I love southern food, so I’m very excited about what seems to be a trend in Boston lately. I also love that each of the new southern style restaurants in the area has its own unique twist on the cuisine and are quite different from each other. Estelle’s is no exception, and if I had to categorize their take it would be southern – gourmet.
I tried Estelle’s about a month after they opened, breaking my rule of not dining alone (to save money and sample more dishes) because I wanted to try it that bad! It was everything I hoped it would be, and more.
I had looked at the menu online and narrowed my entrée selection to four choices. On the ten-minute walk over, I narrowed it further to two: the etouffee or fried chicken. When I sat at the bar, I had already decided on a special request but pretended to consider the menu wanting to appear more normal before my fellow bar patrons saw me pull out the camera and start taking pictures.
I started with the fried chicken thigh appetizer, but requested the sausage gravy that came with the entrée instead of the BBQ sauce. This was a generous portion, served boneless with a delicious crispy batter and radish watermelon salad (the entrée came with bacon mac and cheese). The sausage gravy was lighter and thinner than I expected, which was nice. It gave the chicken a great flavor but wasn’t too heavy or filling.
Next was the side of cornbread with molasses butter. This was cooked perfectly - crisp on the edges but perfectly moist inside. I loved the molasses butter and could have eaten it plain, but I restrained myself.
For my entrée, I tried the etouffee with cornmeal fried oysters and duck confit. This was unlike any etouffee I’ve had, with huge oysters and a whole duck leg on top of a bowl of spicy rice and tomato sauce. This was delicious, but I had trouble finishing much more than the oysters and duck.
I left Estelle’s with a list of dishes to go back and try again soon including suggestions from some regulars I chatted with at the bar (hush puppies, red velvet whoopee pies, shrimp and grits cake)! I can’t wait to visit again for dinner and check out the brunch menu!