Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Fireplace

Sorry about my long absence from posting here. I just began graduate school—a science journalism program—so I’ve been adjusting to my new schedule and workload. Now that I’m in the habit of writing all day…every day…I’ll be posting a bit more often here. (If I take a break from my Lean Cuisines and actually find time to get out to some restaurants, that is.) This post is about my last Restaurant Week dinner, so it’s a bit late, but I took notes while I was there, so this should be a pretty accurate retelling of my meal.

The Fireplace, a grill and barbecue restaurant located in Brookline’s Washington Square, is New England-themed: local seafood is the star. The ambiance is upscale as far as grill and barbecue restaurants go, featuring red, orange, and gold décor—a cozy play on the fire theme. There was also at least one fireplace…hence the name. Unfortunately, someone decided to cover the nice white tablecloths with brown paper, much like a cheap BBQ place I ate at earlier this week that gives you crayons to use on the “tablecloth.” Instant ambiance-killer. Maybe the paper comes off later at night; we were there for a very early dinner, sort of an in-between time.

My parents decided to order from the regular menu, while Ben and I chose the Restaurant Week menu. I started out with a blackberry mojito, which was excellent. Even my mother liked it, and she never likes mojitos. Ben ordered the Restaurant Week wine pairing. Here’s a picture of my mojito, accompanied by some tasty bread:
Blackberry Mojito and Bread

For my first course, I tried the cold cucumber soup and Ben got the endive salad. The soup was thin and a little sour, but refreshing. Cold soup is an acquired taste, one which I have not fully acquired yet, so I found this soup a little bit strange. Cold soup aficionados, however, would probably really enjoy it.
Cold Cucumber Soup
Ben enjoyed his endive salad. The walnuts were tasty, and the dressing was excellent—a tart, sweet vinaigrette that didn’t overpower the fresh greens.
Endive Salad

My parents both ordered The Fireplace’s signature chicken dish for the main course: Spit-Roasted, Maple-Glazed Half Chicken with Mashed Potatoes & Sage Brown Butter. My dad substituted fries for the mashed potatoes, and they split an order of roasted asparagus. The chicken was a big hit with everyone. It was a home-style comfort food with a bit of a gourmet twist, which seems to be the theme of the restaurant overall.
Signature Spit-Roasted, Maple-Glazed Half Chicken with Mashed Potatoes & Sage Brown Butter

Ben got a chicken risotto that had a smoky, jambalaya –like flavor and plenty of vegetables.
Chicken over Risotto

I ordered a seafood casserole, which was absolutely delicious. It was full of small shrimps and scallops, swimming in a thin, mild tomato broth and lightly topped with breadcrumbs. A deliciously buttery hunk of garlic toast was served on the side (well, sort of on top, as you can see in the picture.)
Seafood Casserole

For dessert, Ben and I got the lavender blueberry sorbet, and our one reaction to it was that it was “strange.” The texture was weird—some areas of the sorbet were crunchy. The lavender flavor just didn’t work for us. The sugar cookie on the side was good, though.
Lavendar Blueberry Sorbet

For dessert, my parents had…nothing. No coffee either. They were interested, but the server dropped off our sorbets and disappeared until coming back with the check awhile later, never asking if the other half of the table was interested in coffee or dessert. That—and the paper covering the tablecloths—is my biggest complaint. I’m on the fence about the food. My entrée was delicious, and I also enjoyed tasting the other dishes at the table, but I was a little disappointed by the appetizer and dessert. I’m definitely going to give The Fireplace another try, though. Restaurant Week is a strange time, especially when part of the table uses that menu while everyone else uses the regular menu. I’m interested in trying out the brunch and lunch menus, and I definitely want to come by for a Jazz Wednesday or Latin Thursday.


Three forks!

Address: 1634 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446 (Washington Square)
Telephone: 617.975.1900
Website: www.FireplaceRest.com
Dinner Hours: Sunday-Wednesday, 5pm-10pm; Thursday-Saturday, 5pm-11pm
Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 11am-2:30pm
Lunch Hours: Monday-Friday, 11am-2:30pm
Bar Hours: Sunday-Wednesday until 12am; Thursday-Saturday until 1am

What do other bloggers say? Check out...Cave Cibum: The Fireplace, Brookline
Obsessions of a Misunderstood Bella: The Fireplace

Fireplace on Urbanspoon

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