Boston is amidst another one of its AQUApocalypses. First we had no water this summer when a pipe broke and tainted our beloved drinking water, now we have TOO much water which has decided to try and destroy my week via endless rain. Although normally this type of weather would cause me to crawl into a ball and hide away on my couch watching hours and hours of Mad Men reruns, my roommate moved out last week and took the cable box with her, so that type of behavior is out of the question. Instead, I will keep celebrating restaurant week, which is what I did last night!
Rounding up the “broads” (which is what my girlfriends and I often refer to each other as) we decided to go out for dinner UpStairs on the Square last night; referring to the award-winning restaurant located in Harvard Square that is. Let me start off by saying, this place is unreal. Absolutely adorable! I love a restaurant with personality and USOTS has so much of it I’d almost be willing to say it rivals my own. From the funky furniture to the vibrant raspberry-colored walls, even our table was a unique shape: a crooked hexagon, half booth/half chaired that could seat up to 12. We were seated in the Zebra Room, filled with Zebra print furniture (duh) and hot pink argyle flooring. The far wall of the dining room was lined with glass windows and a set of french doors leading into a private wood-paneled dining room perfect for “soiree’s” as USOTS likes to say.
As I walked into the restaurant I felt like I was leaving the real world, opting for a setting one would only find while adventuring in Wonderland with Alice and her cooky friends. Unfortunately the dim lighting interfered with my photo-taking ability, but type in “Upstairs on the Square” in Google Images and I guarantee you’ll be booking a reservation in 2.2 seconds.
After getting over how much I loved the decor, I decided to move on to the wine list or rather the wine book. After sifting through some pages, we went for one of the less expensive bottles, a Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc blend that was only $33. Later on our server would recommend a bottle of Malbec they had as a special for $32. Since I love Malbec, and cheap wine at fancy restaurants, this immediately put our waitress at the top of my favorites list.
On the verge of starving, we all decided to order immediately. Given that there was five of us, we got a chance to try everything USOTS had to offer on their restaurant week menu. As I mentioned before, the lighting inside the restaurant was pretty rough. Fireplace = great for ambiance, not so much for taking photos. I didn’t capture all the nom’s on camera, but I’ll try to describe them in all their delicious-glory accordingly.
For starters we sampled the Grilled Watermelon Salad and Killian’s Kitchen Sink Sandwich. Now I must say, I have seen Watermelon Salads popping up EVERYWHERE this summer. If anyone is having the Best Summer Ever, it’s Watermelon. It’s cheap, it’s delicious, it’s pretty in pink, and it tastes even better when you get it grilled and caramelized with Piloncillo Sugar, which is exactly what USOTS did to it. Served warm with mint and feta, it was absolutely amazing. I will warn you now that I may or may not use the term “absolutely amazing” more than once in this post because everything at USOTS was pretty much just that! The Kitchen Sink Sandwich was just as delicious, it came served on toasted and buttered brioche with red and yellow heirloom tomato’s, goat cheese and sea salt. MmmMmm.
Pictured above we have Native Yellowfin Tuna, which came with fried golden beets, spicy mustard and greens, served over rice. The Tuna was barely pan-seared, which is just how I like it and the sweetness of the beets was perfect. Also above is the Wood-Fired Moroccan Spiced Lamb, which pretty much reminded me of an open-face Gyro. The Lamb came served on top of Naan with sides of eggplant, cucumber, carrot and homemade Tzatziki sauce. Again, it was absolutely amazing, as was the Bucatini all’Amatriciana which I also had chance to try.
For dessert we had the option to choose between a Brown Butter Almond Torte with Roasted Summer Plums or a Chocolate Mousse served with Vanilla Shortbread Cookies. I have to be honest, I didn’t really love either. The Torte was kind of dry and there was something off-tasting about the Chocolate Mousse but I didn’t really care either way, I still enjoyed them.
- Great Atmosphere and Decor
- Large dining room, perfect for big parties
- Amazing service (our server was charming, on point and brought out a couple complimentary treats in the spirit of Restaurant Week)
- Prices are a bit high, but not bank-breaking
- Excellent food