Where: Saloon – 255 Elm Street Somerville, MA 02144
When: March, 2012
Last Friday, after drinks at Area Four and before drinks at Mead Hall, I met some colleagues, Ken and Theo as well as Panos (did I spell that right?), one of Theo’s friends, for dinner at Saloon in Davis Square. I had been there one other time with Libby for drinks and really liked the atmosphere as well as the cocktail list.
As I waited outside for the boys to be done with their group hair cut (adorable) I got to watch a very, very drunk man who only spoke Spanish heckle the bouncer. The bouncer remained so calm and cool, I was damn impressed as even I wanted to march over and tell him to calm his ass down. Well done.
After getting our IDs checked (thank you) we headed downstairs where we were quickly seated. Saloon is dark and cool and smells almost musty, but not in a bad way. There is just something in the air that makes you wonder what happened there the night before. Lots and lots of dark wood, area rugs and leather chairs. It felt like the kind of place you would go to for a bourbon and cigar after dinner at your grandfathers house and I liked it.
After hemming and hawing about getting a drink or not (it was going to be a long night) I decided to get the same cocktail that I got last time – the Americana. The Americana is bourbon based with brown sugar, j. thomas bitters, and sparkling wine. Its delicious and although strong it has a lightness to it that makes it feel like a totally acceptable drink to have with dinner.
Next, the menu…
My eye immediately went to the Bubble and Squeak partially because of the name but also because all the ingredients looked so good – some of my favorites. I second guessed by decision wondering if I should get the Grilled Flatiron Steak, which Ken got, or even the Fish and Chips. I decided to stick to my gut feeling and got the Bubble and Squeak. It came with a roasted sausage, mashed root vegetables, shaved brussel spouts, winter leeks, and onion gravy. Everything was cooked really well and the flavors worked really worked together. It was a tad under seasoned for me so I added a little salt but otherwise it was great. It was pretty heavy and I sort of wished I had gotten something a little lighter as it was one of those wacky Boston winter days that felt like summer. You definitely won’t leave hungry if you get this dish.
When I asked Ken how his steak was he just glazed over and said “This is all I have ever wanted”. Enough said. Everyone really seemed to enjoy what they got and the only other comment I heard was that the portions were a little on the small side (from Panos). I know this is a blessing for me as I can rarely leave a plate until its been cleaned but I can see how this may be a con for someone with a larger appetite.
Overall great atmosphere, fantastic cocktails, and a small but very good menu. Great place to go with a group of friends, family, a date or just for cocktails. I’d definitely go back.