Some nights just go down in the annals of your life as "perfect"-maybe everything doesn't work out the way you want it to- but the feelings that you remember from that night are perfect. Friday evening this past week was one of those evenings from me. I met John at Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square for what we thought would be a quick drink or two before finding a great spot to watch the Bruins game. We comfortably sat in the capable hands of the bartenders at Eastern Standard for two drinks before we decided that we should probably head to our next destination to catch the game, and then they opened the doors above the bar to display lovely flat screen TVs, one of which was located directly in front of us. And then we decided, by happy accident, that Eastern Standard was our destination for the evening.
The game began and we perused the menu, tempted by several of the options laid in front of us. Finally, in a stroke of genius, we decided to start by sharing a King Crab Leg, and then I chose their seared Salmon as my entree and John chose their Steak Frites. In perfect timing, we were served our massive crab leg, on ice with tarter sauce and cocktail sauce on the side for dipping. We happily started cracking into the shell as the Bruins took their quick 3-0 lead. We received word that the great David Ortiz had scored two home runs as we munched on the deliciously sweet meat of the crustacean. The meat was perfectly cooked, fun to remove from the shell and paired very nicely with Eastern Standards acidic cocktail sauce, and their creamy tarter sauce. All was right with the world.
After we finished up the Crab, the shell was whisked away from our perch at the bar, and we were served our entrees soon after. My Salmon appeared perfectly seared, set atop a lovely mound of Israeli couscous enhanced with a black olive puree, roasted red peppers and a Marcona Almond pesto. Oh my goodness- this was delicious. The salmon was lightly seasoned so the true flavor of the fish shown through. The accompanying sides were excellent compliments, and actually proved to be very addictive. The couscous was well cooked, and contained that lovely buttery flavor to it that couscous captures so well, which made the olive puree the correct contrasting flavor with its salty notes. The Marcona Almonds were a fantastic finishing flavor and texture, livening up the other, softer pieces to the dish with a satisfying crunch. Enjoying this delicious dish made the blows of the Bruin's losing their lead a little less upsetting.
John, who has had several misses with Steak Frites, found a great one at Eastern Standard. Often he finds that the steak served in this dish is tough, and difficult to cut and chew. Eastern Standard's version was full of flavor, and while having some resistance to it that is inherent to the cut of the meat, it wasn't difficult at all and really the texture made it incredibly enjoyable to eat. The Frites served with the dish were lovely, crisp, warm without being too hot, and with lovely flavor to them. The couple I stole from his plate were even better dipped in the Bearnaise Sauce served with the dish. As much as I enjoyed my lovely Salmon, a small part of me was rather jealous of John's meal that evening.
Luckily the debate of whose dinner was better gave me something to consider as the Bruin's finally lost their lead completely, and their shot at glory this year was cleared off the ice as our dishes were cleared off the bar. The game was a big disappointment, and brought a sad end to a year that has seen some amazing things for the Bruins, including an incredible Winter Classic Game held, for the first time ever, at Fenway Park bringing sports fans in Boston together like never before. However, as disappointed as we all were sitting at the bar that evening, the friendly staff at Eastern Standard was there to commiserate with us, and by their wonderful food, warm attitudes, and great service the night is still perfect in my mind. Of course, Ortiz hitting two home runs in the night didn't hurt either...