Where: Temple Bar – 1688 Mass Ave Cambridge, MA 02138
When: December, 2011
With my mother in town for the holidays I thought it would be fun to take her out with one of my friends. After narrowing it down to a few places we settled on Temple Bar between Harvard and Porter Squares.
I had been to Temple Bar three other times with very different experiences (food has been great each time) so why not add a fourth. The first time was about 8 years ago to meet a group of friends for drinks and apps. I remember feeling out of my element and terrified by the prices with my very barely livable salary. I sipped on one drink for about 3 hours and made sure not to touch the food (how sad). The second time was about 4 years ago on a date where we mistakenly ate copious amounts of fondue and homemade potato chips with a goat cheese dip. At the time, as vegetarians, we thought it was a genius idea but quickly regretted it. Obviously. The third time was the summer of 2010 when Daniela and I took the now Mrs. Woulfe out for a bachelorette brunch. I had the BLT which was delicious.
You know when you remember what you ate somewhere up to 4 years ago it’s gotta be good (although feeling like I might die of cheese overdose isn’t the best reason for remembering).
We ordered a bottle of Pinot Noir which was bold and warm and just right to cut through my sniffles and the chill from the rainy weather outside.
My mother was thrilled to see bavette as she hadn’t seen that on a restaurant menu in the US before. Have I mentioned that my maternal grandparents’ business in Paris is a meat distribution company? They know their meat. When googling bavette I found out that its another name for flank steak which my mum will be happy to learn as that’s fairly common here. Sad to think that a language barrier has been keeping her away from a cut of steak all these years!
So mum got the Grilled Brandt Farm Bavette Steak with Twice Baked Truffled Parmesan Potato, Summer Tomato Salad, and Mojo Vinaigrette which she raved about it. I, as usual, couldn’t decide between two dishes so my friend got one and I got the other. I got the Slow-Braised Boneless Beef Shortrib with Horseradish Mashed Potato, and Crispy Shallots and he got the Grilled 14oz Porterhouse Cut Pork Chop with Vermont Cheddar Stone Ground Grit Cake, Braised Greens, and Grilled Peach Tasso Piperade. After tasting our own we offered each other a bite and both liked the others’ better so we swapped (or he knew which I preferred and was being chivalrous). The pork chop was really juicy and tender and the peach piperade really complimented the saltiness of it. I preferred the horseradish mashed potatoes that came with the short ribs (so creamy and good) as the cheddar stone ground grit cake I got was a little dry.
For dessert we split the Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding with Ginger Caramel, and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Oh my. The ginger was really good in it, adding a little spice, balancing out the ridiculously amount of caramel we drizzled on to it. It went perfectly with a cup of bold coffee to round out the evening.