quick bite: Chickadee

February 20, 2021

It’s hard to judge the totality of a restaurant during COVID, but it is simple to judge the food. When you are halfway through dinner and already on your phone making a reservation to come back in two weeks, the food is beyond good. This was my experience last night at Chickadee.

The restaurant is located in the Innovation and Design Building in the Seaport and has its own free parking lot which is a luxury in Boston. Currently there are six tables in the main dining room and others in the hall and on the patio. Spaces never look quite right these days, but despite the distance between tables, I liked the style of the room. The wine list was tight but creative, as was the cocktail list. I particularly enjoyed the grapefruit-rosemary spritz. This gin based cocktail balances citrus and herbaceousness, a great start to a meal and a good pairing for the hamachi crudo topped with blood orange and avocado mousse.

Creative and craveable, every dish was delicious. The cold carrot salad combined shaved carrots and chunks of carrots with an avocado hummus. It was seasoned with cumin and should not be missed. The steak tartare was a unique and exceptional expression of the dish. When served the tender beef was hidden under truffle mousse and fried sunchoke. It’s up to you to spoon it on to flavorful seed crackers, of which seconds were needed and provided. The lamb pasta was more straight forward, but the large chunks of lamb and generous amount of fresh rosemary made it excellent. The porchetta blew me away. The fatty meat mellowed by the sharp brussels, spicy chilis, and sweet apples blended for one of the most magnificent dishes I’ve enjoyed since the world shut down. 

I wrapped up this beautiful meal with a baked Alaska and a glass of Leatherbee Besk.  The dessert was very sweet and the drink was very medicinal but both were special. The tart raspberry sorbet was encased in pillowy toasted marshmallow and garnished with toasted coconut, fresh raspberries, and mint. The Besk, a Chicago specialty, is nearly unavailable in Boston. It’s not for everyone, but if it is for you, (and it is for me) I don’t know where else you are going to find it around here.

I look forward to experiencing Chickadee post COVID, but I won’t wait for this pandemic to end to be back again and enjoy all they have to offer in these “unprecedented times.” I’ll be back in two weeks to try the fried chicken and am trying to figure out a day to try their lunch menu. So keep a look out for more from me at Chickadee and let me know what you think of it if you have been there!

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