Last Thursday was quite possibly one of the most beautiful days we have had this year; warm and dry with a balmy breeze that beckons everyone to dine outside. Or maybe just me? With this in mind I emailed my friend Stacey and asked “what are you doing this evening?” Her answer, and of course why she is my friend was “why, would you like to dine outside and drink wine?” I didn’t even have to prompt her!
This led us to making a decision on going to Hamersley’s. It has been a while since I have been to Hamersley’s; a Bostonmainstay of our culinary scene for the past 20 years. The last time was about a year and half ago when I sat at the bar on my own and thoroughly enjoyed Gordon Hamersley’s uber famous Roast Chicken.
We took the leisurely walk over to the South End around 6.30pm and to our delight seating on the patio was on a first come first serve basis and we were able to get a table for two in the enclosed patio area with wrought iron, French style seating set on cobbled stones with a pretty area of flowers and shrubbery along the Tremont Street side. As the sun starts to go down, old-fashioned gas lamps are put on everyone’s table and twinkle lights start to light up and gives the most romantic feel to your dining experience. However, this was not a romantic date, this was girls after work looking to enjoy a gorgeous Thursday evening with wine and food. On the other hand, if I was to have a date this place would be perfect. Just putting that out there.
While we were perusing our options, we both ordered the Sancerre, Henri Bourgeois, “Les Bonnes Bouches,” 2010 Sauvignon Blanc – $14. We really should have ordered a bottle in hindsight. Perfectly crisp and fresh and ideal for our outside dining experience.
The menu is hearty home cooking with artistic flair. There are so many things that looked amazing and especially on the seafood side. I had already decided I wanted something different from the chicken.
After some deliberations we ordered the Duck Meatballs and Crispy Shell Crab to share for our appetizers. We were both fans of different dishes. I loved the duck meatballs, which were richly flavorful resting in a heady sherry broth – definitely hearty but small enough so that you were not overwhelmed.
The Soft Shell Crab was a little greasy tasting but quite crispy and I would have preferred more crab meat – I think we got a skinny one. It was still quite tasty. Stacey loved it.
The most intriguing looking entrée for me was the Skillet-Cooked Pink Salmon-Trout. I had never heard of such a fish but after the waitress’s description, I couldn’t wait to try it. What arrived was the prettiest looking dish with pale pink salmon colored flaky fish. Delicate and light with a lovely mild flavor enhanced by the bitter arugula, crunchy radish and sharp citrusy grapefruit salad. A spectacular summer dish. I was incredibly happy.
My second choice would have absolutely been the Spicy Halibut, which Stacey ordered. To quote my friend… “the Halibut was cooked well, a bit on the spicy side but I liked it like that, and enjoyed having the white beans and clams which was a nice touch.” I had a taste and loved the curry flavors of the fish, definitely different.
Our evening was fun and unrushed and as we laughed and enjoyed the warm air another glass of wine was ordered and I decided to leave my car at work and take a cab home. Our waitress was only too happy to oblige as we hung out longer and slowly took our time with the dessert menu.
What else works better than Strawberry Shortcake on a warm evening – nothing – it was the absolute right choice! A work of simple art arrived at our little table so we took a moment just to stare at it. Fresh, sweet strawberries with soft, crumbly shortcake and a perfectly creamy, fresh tasting Chantilly and sticky sweet caramel sauce. A perfect ending to our over-indulgent evening.
We had a lovely evening at Hamersley’s, with great food, good wine and weather you wish for. The only shame was work the next day.