Sunday, October 27, 2013

Classy American Dinner at Upstairs on the Square

I have frequented Upstairs on the Square for recruiting events & a fancy brunch for a club that I am part of at Harvard, yet this was my first time going there for dinner. Upstairs on the Square has been a staple at the Square since it opened in 1982, but the restaurant recently announced that it will close its doors at the end of this year.

Like most fancy restaurants, Upstairs also changes its menu depending on what ingredients are fresh in the market. This appetizer of Fluke Ceviche was cooked Peruvian style with aji amarillo, lime, choclo, and conchita. When my Peruvian friend saw this photo, she immediately identified the dish as being Peruvian so I suppose it is quite authentic!

Three pieces of Mission Fig Ravioli was stuffed with smoked mozzarella and duck ragu. The ravioli was light on the sauce with a bit of grated cheese and herbs on top. The piece of fig is a nice touch, although the overall presentation could be improved.

I have a soft heart for gnocchi, so what I saw the Littleneck Clams Gnocchi on the menu, of course I ordered it. Unlike the mushy gnocchi that I get in the dining hall, this gnocchi had the perfect balance of soft and chewy. I just wished there were more gnocchi hidden beneath those littleneck clams, which surprisingly had similar texture to the gnocchi.

For my entree, I went with my safe fish choice: Silk Red Snapper. To be honest though, I was slightly disappointed when I got the dish because of the skin that came with it. I love fish, but the fish skin is something I absolutely cannot stand and I had unfortunately forgot to ask for it without the skin. Anyways, the snapper was garnished with roasted icicle radish , crispy yucca planks, and peppadew in red peppered brown butter. I really like peppadew because they have really sweet flavors. 

My friend ordered the Apple Grilled Quail. I was once again surprised that they served him the whole quail! Doesn't look too appetizing to see that quail with its legs split open like that ;) It was served with toasted farro with boudin blanc vignoles grapes.

The Lemon & 6-Spiced Crusted Monkfish was garnished with squid tangle on top and garbanzo beans at the bottom in monk's secret herb liquor. A boozy dinner? The waiter certainly didn't check your ID for this entree.

A restaurant's menu wouldn't be complete without a chicken entree. The Brick-Roasted Chicken Breast was served with grilled peach, yogurt, cucumber, and panner in spiced mustard oil. I thought the addition of paneer, or Indian cheese, to this classic American food was an interesting twist.

The final entree of the night was Archer Farm Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin with sherry-flamed cippolini onions and pickled chanterelles on a skewer atop a bed of spinach. Cippolini onions are my favorite because they have sweet and savory flavors. 

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