Ever since it opened last fall, The Regal Beagle, located in the Coolidge Corner area in Brookline, has caught my attention. Every review I've read has been great, and each time I look at their menu on line -it looks delicious. The other day we happened to be in the area, so my mother and I decided check it out for dinner.
When we got inside, we were told that there was about a 45 minute wait for a table, but that they could take my phone number and call when a table was available- I always love when restaurants do that, and since there are some cute stores around Coolidge Corner- we decided to wait it out. 50 minutes to an hour later, still with no call- we headed back to The Regal Beagle to investigate. At that time we were informed that they had called (though no missed call registered on my phone) and they had had to give our table away. However, the hostess did say that she would get us seated as quickly as possible. Now, this always worries me- because of course other people are waiting as well, and sometimes this system just doesn't work out so well. I was pleasantly surprised-not two minutes after we had sat in the waiting area, the hostess informed us that she had a table for us already, and apologized profusely for the error. We were completely satisfied with this turn of events, and thought no more about it.
After perusing the menu, and listening to the specials, we decided to start with an appetizer of roasted garlic hummus, accented with chopped cucumbers, red onion, and feta cheese, served with grilled pita. I love hummus- I eat far too much of it of varying varieties. This was some delicious hummus. The texture was beautifully creamy, and that was offset perfectly with the diced crunchy vegetables, and the salty cheese. The pita was soft and warm, with great flavor. We both remarked that the wonderful part about this dish was that there was a healthy portion of hummus for the price. We had both been anticipating a smaller size to be served, but when a very generous ramekin full was presented- it was a nice touch.
For her entree my mother selected the special of Fish and Chips, served with a jalapeno and honey coleslaw, and I chose their pan roasted Salmon. I really enjoyed my dish. The Salmon was well flavored, and had beautiful texture to it with a nice crust. It was served with vegetable couscous- that was buttery without being heavy, beautifully cooked with great texture and had just the perfect amount of diced vegetables in it. The plate was accented with a red pepper harissa and fried chick peas. Harissa, as I had to look it up, is a hot chili sauce, first created in North Africa. The Regal Beagle's lacked any real heat, but added a nice flavor component with the sweet red pepper. The final piece were the fried chick peas, which were just so fun. A slight crunch gave way to that characteristic mealiness of a chick pea-and the contrast was really great.
The fish and chips were fantastic as well. The bite I stole of the fish was incredibly crunchy, without at all having the heaviness of oil and batter that can so often ruin a fried dish. The cole slaw was tasty, with beautiful notes of honey throughout, though again, it lacked the heat I would have hoped for- but perhaps I've become far too accustomed to heat at this point? And the fries, or chips, that were served were delicious- light, crispy and with great potato flavor. A really wonderful entree all the way around.
Finally, our server persuaded us (it didn't take much) to try their special dessert of the evening- a white chocolate bread pudding, accented with dried cherries, pistachios, vanilla ice cream and a toffee sauce. Firs the bad- I think our plate was somehow missed when the toffee sauce was served. We were lacking. It was sad- but easy to get over with the next few bites of delicious-ness. The bread pudding was really lovely- great flavor, and texture where some pieces of bread dried out a bit more than others. The ice cream was fantastic- clean and creamy- feeling more fresh than others which made me wonder if it had been made locally or in house even? I should have asked- but I did not. If anyone knows- clue me in :-)
All in all-The Regal Beagle far surpassed my expectations of a great meal. I anticipated middle of the road execution, with acceptable staff. The food was fantastic, and the staff was wonderful. Our server, Brian, was efficient, helpful, and personable, and the hostess really set us off on the right foot with correcting an error early on that could have made for an upsetting evening.
Regal Beagle-I will be back- often!!!!
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