Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mesh on Mass Avenue

Mesh on Mass is a new hotspot in the old “SI” locale.  FLOE decided to check it out after reading several positive reviews and we were curious to see what it had to offer to the hip Mass Ave scene.  To be on the safe side, we called ahead to check if children were welcome and we were delighted to hear that yes, there were accommodations!  

Once we entered, we began to wonder if it was in fact comfortable for “flip flops or a tuxedo”  as the webpage claimed, and yeah, for the most part, we think so.  Fred in an old t-shirt and khaki's and Libby in her scrubs felt slightly under dressed on a Saturday evening, but otherwise, yes.  They really improved the interior from the bizarre Scholars Inn decor.  From memory, there had been an overwhelmingly tacky red and black motif.  Now, rich, warm earthtones, contemporary wall hangings and comfortable seating set the right mood for dining.  It is a real treat to go to such an adult environment in a trendy part of town that welcomes families and doesn't make you feel like you're ruining the experience for someone else.  *sigh*

The menu is concise but offers a nice variety of options.  We also noticed that Mesh is associated with Stone Creek.  Our waiter, Joseph, clarified that it was the same owner.  We had grown suspicious after seeing the familiar sauce for dipping the warm fresh baked bread. Yum.

An appy sounded good, so after checking with the waiter that it wouldn't be too spice for Stella, it was the short rib epanadas with honey chipotle and red cabbage slaw.  It was passible.  No real punch of flavor, but solid.  Maybe the slaw could have used a bit more zing?  Still, start that left us ready to be wowed by the main course.

After seeing lamb chops bordelaise with carmelized brussel sprouts and chive creme fraiche, we knew one of us was getting that!  Since Libby was feeling a steak, the Steak Frites(pepper crusted sirloin, herb butter, fries and citris pepper mayo) would fit the bill.  Ozzy was feeling adventurous...not.  Mac and cheese with... the fruit bowl on the side(!).  Fruit's good!  Stella would be sampling whatever she wouldn't choke on.

Fred was a lucky man.  The lamb was cooked perfectly.  A medium rare, yet the fat had no firmness and melted easily with each bite.  The bordelaise with caramelized brussel sprouts was ridiculous!  The absolute highlight of the meal!  If you want to learn to love brussel sprouts, this is gonna do it.  It's very rare that a vegetable side dish is the center point of an entire dinner experience.  Yet we would have dined on these sprouts alone.  Fred was struggling with whether to pick up the lamb chops and suck on the bones...with Libby's encouragement, he delicately indulged.

The steak was ordered medium rare and came out pre-sliced, which Libby was happy to see.  Stella had decided the high chair wasn't going to work for her so Mommy's lap it was -- making the use of a knife impossible.  The steak was good.  Usually, medium rare does steak the best justice, but in this case, the medium well edges had the more tender texture.  All in all a well prepared steak.  The large portion of fries had a lovely light crisp outside that the chef had somehow gotten parmesan cheese crumbles to stick to.  They then added parsley, some good seasoning and a touch of bacon...yum!  Oh, and the citris pepper mayo was nice too.  Stella dipped everything in it...even some cantaloupe.  That one, not so good. ;)

Ozzy finished his very krafty looking mac n cheese and actually enjoyed the cantaloupe in his fruit bowl.  Who doesn't love to see their kid eat something healthy once in awhile?!  Stella was a big fan of the bread, strawberries, fries, the dipping sauce, and some of the empanada.  She was a happy girl and quite pleased with gazing out the large window by our table. 

Libby had to try a dessert, so tonight the bread pudding with white chocolate, cherries, bourbon whiskey sauce and vanilla haagen dazs was the pick.  Not usually a huge bread pudding fan, this one was nice.  Moist, a little depth of flavor and definitely warmed the tum-tum.  Stella enjoyed her sample as did the boy.  Daddy could take it or leave it, preferring his glass of port instead.  Ozzy jealously guarded his vanilla ice cream, refusing to share with mommy or daddy.  But in a touching move, had no issues with giving the lil' one several bites.


Wrap Up
Price-$$$-$$$$,- Certainly pricey, but neither of us balked at the bill.
Atmosphere****,- Not quite "flip-flops to tuxedos", but close.

Service***,- Perhaps not personable, but very professional and timely.  Each course came out just when we would expect it.

Fred- B+, I love a menu where the sides interest me as much as the main courses.  There are several items I will be excited to try on our next visit, especially the pork belly with white bean cassoulet.
Libby-B+, Solid meal and good beer selection with more on the menu I want to try!  Will definitely go back as Mass Ave is one of my favorite spots in general and I can never get enough of an adult dining atmosphere that welcomes my entire family.
Ozzy- A, While he had a hard time staying in his chair, there were plenty of smiles and "yums".  He really enjoyed watching the pedestrians outside while we ate.  The next day he even asked if we were going back.
Stella- B+, Plenty of space between the tables allowed her to roam a little after she could stand the highchair or Mommy's lap no more. She thoroughly enjoyed everything she was given, especially the citrus-pepper mayo.

Mesh on Mass Avenue on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

wibia said...

The steak looks great. This is on my short list. Cool for the fam too? Some places say they are and they have one sketchy high chair and no other kids around...