Highland Kitchen is a southern style restaurant in Somerville that serves high-end comfort food with a creative twist. It’s a popular local spot, but still relatively easy to get into without a reservation. I walked in around 8pm on a Friday night, and although there was a 30-minute wait for a table for two we were able to find a spot at the bar within five minutes.
While looking at the menu I ordered a cocktail of vodka, homemade pink lemonade, and cucumber. It was light, refreshing and I liked the combination of the flavors, which was something I hadn’t tried before.
We started with two appetizers: the shrimp and grits and half a dozen oysters. The shrimp were grilled perfectly and the grits were creamy but not too heavy. This dish also came with mushrooms and crispy pork belly, and all of the flavors worked really well together. The oysters were a special from Buzzards Bay. They were very fresh, a little on the larger side, and tasted smooth with a salty finish.
Next were the main courses, the jambalaya and lamb and pork meatballs (another special). The bartender warned me the jambalaya was spicy but not over the top, and he described it perfectly. It included the standard rice, shrimp, and sausage, but there were also chunks of duck confit, which gave it a unique flavor and tasted great. It was served with a piece of fresh made cornbread, which was also good and like the grits surprisingly light. The meatballs were unlike any I’ve had, and I really liked the flavor of the lamb. They were served over pasta, with greens, grated cheese, and a white wine sauce.
Despite being stuffed, we were so impressed by the rest of our meal that we had to try dessert. I was disappointed they were out of the special since the others were so good, but the bartender recommended the banana bread pudding and once again was spot on. It was served with warm caramel and vanilla ice cream, and the whole thing was delicious.
Overall, the meal at Highland Kitchen was excellent. After trying this place for the first time, I made the very bold statement that it might be my favorite restaurant in Somerville.