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“Trendy yet comfortable ”
Review of Fairsted Kitchen

Fairsted Kitchen
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Ranked #28 of 203 Restaurants in Brookline
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Brookline, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
416 reviews
247 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
“Trendy yet comfortable ”
Reviewed May 31, 2014 via mobile

This place was cute. I loved the repurposed wood, church pews, and vintage silverware. The staff was nice, friendly, and knowledgable. When I said I was a vegetarian, the waiter pointed out what I could order, and even told me not to eat the butter that came with the bread (they put oxtail fat or something in it).
The food, while few vegetarian choices, was overall good. The gnocchi tasted like mashed potatoes, and their sauce, beans, and fiddleheads had a very soft, subtle taste. The wilted kale was awesome. The cauliflower (the only vegetarian entree), while it sounded odd on paper, was slightly charred and yummy. I thought the strawberry rhubarb pie was just ok, but everyone else loved it. The wine that the waiter suggested was also good.
All in all, a nice, creative, and a bit pricy addition to the neighborhood.

Reservations definitely recommended!

Helpful?
Thank waterangel21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
758 reviews
383 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
“Knowledgeable bar staff”
Reviewed May 8, 2014

We dropped in for a beer while out for a walk. The restaurants in this area were very busy for a Wednesday night. We sat at the bar. Ordered some microbrews. The bartender was very knowledgeable. The couple beside us had some spinach with parmesan with lamb ribs and potatoes. It looked and smelled great.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bwimpyow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“What a great surprise, excellent!!”
Reviewed April 24, 2014

We live in the Washington Sq. neighborhood and had been wanting to try this new place that had gotten a lot buzz in the media. I must say, it was well-worth the visit and I'm excited to go back.
I was amazed and especially surprised when I ordered the Spaetzle (egg noodles) with Gruyere cheese, and they tasted exactly as I know them from back home in Germany! Fantastic!
The place was busy on a Saturday evening, but the two of us found seats pretty quickly at the bar, which the hostess had especially assigned to us. We love the selection of local beers from Jack's Abbey, and all the food we ordered was wonderful and very creative!
I also loved the decor of the place, very new England, and very much in the style of what could be some local rich person's home.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Travel-Tini85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
109 reviews
109 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“Fairsted Kitchen a Homey Addition to Brookline Dining Scene”
Reviewed March 24, 2014

Open since last fall, Fairsted Kitchen is one of a number of restaurants (along with Tim Maslow’s much-ballyhooed Ribelle and Barcelona Wine Bar) that have re-vitalized what was once a relatively stagnant Washington Square neighborhood dining scene. Don’t let the eatery’s cozy, charming interior fool you – the cuisine that’s coming out of this kitchen is some of the most innovative, exciting fare in the Boston area.

The restaurant’s ambience is quaint, resembling a small antique home and seating only 47 customers. A small bar greets patrons who push their way through curtains, while most are seated a little too tightly together and dine communally against the dining room walls, which are painted and papered in gold and turquoise colors. Pendants hanging from the ceiling add to the New England charm of the place, which is evident in lots of items at Fairsted, including an antique clear glass punch bowl used to playfully pour a cocktail filled with rum and black tea into small tea cups. Our waitress explains that all of the china and tableware have been discovered by the owner at local flea markets. Flea market-to-table dining, anyone? It goes to show that it’s casualness, and not pretentiousness, that Fairsted successfully aims for and achieves. One small quibble: the loud music seems out of place with the restaurant’s restrained vibe, and makes for somewhat challenging conversation.

Portions range from snacks and sides ($8), small (appetizers at $13), large (entrees from $19-$33), and table (family-style dining, including braised oxtail at $51 and chateaubriand at $85). Executive Chef W. Scott Osif’s cuisine is tinged with influences from across the globe. We start with a small tasting, the pig’s head lettuce wrap, which is a bona fide steal at $5 and far less ‘offal’ than the name suggests. The pork is breaded and fried into a crisp round with carrots, daikon, and cilantro. I’m guessing there’s harissa or a spice or some sort that is cooked into the fried meat, since it gives of an unexpected, sweat-inducing, yet welcomed burst of heat. I would have preferred that heat emanate from a sauce, if only to add some balance to the overall texture of the dish, which was a tad too dry to my liking. Other snacks were superb, starting with a nod to the French in the form of savory, deep-fried cod beignets, which possessed a crispy exterior brimming with a moist, white fish interior. The fritters swim in a pool of zesty, smoked tomato confict for dipping, and provide nice balance to the sweetness of the fried shell coating. Equally enticing is the Middle Eastern-inspired hummus – a light, bright, velvety chickpea spread that also incorporates unique ingredients such as pickled fennel and pine nuts for contrast in texture, all of which can be enjoyed atop thin, crunchy sourdough crostinis.

Small plates did not disappoint, either. The ricotta gnocchi were perfectly cooked al dente and duck confit added richness and a touch of saltiness that nicely balanced out the sweetness of the parmesan reggiano in which the pasta was melted. And just to demonstrate how Chef Osif routinely turns traditional foreign fare on its head, he even incorporates kohlrabi, a German turnip, into what is a traditionally Italian pasta dish. And you haven’t lived until you savor the delectable cumin-infused lamb ribs, tender, deeply-charred fleshes of meat that fall off of the bone, whose flavors are further enhanced when dipped in spicy vinegar sauce, a welcomed umami flavor from Asia.

An entrée of smoked duck is also good, if somewhat of a letdown, as the medium-rear cooked meat seemed a tad cold while the accompanying crispy potato pancake was excessively salty.

Dessert offerings are slim but worthy. A chocolate mousse is an airier alternative to denser versions I’ve sampled, but sadly, the cardamom-infused whipped cream added barely discernable traces of the spice I had hoped would counter the bitterness of the chocolate. Fortunately, in the absence of an espresso machine, a French press coffee provided a nice, personal touch.

Cocktails both innovative in name and ingredients adorn the menu. No Sleep Till Brookline , mixed with Bourbon Amaro Montenegro, lemon, sugar, and bitters, is a libation that would make the Beastie Boys proud, and in the fun spirit that Fairsted’s cocktail program emits, would keep anyone rockin’ on and on ‘till the break of dawn. So, too, would other concoctions that gleefully mix Spanish sherry and sweet vermouth over ice. The extensive wine selection is impressive, ranging from a Sparkling Malbec to more hidden jewels such as a 2009 Dignac Peljesac hailing from Croatia. Fairsted’s beer selection is equally enticing, including four beers on draft from Jack’s Abby Brewing based out of Framingham, which includes the Smoke and Dagger ($6), one of the smoked schwarzbiers that are now the drink du jour, as well as the Framinghammer, a Baltic porter. Other intriguing bottles include the potent Andescher Dunkel out of Germany and a St. Louis Cherry produced in Belgium.

While the service at Fairsted was good, I felt somewhat let down by the hype surrounding the staff’s exceptional level of hospitality. While Boston Globe food critic Devra First sang the restaurant’s praises in this regard, I ask you this: what hospitable host keeps its guests waiting nearly twenty minutes before taking a drink order, goes prolonged stretches without refilling water glasses, and then politely, yet prematurely ushers them out shortly after their meals have concluded so that another party may take their table?

Overall, I left Fairsted Kitchen more impressed with its globe-trotting, bold cuisine than with its service. It’s the food, and not the overly-hyped hospitality, that shines brightest and makes Fairsted a dining destination worth writing home about.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PaulsPalate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
66 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“A Diappointment”
Reviewed March 17, 2014

We had heard the buzz about the revival of Washington Square, and this was mentioned as one of the good new choices, including high Trip Adviser ratings, so had high hopes. The food was just okay, and the noise level was hard to bear. Surprisingly, bread was not brought automatically-came near end of meal after I asked. Portions were small, and prices were up there.
Only food that excelled was the chocolate mousse dessert. Sommelier was very helpful though, so the wine choice was fine.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank edjan_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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