Given the rave reviews I had been reading, I have been dying to try the Russell House!
With an entrance tucked down a little side street in Harvard Square the Russell House invites patrons into its welcoming doors. As you walk in there is a little bar and casual seating area on the main level. You then go downstairs, which is where we were to be seated, to the main bar and dining room. The restaurant is surrounded by a big square bar in the middle that was packed out on a Wednesday night. In fact, the whole restaurant was packed.
We were seated at the back of the restaurant and were met by the very smiley waiter so that he could share the specials of the night. The menu offers lots of amazing choices from apps to small plates to entrees and pizza. There were so many tasty choices I wasn’t sure what to get. The wine list also offers lots of decent priced wines. We decided on the Renwood Petit Syrah at $39.
After what seemed like quite a long time we all decided on what we wanted. To start we decided to share the special appetizer of Figs wrapped in Bacon (I cant remember what the exact dish was), and the Melted Cambazola Cheese, Caramelized Onions & Mushrooms with Thyme Garlic Flatbread. The Figs were amazing; sweet like candy wrapped in salty soft cooked bacon and the Cambozola cheese was so delicious I couldn’t get enough of it.
For my main I decided on the Braised American Lamb Shoulder, Parsley & Potato Gnocchi, Warm Poached Farm egg & Young Pecorino. The lamb was unbelievable. Shredded lamb, perfectly cooked and incredibly tender. The gnocchi tasted like little melt in your mouth pillows. I made everyone at the table try them and there was lots of nodding in agreement at how good they were. It would seem that everyone loved their choice of dish. Kerry raved about the Chilled Scituate Harbor Lobster, Green Goddess Dressing, Vinegared Golden Beets, House-Made Potato Chips and Laurie liked her R. House Grass Fed Burger, P.T. Farms Vermont Beef, Griddled English Muffin, Cheddar, Bacon, Charcoal Onions but thought it was a little to rare in the middle. She did make a good job of eating most of her dish.
We ended the evening with the Flourless Chocolate Chili Cake, Cili Salted Caramel, Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream to share. A perfectly decadent, delicious way to end and over-indulgent evening of rich amazing food.
The Russell House reminded me of an English Gastro pub, which I think is their goal. The Gastro Pub’s in England are about concentrating on excellent food in a casual dining environment. I think the Russell House totally pulls this off. I will be back.