Daily Archives: 5 August 2010

Restaurant Review: Parsons Table

Last night, I tried a new restaurant with my friend April. April suggested the place, though she hadn’t been there before. We went to Parsons Table in Winchester, Massachusetts.

The town of Winchester is right next to Lexington. I’ve lived in Lexington for 17 years, and I lived in Arlington, another bordering town, for 4 years. In all those years, never mind the years I lived in Cambridge and Boston, I have never been to downtown Winchester. My only destination in Winchester is Mahoney’s Garden Center, and the route to get there doesn’t go through the center of town. Their town center seems charming (though mostly closed down at dinner time), worth a return trip during daylight hours.

Our meal at Parsons Table was a pleasant surprise. The restaurant is right up my alley. The food was creative, nicely prepared and well-presented. Many of the ingredients were locally sourced with the farmers or fishermen identified on the menu.

April and I made joint choices and shared everything. We ordered rose wine to drink, made from some of my favorite red wine grapes: Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre.

We started our meal with mussels from Jonesport, Maine, with chopped chorizo. It was cooked with a smoky tomato and lobster broth that we used all the available bread to soak up the juices.

For our main course, we shared two different entrees. The first was scallops from Gloucester with creamed corn and sauteed chanterelle mushrooms. The corn provided a rich sauce for the scallops. The other entrée was wild striped bass with a finely diced ratatouille on a bed of eggplant puree. The fish was served with its crispy grilled skin, and the white flesh, though mild, went well with the vegetables. Again, we cleaned our plates.

We thought we would pass on dessert, but decided to indulge after all. We shared a fondue made from Tazo Chocolate (produced in Somerville) with pound cake and fresh berries for dipping. The chocolate was rich and creamy. I have tried bars of Tazo chocolate and often find the texture to be grainy, but it turns out that it melts to be perfectly smooth.

This is the kind of place that will change its menu seasonally, so I look forward to going back to try another season’s menu. It was a great find. Good choice, April!

On another note, I recently discovered the blog Public Radio Kitchen, produced by my local public radio station WBUR. They blog about a variety of food-related topics, A few weeks ago, I emailed them to see if they’d consider adding my blog to their blogroll. Today, I got a response to let me know I’d been added. Check it out. You can find Plateful listed under the category “Healthy Eatin’, Livin’”.