Earlier this week I went with four of my best girls to Russell House Tavern in Harvard Square. Since it opened I have read and heard nothing but spectacular things. Despite the fanfare, I was avoiding Russell House because their vegetarian options are incredibly limited. I was curious to see what they could whip up that would please my herbivore palette.
Russell House Tavern is located mere steps from the Harvard Square T stop in the spot formerly occupied by Z Square (which I loved). I was grateful for the T stop proximity as it was pouring rain!
The entry way to Russell House Tavern is quite beautiful:
I arrived and waited in the bar area with two of the other girls. The decor in this room reminded me of Gaslight in the South End. The room is very warm and cozy, perfect for a date.
The lighting above the bar is singular light bulbs hanging down from the ceiling. I love this!
Loyal readers also know I get giddy when I see specials in brightly colored chalk on a blackboard. Check!
Once all the ladies arrived we walked down a flight of stairs to the dining room. As I turned the corner on the stairwell I took this photo on the landing:
The Russell House Tavern menu is huge!
A few of the girls were immediately attracted to the raw bar. One of the girls ordered an oyster shooter (which she threw back so quickly I couldn't get a photo) and another girl ordered clams:
After placing our orders for entrees, our waiter delivered us a basket of bread with olive oil. The bread was lackluster but the oil was delicious!
Our meals arrived and they were all gorgeous. To the left of me, a friend ordered the crab cakes. She said they had a generous portion of crab meat and the outer, crispy layer was crunchy and delicious.
Next to her, a friend ordered the "Dirty Caesar" salad with chicken. She said the chicken was fantastic, but the dressing on the salad was a bit too much. I hate when Caesar is soggy!
Next to her, my friend tried the white clam pizza. She loved it, but stopped half way to save the rest for lunch the next day.
Next to her, a friend ordered the raw yellowfin tuna. I don't even eat this and I thought this plate looked stunning.
I decided on the burrata and fig pizza. I am not kidding you when I say this is one of the best things I have ever tasted in my life. The cheese was super creamy and the figs tasted like candy! I am already craving this again.
I also ordered a side of asparagus that came topped with lemon and pecorino cheese. It was so incredible I hate the whole thing before realizing I didn't take a picture!
We also ordered a bucket of french fries for the table. We had seen (and smelled!) them as they were being carried to all the neighboring tables and knew we had to have them! The fries were sensational. Perfect level of crispiness and saltiness served with chilled ketchup and a decadent aioli. Wow.
You would think after all this we'd stop, but no. We ordered a dessert to split - the chocolate strawberry mousse cake. How pretty is this piece of cake?
I only took one bite (you know how I feel about fruit flavored dessert), but it was very good. There was strawberry puree on the plate and the chocolate cake was very moist.
I was very impressed by the Russell House Tavern. I love the design and decor. Everything from the iron gate entry, to the light fixtures, to the cozy atmosphere. The wait staff never rushed anyone out of their table. They let people sit as long as they wanted. Our waiter was incredibly patient and answered our many questions about the menu. He also made several thoughtful recommendations. Lastly, their food is just off the chain. Period.
Visit Russell House Tavern at 14 JFK Street and follow them on Twitter @RussellHouseTav. You can also follow the chef! He's @mscelfo.