Sunday, August 7, 2011

Brunch at The Haven

The Haven Breakfast Sandwich: one fried egg, Lorne-style sausage, a tattie scone,  Cotswold cheese,  and pickle sauce on a brioche bun with a side of baked beans
Joel has been involved in the Boston music scene longer than I have, and he constantly reminisces about the glory days (or nights, rather) when Matt Murphy's Pub in Brookline was the place for jam sessions - back when they used to have live music there. The music came to an abrupt end a couple years ago; Joel recalls not having a chance to go for a few months and then finally returning to walk into an eerily quiet scene one Thursday night. "It was like The Twilight Zone," Joel recalls. There was no band - "Maybe they're late, I thought" - and the staff was wearing black and white. And Jason, the bartender and music booker, was gone. Apparently the ownership decided to shift the focus to food. I've heard plenty of rather interesting stories about jam sessions at Matt Murphy's, but I'll follow suit and shift the focus of this blog post to food.

The Haven's housemade oat cakes, a complimentary brunch starter
Since that night that the music died, Joel has eagerly been awaiting Jason to end up somewhere else and revive the scene. Finally, Jason has resurfaced to open up his own restaurant, The Haven - a charming Scottish pub in Jamaica Plain.

Tipsy fruit salad: seasonal fresh fruits dressed with mint, tarragon, and a splash of Drambuie
I rarely go to JP, so The Haven has been hovering near the top of my must-try list for months now. This weekend, I finally had a good excuse; a couple of my JP-dwelling co-workers were having a yard sale, and they live within walking distance of the restaurant, so we decided to drive over to the area for some browsing and brunching.

Breakfast tatties
Spoiler alert: everything was wonderful, and I can't wait to return to try out dinner and hear some music. All I know of Scottish cuisine is the word 'haggis,' a dish I have yet to try, so I didn't know what to expect from The Haven's brunch menu. Everything was simple, sturdy, and perfectly prepared. I was particularly impressed by the 'breakfast tatties' - homefries - which were crispy in the right places and soft in the right places, just the way a breakfast potato should be. I enjoyed the toast as well, because orange marmalade is perhaps the world's greatest breakfast condiment. (Hot sauce is a close second...but not for toast.) Joel described his breakfast sandwich as 'intense' - in a good way. Also, perhaps this is an odd thing to point out, but the orange juice was among the best I've tasted. It was obviously fresh-squeezed - probably from oranges from heaven. It was that good.

Fornax Batard toast with butter and orange marmelade
I wish JP weren't such a pain to get to from Somerville, because I fell in love with The Haven the second we walked in and saw the antler chandeliers, sheep-themed artwork, and assorted plaid accents. Furthermore, the fact that simple brunch foods could impress me so much bodes very well for the dinner menu. If I lived closer, I could easily see myself becoming a regular here. It'll definitely be worth the drive now and then, though.

The Haven on Urbanspoon

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