Last week Meesh and I headed over to Church of Boston to meet our friend Bianca for some long-overdue drinks and dins. None of us had been before, but after meeting Chef Laura Henry-Zoubir at the Boston Burrito Bowl a couple months back (where all three of us swooned over her win-worthy breaded Cajun red fish bowl inspired by the New Orleans Saints) we knew we just had to have more of her creative cuisine. Plus, marketing director Rina could not stop raving about the new highly sustainable and locally inspired menu they were working on which would be ready just in time for Spring. SOLD! Within minutes we were already talking reservations.
Finally our three-way dinner date rolled around and we were all eager to try out Church’s new offerings which lends a new focus and innovative approach to classic comfort food. By the time we got there, Bianca had already ordered a drink; girl’s got the right idea!
She went for Vanity. Inspired by the legendary beauty Sophia Loren, this martini has a vodka base made with fresh squeezed, sweetened ruby red grapefruits. Just looking at it made me salivate and it tasted even better. I almost ordered one for myself but decided to take a gander at the cocktail list before making any rash decisions.
Upon opening it, my first thoughts were “Oooh this place has a concept, and I like it!” The list highlights the seven deadly sins AND the four horseman of the apocalypse, offering up witty descriptions and well thought out mixed drinks to match. Although I was already smitten with Vanity I decided to go for Envy instead.
Made with Reyka Vodka and freshly diced kiwi’s, one sip and I was 100% obsessed. OBSESSED! I could down pitchers of this any day of the week. I have yet to find a kiwi-infused drink anywhere else and I can’t comprehend why not, it is beyond genius. And it totally accomplishes the task at hand, I can see you all turning green in the face as I type. Picking from the four horseman of the apocalypse, Meesh went for the Conquest, a dark, bourbon barrel aged tequila mixed with rhubarb and agave nectar giving it a strawberry finish.
With the cocktails hitting major home run’s on all accounts, we decided to order a few small plates of the menu to start as we delved deeper into the menu.
Starting with the Wild Mushroom Flatbread topped with bacon, white truffle oil, mozzarella, spinach and fried shallots. Light, crisp, tasty and only $6 – where am I? (No but seriously, this brings up a very important point – Church’s prices are crazy inexpensive.)
Next we tried the Buttermilk Fried Chicken served with Belgian style waffles and spring garlic gravy. If there is only one thing you take away from this post it is that you must try this. YOU MUST! I demand it. Hand’s down the best fried chicken I have ever had. There I said it, and I don’t care who knows it. I have never once thought fried chicken and waffles was a good idea, call me crazy but I just don’t get it. Every time I’ve tried it I’ve been more than disappointed with the outcome. I find it to be totally unnecessary, but in Church’s case it works like a charm.
Maybe because the sheer quality of the chicken itself is so amazing that there is no reason to ever order fried chicken anywhere else again. Juicy and tender on the inside, perfectly crunchy on the outside and shockingly enough not obnoxiously greasy and/or heavy. It doesn’t hurt that Chef Gilman actually knows the guy who raises these tasty chix, with just one bite you can tell this baby did not come from Perdue.
The great quality ingredients definitely make this dish pretty flawless but the component that really tied the whole thing together was the gravy. Like all the other sauces at Church (including the ketchup) it was made from scratch. The buttery herb and garlic flavors were tremendous. This dish was so awesomesauce I can’t stop talking about it but I guess I should make my way to the rest of dinner…
The Pork Sliders topped with pickled spring onions and coleslaw were another one of my favorites. Small and savory atop a crunchy buttered bun. MmmmMmmm! On my list of things to try the next time I go back: the Fried Clam Roll sliders with lemon tartar.
Time for another drink.. Hello Lust!
A gin-based drink made with purple flowers from the Australian Alps and finished with just a touch of ginger. Per my server’s warning this drink was STRONG. perfect for gin-drinkers and martini lovers, not so perfect for light weights. It was the perfect end to a delicious meal. Oh, but let’s not forget about dessert.
Meesh’s favorite: The Beignets! We got to sample the newest flavor, which should be showing up on the menu soon. These were filled with strawberry rhubarb jelly and were ZOMG so good. I could nom these in my sleep.
In short, the Spring menu at Church is phenoms! Focusing on the flavors of New England and working directly with the farms they source from allows them to create a farm-to-table connection with their new comfort classics. I will admit this whole new approach to classic comfort is a term I’ve been hearing A LOT lately, especially when it comes to describing restaurant menu’s, but I must say I was beyond impressed with the way Laura and Chef Cuisine deJohn Gilman actually embraced and (dare I say) completely dominated this genre with their passion, creativity and deliciously prepared food. I can not wait to get myself back here for Brunch, I hear Church on Sundays is wasssup!
*Thanks again to all the staff at Church for such a great evening! From the chef’s and bartenders right down to the servers and hosts, there isn’t a single person at Church who doesn’t fully believe in and love what they are doing there, as they should. If not for the amazing food, there are more than a handful of reasons (and personalities) to come back to this place for time and again. And special thanks to Rina for organizing the whole thing, much appreciated!!
69 Kilmarnock St.