Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Green Steet Grill: Re-Open for Business!

Green Street Grill has been closed since January for renovations which I found out the hard way one freezing, wintry evening after I fought my way through a blistering wind tunnel to get there. But thankfully they re-opened their doors last night. And the place is jumpin' once again.

We walked in around 6:15 and the bar was already full with what looked like friends and family of the Greet Street staff. This place has a heartbeat. It always feels so alive. They play the best music - that night there was a great mix of Motown with the occasional Ben Harper track slipped in here and there. Everyone seemed to know each other. They even collectively applauded when the first dish was broken in the kitchen. You don't see that every day. We were the first to sit in the restaurant section but were soon accompanied by many others including Chris Schlesinger of the East Coast Grill and Steve Johnson of Rendezvous who were seated next to us. It's great to see other restaurant owners show their support.

On to the food. I'm going to do something I have never done before. Talk about the dessert first. Why? Because they make THE best bread pudding I have ever had in a restaurant and perhaps one of the best desserts I have ever had - period. And also, I want to make sure you save room for it! It is described on the menu as Warm Banana Bread Pudding with Rum Caramel Sauce and Coconut Ice Cream. First off, I give them props for committing to always serving it warm. The ice cream and caramel melt down the sides just perfectly. And the consistency of the bread pudding itself is sublime. It tastes like banana bread but much less dense. And the rum in the caramel sauce definitely makes a statement. It's absolutely fantastic. My sister and I split one and devoured the whole thing. I can't recommend this dessert enough. Get on down to Green Street Grill and order one soon.

In terms of the rest of the menu, there are many standouts that tap into the Caribbean and Latin influences which Green Street has been known for in the past.

The Pan Fried Shrimp and Crab Cakes with roasted corn & green onion hot sauce are perfection (and seemed to be a hot item - we saw many orders of it going around). This appetizer does not skimp on the crab or overdo the breadcrumbs which is often an issue with crab cakes. And the corn side is the perfect accompaniment.

The side order of Plantains with spicy ketchup is addictive and not to be missed. The plantains are perfectly soft and browned and the ketchup I believe has chipotle pepper in it which gives it a deliciuos smoky flavor. Excellent.

The Grilled Shrimp, Chorizo and Yucca with Spanish olives and sour-orange garlic mojito sauce has a nice zesty flavor to it. My favorite part was actually the Yucca. It tastes sort of like a potato but with more chutzpah and went really well with the sauce.

The Grilled Chile Rubbed Rib-Eye Steak was the entrée of choice. We decided to split it which was a wise move because it was a very generous portion. It was cooked perfectly medium-rare and served with a very flavorful red onion-tamarind marmalade and french fries. I know comfort food is supposed to be on the back burner for the warmer months but it was raw and rainy last night. That's our excuse and we're sticking to it.

In terms of what's changed, nothing that I minded (although I'm still bitter about the removal of the pinball machine from the last time they renovated). The menu has some new options but is still top notch, they have some new artwork up that is fantastic (check out the happenin' one below), there are some new red hanging lights over the bar and in the dining room that add some ambiance, and the crowd is still fun and up for a great meal and maybe a tasty Zombie or two.

Green Street Grill
280 Green Street, Central Square, Cambridge, MA, 617.876.1655


Anonymous Donna said...

Best crab cakes I've ever had. And she's not kidding about the dessert - they don't mess around here. Great atmosphere, incredible music and seriously good food. What more can you ask?

7:19 PM  
Anonymous madeira mama said...

Food looks incredible and your descriptions makes one salivate.

7:47 PM  

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