As I write this post, I am contentedly full from a delicious dinner at Union Bar and Grille in Boston’s South End. A day of wandering the North End in the heat and wishing I owned the dogs in the South End dog park, we found relief from this late summer heat in Union’s cool, comfortable dining room.
We have been to Union’s bar a few times, once to eat brunch, and a few other times for drinks, but never for dinner. They have a great wine list and are one of the restaurants in Boston that has ventured outside of the traditional wine regions of the world to offer Austrian Gruner Veltliner, a huge plus in my opinion. They also offer reasonably priced wine by the glass from places like Washington, New Zealand, and Argentina.
Since we had never eaten in the dining room, it was a nice surprise to be seated in the very comfortable black banquette lit by some great natural light. The decor is dark, cool, and sleek, very comfortable but really chic.
We were greeted by the restaurant’s manager, Justin, seated, and given a complimentary glass of bubbly to mark the end of Boston Restaurant Week. It was a very nice touch
Fresh, hot cornbread preceded our meals, and while I decided to save room for my three course dinner, my husband thought it was perfect, especially with some creamy, lightly salted butter.
For my wine, I decided on the Neapolitan flight which started with a glass of Graham Beck Brut Rosé. As you may know from other posts (wine tasting at Morton’s, Vino Voyage, and my friend’s graduation dinner). Graham Beck unfortunately recently passed away, but his delicious wine certainly lives on and gives us reason to celebrate.
My first course was a fresh, light, and summery soup, Chilled local peach and golden tomato gazpacho, that took advantage of the best local produce at the moment, tomatoes and peaches. I don’t know why I never thought to pair tomatoes and peaches before (but Chef Robin White does in an incredible salad) but it is a magical pairing, the sweetness of ripe peaches accentuating the sweetness and slight acidity of the tomatoes. It was the perfect starter for such a hot evening. The only thing that I personally would have left out was the drizzle of oil on top; it was a little distracting. Otherwise, I could and would eat bowl after bowl of this gazpacho.
My second wine was a Sauvignon Blanc from Groth Vineyards in the Napa Valley. It ended up being the perfect choice to pair with the spice of my entree
Oven roasted cape bluefish
with spicy watermelon pickle charred sweet onions,
grilled summer corn and basmati rice pilaf
The spicy watermelon was just luscious and unexpected, complementing the meaty bluefish well. I even enjoyed the sweet summer corn and rice, and I am not usually a fan of rice. Everyone finds it strange that I don’t like rice, but I really rarely enjoy it. Last night was one of those nights.
The Restaurant Week menu included a dessert course, and we were completely spoiled for dessert as we were brought out the house special, a maple bread pudding, in addition to the desserts we ordered:
Raspberry spiked chocolate brownies
with pistachio ice cream
Bread and butter pudding
with roasted peaches and vanilla bean ice cream
That’s a lot of dessert for two people! But we managed, with two glasses of Port, to put quite a dent in them, each delicious and decadent in their own way. Justin was completely correct when he said that the maple bread pudding was life changing, and I can see it being a big time autumn craving.
Union is a great neighborhood restaurant for just about any meal or casual snacks at the bar, which I find to be one of my favorite bar settings in Boston. They provided us with above and beyond hospitality, and we will definitely return. Thanks so much, Justin!
So, it’s Monday again and a pretty busy week leading up to our holiday weekend in the Berkshires. . . and a fall season for lots of travel and fun events. I can’t wait, but it’s also a little bit daunting. One day at a time I guess!
Even though we work until 2:00 on Friday, I am telling myself it is a short week. Ask me again on Thursday how I feel about that!
It was a quiet weekend on the blog traffic front, so in case you missed them, don’t forget to check out summer farmers market roundup, a wine tasting at home, and another cod recipe. Also, I am in the process of updating the Sites I love page. More to come!
Did you eat anything particularly delicious this weekend?