A couple of weeks ago, we attended the Friends and Family preview event at John Harvard's in Cambridge, which has recently undergone some renovations. The evening was a great opportunity to sample their new menu and taste some of their quality brews. We're always eager to check out local restaurants and to support local business, so we were excited about the event! The 3-course dinner featured a couple of "sharables" to start - appetizers brought to each table to sample before the real meal began. We tried both the Point Judith Calamari and the Spinach Artichoke Dip. The calamari was well cooked, with a perfectly crispy crust and a tasty tomato sauce that had a definite bite. The artichoke dip was heavy on the cheese, but very flavorful.
The first course included a couple of salad choices - including a Caesar Salad which was paired with their Tripel Bottom Line, and a Baby Lettuces salad which was paired with their Lacto Saison. We found these pairings - as well as the rest of the pairings throughout the meal - to be spot on. The salads were both good - the caesar perfectly dressed with ample shredded parmesan, and the baby greens very lightly dressed, but incredibly fresh.
For the main course, we opted for the Old Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie, and the Ale House Steak Frites. The pot pie was fantastic - not too heavy, with a perfectly crisp and buttery crust, and a well-seasoned stew inside. It tasted like homemade, but better! I can't say the steak frites was as good - the meat was overcooked and tough, and the fries were a little bit stale, though they did have decent flavor. Fortunately, both beer pairings were great, and really helped to enhance the flavor of both the food and the beer. The pot pie was paired with the JHBH Pale Ale, and the steak frites with the Ole Provision Ale (an aged brown ale). The pale ale was especially delicious - pretty hoppy, but still smooth and easy to drink.
For the dessert course, we enjoyed a lovely apple crisp, alongside the Mordre Bleu (a Belgian beer) and a Flourless Chocolate Torte with the Monticello Porter. The apple crisp was wonderful fantastic - loaded with apple chunks and plenty of "crisp." It was served alongside a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a bit of caramel sauce - simply delightful. The chocolate torte had a definite hint of marzipan, which I am not particularly fond of myself, but my dining companion quite enjoyed that as well. Like the other courses, the beer pairings were again spot on. Overall it was a nice evening, and we were grateful for the opportunity. We were also happy to be able to round out our Local Brew Series with a highlight of another great local business.
We've had a blast writing this local brew series over the past 8 weeks, and hope you've enjoyed getting a closer look at some of our wonderful local craft brewers. It's incredible and exciting to see how many local craft brewers this area boasts, and all of them with such high quality products. Also important to note is how friendly, accommodating and approachable the faces are behind these breweries - a fact which has been cemented in my mind since we began this series. We hope you'll begin or continue to support our local brewers, because they deserve the notoriety, and you deserve darn good beer.