places are great for the game, but the food is generally lacking, there are amazing food restaurants, but TVs can be sparse, and normally both miss out on that great neighborhood feel where "regulars" abound and "second home" is generally tossed around. O'Hara's Food and Spirits in Newton Highlands fits the bill on all accounts. In that great home-y way your waitress will call you hon, top off your beer, serve you great food, and let you watch the game.

Monday night, O'Hara's provided the best back drop for the game in which we tied those devilish Devil Rays for first in the AL East. We started with boneless buffalo wings which were absolutely some of the best I've had. The chicken had maintained its crisp, something which is sorely lacking in many other places. I often find that the breading is almost too much, and as more chefs concentrate on the heat of their sauce, that great fried crunch goes by the wayside. O'Hara's nailed the crunch. Personally, I could have standed a little more heat in the sauce, but it did pack a nice punch, and the big bowl of blue cheese dressing was perfect for it.

For my main course I decided to have their Steak and Blue salad, a nice mix of marinated steak tips, salad greens, grilled red onions, blue cheese, tomatoes and roasted red peppers. I had requested for the tips to be cooked medium, and they absolutely were. The big chunks of meat were nice and pink in the middle, and with a really great steak tip flavor. I'm sure that they use the same terriyaki based marinade that most places use (at least it tastes terriyaki based to me) but its that familiar flavor that we've all come to expect with steak tips. There was a very generous sprinkling of blue cheese over the salad which gave that really nice and tangy flavor to the dish and worked well with the plum tomatoes and greens. The roasted red peppers were unexpected and added a great new flavor of smoke and sweetness that was missing from the rest of the ingredients. I did wish that the onion had been added a bit differently. It was obvious that they were just there for aesthetics as they had basically just taken two small onions, sliced them in half and grilled them. They did wonders for the presentation with the great contrasting colors of purple, charred black on the top and then sprinkled with the white blue cheese, however I do enjoy red onion in my salad- so maybe they could have taken a slice or two and diced it? Just a thought from someone who really loves that flavor with her steak...maybe a little too much. The salad was delicious though-one that I look forward to having again.

Overall, their whole menu looked delicious. Nice pub favorites all with a good twist to them that made my decision making process a little bit hard. Additionally, not only could you get your favorite brew there, they had a nice little wine list as well as a pretty imaginative cocktail menu.

All in all, it was a winner of a night. The Sox won, and I got to experience one of the greats...a place with good food, good drinks, and a great attitude.

O'Hara's on Urbanspoon

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