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Abby's B-day (Hamersley's Bistro and Beehive Review)


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Sorry for the late post, but here was how we celebrated Abby's birthday.

Hamersley's Bistro

We arrived to our reservations a few minutes early and had a drink at the bar while we waited. While waiting for our table, I told the bartender that this was our first time here and if the famous roast chicken was a necessary order. He said without a doubt, get the chicken. So we already knew what one entree we were going to order.

Once we were seated, our waiter, who looked like Horned Rimmed Glasses from Heoes (Noah Bennett) gave us our menus and took our drink orders.

On the menu was this picture of a chicken, once again informing us that we should get the chicken.

We started with the "Country Pork Pâté and Chicken Liver Mousse with Mustards, Pickles and Toasts" and the "Crispy Duck Confit and an Onion Stuffed with Duck Livers,
Tomatoes and Herbs … Brandy Sauce". The duck confit was crispy and savory and perfectly cooked. The brandy sauce, though, didn't really bring much to the table and we ignored it while we devoured the duck. (This became a theme for the rest of the night.) The pate and mousse were equally as good. Spreading the mustard and pate over the toasted bread made us quickly run out of bread. No matter, we just scooped the pate and mousse directly into our mouths. If they had 3 extra pieces of bread then it probably would have been fine. I'm actually pretty sure if we asked for more toasted bread, it would have came, we just didn't care.

For our entrees, Abby did get the roasted chicken, and I went with the “Coulotte” Steak. This is one of the only times in my life I will probably say this, but dammit, I really, really wish I went with the chicken as well. Not because the steak was bad, which in fact was not the case. The chicken was just that damn good. The steak was perfectly cooked and had a great peppery seasoning on it. The blue cheese butter wasn't to my liking, so I just moved that to the side. The fries were just two pieces of steak cut potatoes, which were tasty and crispy as well, if not lacking in amount. And the sauce that everything laid in didn't add anything to the dish. I would have preferred if the sauce was left off all together, because the steak was juicy enough on it's own.

But you don't want to hear about the steak, you want to know about the famous roast chicken and if it lived up to it's billing. Well, as you can already guess, it not only lived up to our expectations, but it exceeded them. The chicken was moist and juicy with a nice crispy skin. People say chicken can be boring and, as Bourdain says, is usually ordered by people who don't know what they want. This can not be further than the truth at Hamersley's. The chicken is probably the most exciting dish on the menu and is the one dish everyone HAS to order when you come here. Again, there was way too much sauce on the plate and while not un-tasty, just wasn't necessary. I don't know if this is how the plates at Hamersley's normally are, but next time I come, I'm going to ask for very little sauce if possible.

Hamersley's Bistro is as well known and as well thought of any culinary institution can be in Boston. This man has been doing roasted chicken for years and he has it down to perfectly. The dining room was comfortable and inviting and the waitstaff was extremely professional and courteous. The prices were actually better than I thought: not cheap by any means, but $27 for that roast chicken is in my eyes a bargain. I give Hamersley's Bistro a 4 out of 5.

Hamersley's Bistro on Urbanspoon


We were all set to go to Masa for brunch but when we arrived we were told that there was a party of 50(!) about to come in and they would not be able to seat us. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I wanted the huevos rancheros so bad...

We walked by the Beehive and saw they had a jazz brunch and we went in to see if we could get seated. Sadly, it would be about an hour to seat our party of 5...however, the bar area was wide open, so we sat down on the stools and were greeted by 2 great bartenders who were in extremely positive good moods. This makes a big difference sometimes between a decent meal and a great meal.

We were served free beignets because the bartender could tell this was our first time at brunch at the Beehive and he wanted us to experience them. Well done bartender, well done. The beignets were light and fluffy and sweet and very good. I wanted to take a photo before they were all eaten, but as you can see everyone in our group just absolutely devoured these wonderful pastries. Definitely order them if you go.

The menu for brunch sadly did not have huevos rancheros, but did have a few items that sounded tasty. One dish was the "Eggs Shakshuka", which is an African dish that has a creamy tomato sauce over polenta with three baked eggs on top. Annie was the only one in our group to order this, but I think we all secretly wanted to. Mike and I ended up getting the Poutine and Abby and Sam got the Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon and ham respectively.

None of us were disappointed with our meal. Everything was fantastic. The prices were a bit higher than I would have like by a dollar or two, but the service from the bartenders more than made up for it. I've been to Beehive before at night and while the music is good and the atmosphere fun, the waitstaff can be quite bitchy. We've had more than our fair share of run ins with waitresses giving us false prices on our drinks and forgetting to bring out drinks and treating us like crap. I was very, very happy to see that the Sunday Brunch crew (at least the upstairs bartenders) were very nice and knew what great service was. I give Beehive a very strong 3 1/2 out of 5.

The Beehive on Urbanspoon