Living in Boston, I have become accustomed to several things: we love our sports- every sport- we support all of our teams to the nth degree; we will push for outdoor seating as soon as the weather hits above 50 degrees; we will complain about all types of weather no matter how bad or how nice; and finally, there is an Irish pub on almost every corner. Now, while I love a good Irish pub, I find that, save a few exceptions, they are all very similar- dark lighting, lots of wood and chrome, a few pictures and signs from Ireland, good brew selection and usually a rather middle of the road food offering. So when I passed by a nondescript sign above a door in the middle of a strip of other stores and restaurants simply stating Matt Murphy's, I chalked it up to be the same old thing. One day though, one day we walked inside on a lazy Saturday afternoon to have a pint and I realized how wrong I was. Matt Murphy's Pub was not at all ordinary!
Inside, the spot has a rustic, farmland feel with dark walls accented by pieces of birch trees and subtle paintings of rabbits. This feel is carried through to their dining accents from their place settings to the water pitchers-everything is homelike, it is comfortable, it is familiar and it is lovely. We perched at the small bar that fateful day, as we were only there to have a beer or two, but as I fell further and further in love, we stayed longer, finally deciding to share their cheese plate to see if their food was as good as the atmosphere. It was. Three types of lovely cheese, nicely toasted bread, a river of honey to accent the cheeses and a port wine reduction. Yes- that did the trick that Saturday afternoon- I was hooked.
This past weekend we returned for brunch. I chose their lamb sandwich as I was feeling more like lunch than breakfast. The sandwich was served on wonderful fresh bread, with a lightly dressed green salad on the side- and was a perfect lunch. The lamb was actually ground lamb spiced, and seemingly baked- almost like a slice of lamb meatloaf. The flavors of the lamb were really tasty, just enough salt, a bit of spice- a feeling of a very hearty, rustic meat-the way you might see it served on a farm. The meat was enhanced with what the menu labeled "green sauce", which i was quick to clarify was not mint jelly. As an aside- I detest mint jelly- something about it just weirds me out. I don't eat it- ever. Back on topic however, I was assured by our waitress that no it was not mint jelly. And that it was not. The sauce had a background of mint, but appeared to be mint blended with Dijon mustard into a beautiful green/yellow sauce. The flavors were incredible together-both hearty yet refreshing, with a slight kick as well. I was in heaven. The chef had also added some roasted red peppers to the sandwich, but to be honest, I didn't feel that they were necessary aside from adding a beautiful burst of color. The salad, while nothing remarkable, was light and refreshing- a perfect compliment to the hearty sandwich.
Others at my table had the farmhouse cheese sandwich which received great reviews as well, and the french toast with marmalade and clotted cream-which was amazing.
Matt Murphy's Pub laughs in the face of a typical Irish pub. It is open and airy, clean yet rustic, and offers some fantastic fare, much of which is reminiscent of traditional Irish food. This is a spot that I can definitely see returning to time and again- I just wish they had a TV for all those sports we love to watch!