Chef Richard and Chef Katie

Date Night: Hamersley’s Bistro

In Restaurant on October 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Call it classic, full of hype or trendy, any dish that has stood the test of time and is still at its peak of popularity resonates strongly. The roast chicken at Hamersley’s Bistro is exactly that dish, one of those “must try” menu items that any real Bostonian has to indulge in at least once. So off we went, for a long deserved date night, to the South End to try the acclaimed Roast Chicken with garlic, lemon and parsley. Picking a restaurant to go to is sometimes more of a headache than it’s worth. More often than not we’d much rather cook for ourselves at home. Scratch that, Katie likes to cook delicious meals for us while I make sarcastic comments on the interwebs. Either way, our list of restaurants to try is growing by the day, in between burgers, going to the same Thai restaurant over and over again, and me threatening Korean Fried Chicken every time we’re in Allston, we don’t eat out as much as one would think. Frequently we’re disappointed with the higher end restaurants because, quite frankly, we can cook similar things at home for far cheaper. Hence all the more affordable burgers and ethnic establishments we frequent.

The good news is that Hamersely’s makes one hell of a roast chicken, easily one of, if not the best chicken renditions I’ve ever had. It’s juicier than any chicken should be, packed with sweet garlic and tart lemon flavor. In a perfect world the skin would be crispy and there would be more than one roasted potato, but who cares, the chicken is that good. The sauce is almost the star of the show, too much lemon and it would be acidic, any more salt and it would be too salty. But it strikes just the right balance; and downright impossible not to enjoy every last drop. I wish the same went for the Braised Rabbit, which tasted more like dry turkey than the luxurious rabbit I was expecting. Too much vinegar kills the pickled figs and mushy sweet potatoes are a mere afterthought, the dish never comes together. Caramelized Sweetbreads and Pork Belly with Swiss Chard is a success, however, the fatty and silken pork playing beautifully off the sweet and decadent Sweetbreads. It’s not the prettiest of dishes but who cares, the flavor is terrific.

Date night was a success, even if we are completely obnoxious to dine with (sorry to all the surrounding tables, we try to talk quietly) because we can’t help but nitpick and dissect every aspect of each dish. But that’s the only way we know how to do it, and that’s where the fun is for us. This was the rare occasion where the experience actually matched the hype, a restaurant (and dish) that is as good as you expect it to be.

  1. […] post was inspired by our date night a couple week’s back to Hamersley’s Bistro, where we sampled, and fell in love with, […]

  2. Sounds like a fun filled evening. The chicken sounds delicious and I’m now craving Roasted Chicken!! I have never been there but next time I am in town it is definitely on my list of “Need To Try” restaurants!! Thanks for a great review.

  3. Great reviews make my mouth water. And yeah, this one did … a lot. Thanks for getting into the restaurant review field … good idea.

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