Sunday, July 1, 2012

B Street

          I had the pleasure of dining with the Boston Brunchers this weekend at B Street in Newton (although the meal was provided free of charge, the opinions are unbiased and completely my own). B Street is a neighborhood bistro in Newton Centre, with a cozy wine bar feel, an atmosphere similar to some of my favorite spots in the South End. The prices are affordable and the menu is a nice balance of creative twists on comfort classics and healthy choices.

          The staff at B Street was extremely friendly and welcoming, and several people stopped by to introduce themselves and check in throughout our meal. When we sat down they explained they had prepared a tasting menu of house specialties to start, and then we would each be able to choose one full sized entrée from four options. We also got to sample the house made sangria and Bloody Marys.

          We started with the cocktails, which were light, refreshing, and perfect on a hot summer day. The sangria was a rose, which I’d never had and really enjoyed. It was fruity but not too sweet, and infused with fresh peaches, plums, and berries. I’m not normally a fan of Bloody Marys, but this was lighter than any I’ve had and not too spicy. It’s one of the few I’ve tried and would order again.

          The tasting started with spinach pie, and we realized quickly these were more than just small tastes! The pie was light and flaky, with just the right balance of spinach and feta. It was served with a small side of fresh salad greens.

          Next came the breakfast flatbread. Each slice had one over easy egg, a roasted garlic sauce, thin sliced potatoes, cheese, and chunks of crisp bacon.

          The steak and egg quesadilla came next, and this was one of my two favorite dishes. The flour tortilla was stuffed with large slices of steak and scrambled eggs, seared to the perfect crispiness, and topped with fresh pico de gallo.

          The final tasting course, the challah french toast, was my other favorite. The french toast was some of the thickest I’ve had, and it was topped with warm caramelized apples and maple syrup.

          We had four choices for the main entrée, and a fellow bruncher and I decided to share two: the hangover burger and smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. The burger was huge, served on a grilled English muffin, with slices of thick bacon, gooey cheddar cheese, and a fried egg. This was named quite well, and definitely on the level of some of the award winning burgers in Boston.

          The salmon scramble was also delicious; the Norwegian smoked salmon was incredibly fresh, came in thick slices, and went perfectly with the scrambled eggs. The eggs were moist and just on the line of being slightly underdone, which was the perfect preparation to pair with smoked salmon.

          At the end of our main course, the chef came over and introduced himself. We learned he had only been at B Street a few weeks, but has worked brunch for ten years at a few different restaurants in Boston (including one of my neighborhood favorites the South End Buttery). The fact that he was so new made the food and experience even more impressive.

          As we were preparing to leave, completely stuffed (and satisfied) our sever told us there was a surprise dessert on the way. Despite our comments about not being able to move or eat for the rest of the day, we all agreed we could squeeze in just a bite or two! We tried to guess what the dessert might be, and several of us hoped for chocolate. Within a few minutes, several of the staff came over with not one, but THREE desserts (and yes there was chocolate)!

          We tried a strawberry rhubarb crisp with vanilla bean ice cream, blueberry crostada with vanilla bean ice cream, and s’mores baked Alaska with meringue, chocolate ice cream, and a chocolate crust. The proprietor explained that they were changing the dessert menu and asked for our feedback. The desserts were all delicious, but the clear winner was the strawberry rhubarb (and yes, this was the group that wanted chocolate)! The warm strawberries and vanilla ice cream were a perfect pairing, and the crisp topping was light and sweet.

          The brunch at B Street was one of the best I've had. Nothing I tried was short of fantastic, and even with several great brunch spots within walking distance of my apartment; I’d make the drive out of Boston to try B Street again. The Chef mentioned that the menu would be changing in a few weeks, and I’d love to check it out and taste some of his new creations!

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