Having Lunch at The Harvard Club of Boston Part 2.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Lineup

374 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215-2860
(617) 536-1260

Food (3.4/5.0)
Service (3.8/5.0)

This would be my second time at the Harvard Club of Boston via Commonwealth Avenue. (Read about my dinner experience here; for dinner at the Harvard Faculty Club at Harvard Square, click here) Lunch was buffet-style and for the most part, I rather enjoyed it. The lunch was an improvement over the mediocre food I had for dinner the last time (I gave it a rating of 3.0). Individual reviews to follow below.

My colleague and I couldn't resist exploring the club proper since there were not that many people around in the morning. Upon inquiring with the very helpful concierge, we chanced upon various themed dining rooms, my favorite being the one with eggshell-blue walls, black gothic chandeliers and a very dandy-looking checked tile floor. With natural sunlight streaming in through the french-style windows, I really wouldn't mind a cup of tea with scones while we're at it too.

Commonwealth Avenue is beautiful this time of year.
Front door.

Majestic Stairs.

Isn't this dining room beautiful? For some reason, the color palette gives me an Alice in Wonderland visual. The rabbit's gonna pop out any moment!
Our luncheon Room. With tapestries and very high ceilings. 
My buffet-ed lunch. I'll have you know that I took great pains to plate it well so it wouldn't look like slop.
In the back, I had a smörgås or open-faced sandwich with juicy, tender shrimp, caramelized onions and roasted vegetables on a bed of salad greens.The roasted potatoes were done very well, perfectly caramelized, salted and tender with a nice creamy center. The salad and appetizers were so good, I actually anticipated my mains.  
Later, I had chicken with mushroom gravy (too hard and dry-FAIL), salmon with a butter-cream sauce (well done, soft and tender. The only redeeming portion) and a basic risotto (too dry). Sigh.
For dessert, I had a hazelnut cake and a red cherry pie. But really, I liked the maple-walnut cake (not pictured) the most as I could taste faint notes of maple syrup and hints of walnut. The light flavors went well with the light, airy texture of the crumb. I initially thought this was pumpkin cake but our server mentioned otherwise.
I sampled all the desserts and my verdict's as follows:
*Hazelnut cake-no hazelnut flavor at all so it tasted like regular chocolate cake.
*Carrot cake: Cake was too light and lacked the seductive, spicy richness of carrot cake. The buttercream frosting was also a little synthetic-tasting.
*(Sour) Cherry pie-Across the board, too sour! And coming from someone who takes it up a notch versus regular folks, this means something. Otherwise, the pastry was buttery and yummy.


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