As cozy as its sister 75 Chestnut in Beacon Hill with a menu exactly the same, 75 on Liberty Wharf offers something old with something new. The new being prime real estate on Liberty Wharf in the Seaport District, the old being the comfort of knowing the food you are going to eat will be (or at least should be) good.
This tiny little restaurant sits right next to Del Frisco’s and at first I honestly could not for the life of me imagine a restaurant in that space, it’s so small. After my visit last week with friends, I can now say it works. Seating 60 patrons at small tables and a long bar across one wall, there is an immediate warmth to 75. They do have outdoor seating that will be wonderful in the warmer months with a view of the harbor. This will add another 60 seats to their space. There was however some very brave souls sat outside under the heat lamps on this cold Tuesday evening. They make use of the view with floor to ceiling glass walls on three sides, which adds openness to 75 but also they manage to keep it cozy.
Seated in the center of the little restaurant, we looked at the menu. My friends, Tricia and Kathryn were as eager as I was to order a number of different items.
Some warming red wine first with a glass of Malbec, one of my favorite winter wines. The appetizer menu offers winter comforts such as Clam Chowder and Five Alarm Chili, along with great sounding salads. We decided on the Crispy Calamari to share. As fresh as if it was just caught and as crunchy and light and morish as possible, this is a perfect starter for a group of friends. I loved the zesty marinara sauce.
We took our time with deciding on entrées and felt absolutely no push to move us on, even as the place was filling up both at the bar and all of the tables. Our waiter and waiter in training were both as pleasant and attentive as could be.
Torn between so many different choices I eventually settled on the Char-Grilled Atlantic Salmon. A colorful plate of food arrived in front of me. There is a wonderful mix of flavors in this dish from the strong yet delicate salmon to the crunchy asparagus to the briny spinach and earthy mushrooms. Not forgetting my favorite part the perfectly crispy polenta. I was on to a winner with this dish.
Served with roasted organic lentil, sautéed spinach, wild mushroom, crispy polenta, grilled asparagus and roasted red pepper coulis – $20
I asked my friends what they thought of their own entrées and this is what they had to say. Kathryn ordered the Steamed Mussels…. “Paired with chorizo, roasted tomatoes and garlic, the mussels float in a light red sauce. Topped with a slice of grilled dipping bread (I admit, I wanted more than one slice), this entrée is a must have when visiting 75 Chestnut or 75 Liberty. The portion size is quite large too. I’d recommend sharing it with a friend.”
PEI mussels with chorizo, roasted tomato, garlic, fresh herbs and grilled French bread – $14
Tricia ordered the Italian Bistro Burger… “The Seaport burger is a half-pound of fresh ground chuck topped with melted Swiss cheese and sautéed mushrooms (although I skipped these!) on a toasted fresh baked roll served with crispy French fries. The burger has the perfect amount of seasoning and pairs well with a glass of red wine. It is a hearty burger so bring your appetite!”
Half pound of fresh ground chuck served with sautéed mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion on a toasted roll, fries – $12.
Although it was Sweet Tooth Tuesday, we could not handle any dessert. Instead, we just ordered another glass of wine. It was the right thing to do on a cold Tuesday.
The one negative I have, but I am not sure what the fix would be is the under floor heating, which adds a little too much warmth to your feet. I also had my handbag on the floor that was literally hot to touch when I picked it up. My feel felt a little swollen in my shoes.
The service is good, the price point is perfect, the food is comforting and the location is just right.