Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Brunch at the Harvard Club

Most people would not be in a huge rush to get out of bed on New Year's Day. Lucky for Andrew and I, we weren't nursing hangovers and we had the motivation of being hungry for brunch. Courtesy of Pete (the "smaht" kid), we scored tickets for the Harvard Club's New Year brunch.

We were initially worried by two potential traffic snafus - the swearing in of Newton's new mayor at the town hall and the Winter Classic game at Fenway - impacting our efforts to pick up Pete and Phu and drive into Boston. Luckily, everything worked out where we experienced minimum impact from both events.

Once we stepped through the doors of the Harvard Club, it definitely felt like an "old money" type of place (hence, all the pictures of old, rich white guys on the walls). We stopped at a lounge for a drink to wait for two of Pete's classmates:

As a club member, Pete signed the check for our drinks - we didn't have to use cash for anything except for tipping the coat check guy:

Note the special Harvard Club napkins and the swizzle stick in Pete's screwdriver:

Then it was time to move into the main dining room for the buffet! I couldn't take pictures of the buffet spread (without feeling weird) but this gives you an impression of the room and the incredibly high ceilings:

You can tell why this place would be popular for weddings - in fact, we saw one of the smaller rooms in the building set up for a wedding ceremony when Pete was giving us the tour - but imagine how great those chandeliers would look over a wedding reception:

Now onto the best stuff - the food served at the buffet! It was incredible. There were personal omelet stations, a sushi bar, a raw bar, a carving station and tons and tons of food!

On my first trip to the buffet, I loaded up with eggs benedict with lemon hollaindaise (totally one of the table's top three favorites overall), great corned beef hash and crispy bacon, asparagus with baked acorn squash, butternut squash ravioli with fried leeks and cider butter sauce (so good - the fried leeks really made these), and a cheese blintz (Pete's recommendation), although I somehow missed the fresh berry coulis that was supposed to go on top. The perfect drink to accompany all this food - a mimosa, of course!

My second plate (I had to eat my money's worth) included a slice of prime rib with horseradish cream, tomato and fresh mozzarella and more of the asparagus and acorn squash:

The table got really quiet for long stretches as everyone was taking in all the delicious food, as evidenced by everyone's full plates:

I was getting so full at this point that I stopped eating to leave a little room in my stomach for dessert. Pete was the first to go up to the dessert table and we teased him for looking like James Bond with his chocolate mousse (with chantilly cream) in a mini martini glass:

It was hard, but I limited myself to just three things - the chocolate mousse, a taste of the pumpkin and apple bread pudding with cider sauce and vanilla bean creme brulee - looking back, now I'm kicking myself for not getting more creme brulee!

As a part of the dessert buffet, they had chocolate dipped strawberries, petite viennese pastries, chocolate cake, carrot cake and a chocolate fountain! Pete's friend Dan ended up trying his own sweet and savory breakfast combo - he scooped up some of the chocolate from the fountain and paired it with a piece of bacon:

Stuffed, we posed for pictures in the main lobby before we rolled ourselves out of the club. First, our gracious host posing by the fireplace (and yet another old, rich white guy):

And the obligatory shot of me and Andrew - you can't tell from the picture but Andrew is wearing his 50th reunion Harvard tie (long story but no, he did not go to Harvard and he obviously isn't old enough to have experienced a 50th college reunion).

The Harvard Club has its own parking lot, which is not on Comm Ave but behind the building. This put us super close to Fenway and we could see all the air traffic and helicopters hovering for the Winter Classic game which had just started by the time we had finished the buffet (can you spot the two helicopters in the picture and the tip of Fenway's scoreboard peeking up from the bottom?):

Thankfully, not much traffic when we drove by Fenway but I did get a nice winter shot of the Citgo sign:
All in all, it was a special treat to visit the Harvard Club and to eat all the delicious food. Thanks Pete!


NOLA said...

I , too had no hangover to nurse as I had to work New Years day!
The entire south was eating black eyed peas and cabbage rolls!

CHicks said...

NOLA, this was the first New Year's that I did not have black eyed peas. I truly missed them, and I hope my luck will not be less in 2010.

Pete said...

Your Welcome!!!!