Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Behind the Kitchen with Loyal Nine Restaurant

Recently, the Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE) hosted their second Restaurant and Development (R&D) series where up and coming restaurants are able to test out their menu to a small group of sophisticated diners…. and myself.

Loyal Nine (opening Spring 2015) was the main attraction of the evening. The restaurant’s concept is based off the “Loyal Nine Patriot Protestors” of the Stamp Act, which predated the Revolutionary War, and food selection is consistent with what patrons would have dined on during that period.

First up for my group were the Winter Point Oysters with smoked porter vinegar. Having different types of oysters before (Island Creek, Duxbury), I honestly couldn’t tell the difference tastes of the oysters, but the smoked porter vinegar brought out a good smoky taste without being too over powerful.

Winter Point Oysters
Next up, Scituate Periwinkles with hard cider and dulse sourdough. This was a new one for me, I’ve cracked open lobster claws, shucked oysters from the shell, but the periwinkles took me a few tries to finally master how to actually eat these correctly. The trick was using toothpicks to work out the wiggly suckers from their shells. Once I got the system down, I was good to go and so were the periwinkles dipped in the hard cider sauce and topped with the sourdough bread.

Scituate Periwinkles

Scituate Periwinkles with ever important toothpick!
After mastering the periwinkle dip, it was time to try out the Whole Roasted Romanesco with littleneck clams, bartlett pear, bonito butter and osetra caviar. Looking like cauliflower (yuck), I was a little skeptical about the next dish, however, after one bite I was pleasantly surprised. The romanesco was cooked til a little brown/burnt, which brought the flavors out more and the bonito butter and caviar sealed the deal on the taste.

Whole Roasted Romanesco with Caviar 

Whole Roasted Romanesco with Caviar 
Loyal Nine saved the best for last (in my opinion) when it came to creativity for the last dish of the night with Fried Clam and Pig (yes, piggy) Ear Roll with bitter green relish. Since the pig ear was being fried, I figured that it should taste like any fried food and taste the same, to which it did. I honestly didn’t taste any difference between the fried pig and the fried clams minus a little more seafood taste in the clams. The green relish and toasted butter bun made it seem more of a comfort type food than a unique tasting dish, still creative in theory.

Fried Clam and Pig Ear Roll 

Fried Pig Ear

Loyal Nine should be a successful restaurant once they open in East Cambridge with their unique selection of food (and hopefully better beer/hard cider selection, too bitter for my liking). If you’re ready to try a new place with a distinctive menu selection of seafood that compares to what pre-Revolutionary patrons ate, then Loyal Nine will be on your ‘gotta try’ dining list.

What restaurant is on your 'gotta try' list?  

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