Sunday, April 12, 2015

Club Passim

          Club Passim is a venue in Harvard Square and one of the first places I ever went out in Boston / Cambridge when I first moved to the area. They are a non profit dedicated to supporting local artists and musicians and host open mic nights and free community concerts in addition to shows by more well known artists. I hadn't been in years, and was excited to check them out after they recently reopened with a new focus on food in addition to the music.

          For as long as I can remember, the restaurant at Club Passim was Veggie Planet which has now closed with plans to eventually reopen in another space. Chef Brandon Arms is the new Executive Chef, and has elevated the menu to a whole new level. Arms has worked alongside some of Boston’s finest chefs, including Clio’s Ken Oringer, and ran Garden at the Cellar from 2011 to 2014. Arms’ new menu for Passim features globally-inspired New American cuisine.

           Before sitting down to enjoy a great show with Lori McKenna and Steve Moakler, I had the chance to check out the kitchen, chat with the chef, and try some amazing food!


          We started with some apps including  dates wrapped with bacon and stuffed with blue cheese, pork belly buns with Asian pickles, jalepeno, cilantro and sweet soy, roasted brussels sprouts with country ham, egg yolk puree and crispy potato, and a mushroom crostini with sherry walnut puree, goat cheese, and chives. I enjoyed all of these but my favorites were definitely the dates. The majority of these dishes were from the snacks section of the menu and only $5; you could definitely come and dine tapas style while you enjoy a show.



          While I was back in the kitchen, I was drooling over the duck legs used to make the duck pastrami sandwich. This is the finished product:

          These are the duck legs they use to make the pastrami. When the chef saw me seriously reconsidering my dinner order after seeing these, he sent out one for me to try. The duck was incredibly tender, with lots of pepper for the pastrami. Next time I come in, I am definitely trying the sandwich!

          For the main course, I had butter poached lobster with a fried duck egg, brioche croutons, and shaved black truffle. This was LOADED with truffle and at $18 an exceptional value.

          I also tried a bite of the lamb gnocchi and salmon which were delicious. The salmon was some of the best I've ever had, and beautifully plated. 

           I was too full for dessert, but the beignets looked amazing and I plan to save room next time! If you're interested in trying Passim for dinner and some great music, the complete schedule is available here. The food and the ticket prices are both very affordable, and you'll be supporting a great cause!

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