Sunday, August 10, 2008

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Harvard Square's Grafton Street

Last weekend Alex and I headed into Harvard Square for dinner. It's always fun to go to Harvard Square because of how lively and active the area is. Harvard Square is the only place that I can think of that has an Au Bon Pain opened past 10:00pm on a Saturday night. For this adventure into Cambridge I thought it would be fun to eat at Grafton Street. Their menu looked great and they were linked to Redline, which we went to earlier this year and liked. The restaurant had an upscale pub feel with its wooden decor and menu full of beers. This was the place that you could go with a big group of friends to have drinks and get food at an incredible price.

I started off the night with a chicken and white bean soup (the daily soup). This soup was delicious and wholesome tasting. The main flavor of the soup was the white beans. I thought this was great because I don't like soups that are salty and artificial tasting. There was a good amount of chicken chunks, but there was no denying that this soup's main attraction was the beans.

Alex had the One Magnificent Cheese. This was an appetizer that was served with crispy slices of bread, honey, nuts, and plums with a cheese selection that changes daily. The day we went the cheese selection was an aged cheddar from Grafton, Vermont. The cheddar was sharp, striking, and pungent; all the things you could want out of a good cheese. The combination of the cheese, honey, and bread was incredible. The sweetness of the honey was a perfect accompaniment to the saltiness of the cheddar.

Next up for me was the Artichoke and Fontina Ravioli. The ravioli came stuffed with cheese and thin slices artichoke, were topped with arugula, and sat in a lemon butter sauce. While I thought the dish was good (you could barely taste the artichoke in it), I was disappointed with how mild the cheese tasted. In my opinion, the cheese wasn't flavorful enough to stand up against the lemon butter sauce.

Alex also ordered a pasta in the form of Mac & Cheese. His dish was made with white cheddar and was topped with toasty breadcrumbs. The sauce was thick and creamy with a subtle sharpness from the cheddar. The noodles were big and perfect for scooping up the extra sauce that was left.

For dessert we shared the Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae. This dessert was fantastic. The cookie was huge and perfect; crispy on the edges and soft in the center. It was topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and fudge and was a great reminder of how a dessert as simple as cookies and ice cream can be a great end to any meal.

Grafton Street is conveniently located in Harvard Square and is literally minutes from the Red Line T station. For the amount and quality of food you get, you can't beat the price. It's definitely worth checking out!

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