Birthday Brunch at Craigie on Main, yummy entrees!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A nice touch!

Craigie on Main
853 Main Street, Cambridge
(617) 497-5511


As a major fan of CoM for years, it only seemed fitting and extra special to spend a leisurely brunch there as part of my birthday week. Accompanied by 2 lovely friends, we set out to get wow-ed and wooed by the clean and rustic menu. Upon arriving, our party made immediate plans to get the $33 prix fix menu. Unanimously, everyone got the house-made doughnut. It was perfectly crispy and light, gently drizzled with a runny caramel sauce and topped with powdered sugar. The interior was both fluffy and custard-y. It is definitely not a dunkin nor a Krispy Kreme for sure, but an elevated, sophisticated cousin.

The entrees were more impressive. We got the panino, the salted cod and the beef hash. Of the panino, I certainly did not expect that I would enjoy the fries the more than the sandwich--it was not only perfectly cooked and creamy on the inside, the fries had a uniformly-crisped shell and spiced perfectly! My cod was very delicious and had a nice, salty aroma in a hash of bread crumbs. The chorizo imparted a meaty dimension to the dish which I enjoyed...not to forget the perfectly-cooked poached egg sitting atop the brandade! The beef hash was also very good I'm told, considering that the friend who had it ordered it twice in a row!

The desserts were all-time classics. While I'm more for interesting, creative desserts, the ones we had made up for the lack of through their fresh ingredients and quality. My favorite was the rhubarb and plum crisp (tangy enough to whet my palate), followed by the amaretto profiterole then the panna cotta. I love panna cotta but almost never order it in restaurants because it just screams lack of effort (since I can prepare a really good one in less than 10 minutes at home).

Brunch was superb, especially the savory plates. Overall, we were too full so next time I'll skip the first course.  After doing the math, I also figured that it might be a better deal to order ala carte instead. If entrees average $15 and desserts at $10... then the doughnut is an un-worthy $8.

House-made Doughnut, confiture de lait.
House-cured Pastrami, Comte and Shelburne Farm Cheddar Panino-Shelburne, Mace ketchup, garden pickle thousand island dressing, watercress, crispy potato fries.
Grass-fed and in-house brined corn beef cheek and Smoked beef tongue hash-slow-poached farm fresh egg, crispy onion rings.
Baked House-cured Salt Cod Brandade-garlic bread crumbs, chorizo, slow-poached farm fresh egg, grilled country toast
closeup of the perfect egg
Plum Rhubarb Crisp-walnut-oat streusel, buttermilk icecream
Sour Milk Pannacotta
Amaretto profiteroles


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