My roommate left for a family gathering in Paris last week, so seeing him off on Wednesday provided the perfect excuse for a “good-bye / how will I live without you for ten days” dinner at the newly opened West Bridge in Kendall. Quite frankly, I knew nothing about the place, other than it was new, it was French, and it would take approximately 4 minutes to get there walking from our apartment.
When we arrived, first thing I noticed was that it was sandwiched between two of my favorite places — The Friendly Toast and Think Tank. Then we walked through the door and everyone was all smiles. I could tell this was going to be good already. Looking around and absorbing the new atmosphere, the design was the perfect mix of cold and hot. That is to say, there was lots of steel, glass windows, and great use of open space and hard edges, balanced with wooden tables, comfy linen-covered booths and casually dressed employees exuding the kind of warm, helpful, enthusiastic personalities that members of the service industry should obtain.
I told myself I wasn’t drinking, but that was veto’d quickly, “Come on, it’s new. You have to try at least one cocktail.” I was sold. I went for the Cloister, a concoction of Gin, yellow chartreuse, grapefruit and lemon. It was exactly what I wanted on a hot day – light and refreshing.
Darius went for the First Glimpse, a combination of Mezcal Vida and passionfruit served on the rocks. I’ve been hesitant with Mezcal lately. Sometimes the smoky-ness is just TOO overpowering for what I’m looking for, but Mezcal Vida is a blanco, and it’s lighter, so it was lovely with the passionfruit. I was actually pretty impressed and thankful to have my Mezcal-loving cohort with me who pretty much analyzed my Mezcal preferences to a T so now I know what to look for.
Next came time to nosh. The menu at West Bridge was separated into three categories — small plates, large plates and plates to share. We were looking to keep things on the lighter side, and given both of our inevitable food ADD type personalities, decided to dabble in a few small plates to share.
Starting with the Crispy Pig’s Head which came topped with some late season rutabega pickles. The outside was warm and crunchy like a falafel, inside was a savory pulled pork, together it was a dream.
We also went for an order of Asparagus served with porcini, baby greens and radish. Pretty standard, pretty delicious.
Our overall favorite was the Peas & Favas served with shitake bacon, goat cheese cream and red quinoa. Don’t even ask me how. I never thought I’d see the day where I was getting grab happy around a bowl of fava beans, I honestly probably wouldn’t have even ordered them had Darius not talked me into it but OH. EM. GEEE. I could eat this stuff for days. Such a great representation of everything I want out of a light Spring dish. Listen to me — YOU MUST ORDER THIS!
A special that night was the Seafood Sausage made with a mix of lobster and scallops. I’d never had anything like it. The texture was like tofu and it tasted like clam chowder. Perfectly seared and utterly enjoyable. I was also pretty amazed to hear this was the result of a chefs whim when they ran out of Lamb Sausage just a few hours before. Kudos!
One thing that set all these small plates apart from similar offerings from other establishments was the fact that each came with a unique sauce that paired exquisitely with the main component in each dish, and at the same time was so effing good on it’s own it was literally worth licking the remains off the plate. Given that I was pretty full from dinner I had to sadly turn down the homemade carrot cake with hazelnut frosting they were offering up as a dessert special. I know, I regret it now, because I have no doubt it was phenomenal.
Our overall experience at West Bridge was thoroughly enjoyable and I’m so psyched to have yet another awesome new eatery in the neighborhood. It’s possible I may never eat at home again. Not that I ever ate there in the first place.
1 Kendall Sq.