Cassoulet in Beantown and other South End finds

If you’re going to have cassoulet in Boston, head to Hammersley’s Bistro. My foodie friend E and her friend R took me there Friday night for dinner. Instead of the dining room, we ate in the far more intimate and cozy cafe side. On E’s recommendation (she considers this her neighborhood cafe and is on a first-name basis with most of the staff), I ordered the cassoulet.

Ordering the cassoulet wasn’t an easy decision. Given that is was a cold, blustery night, both the roast chicken (the house specialty) and the lamb shank teased my tastebuds, but the cassoulet was part of the new prix fixe menu: $40 for three courses. First, and endive and watercress salad with Bistro vinaigrette (light, flavorful, a good start to the night). Second, the cassoulet of pork, duck confit, and garlic sausage (which warmed me to my soul), and finally a pear upside-down gingerbread cake with sugared cranberry caramel (as good as it sounds, perhaps even better, if that’s possible). Good friends, good food, and beans (so to speak) in Boston: a perfect trio on a cold night. Thanks, E & R!

Earlier in the week, E and I had lunch at The Butcher Table. Frankly, we went because it was recommended by Lee Napoli, owner of ChocoLee, a small chocolate shop (you knew I’d get chocolate in there somewhere, didn’t you) that E adores, and now so do I. Perfect truffles (the salt caramel enrobed in dark chocolate was scrumptious), and E was practically drooling as she described the chocolate beignets made on weekends. Must return for those.

Anyway, Napoli recommended The Butcher Shop for lunch, so off we went. Good call. This is another of Chef Barbara Lynch’s restaurants, this one with French and Italian accents. It also doubles as a butcher shop, hence the name. We both ordered the croque madame, topped with a fresh egg. It was one of those meals where you wanted to lick the plate afterward to get every last taste.

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One Response to “Cassoulet in Beantown and other South End finds”

  1. John M. Says:

    Man, we must be following you around. We ate at Hammersley’s during the Boston segment of our trip. Stayed in a B&B just a couple of blocks away. My wife had the chicken, and darn right, it is gooood. Perfectly seasoned.

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