Thursday, January 20, 2011

Restaurant Review: The Abbey

Full confession - this review is two months overdue!

If you've ever read restaurant reviews in publications, often the food writer refers to whomever accompanies them as their dining companion. I always found that term funny in the instances when the writer was clearly referring to a spouse or significant other. As a journalist, they clearly felt that using the phrase "dining companion" clearly elevated their meal beyond the ordinary. 

The reason for this random thought? While Andrew is most certainly my dining companion in life (I can hear the groans from my sister Amy for saying something so cheesy) and I eat the most meals with him, it's my friend Jen that is most frequently my dining companion for new or interesting restaurants. She's a Yelper and one of those people who knows about new restaurants so I can count on her for a good restaurant recommendation. And I have to admit that I not only have this restaurant review, but there is also another meal with Jen (from this month) that needs to be posted.  But I digress, back to the restaurant review.

Brookline is always a favorite (and convenient) location for us to meet for a meal, so when Jen mentioned that The Abbey had just opened in Washington Square, I was all for giving it a try.

First impressions of the place? It's dark and tiny!  We ate on a weeknight and relatively early (if I recall correctly, probably right before six) so we had no wait. But there was a slight wait by the time we left and I bet the line would be longer on the weekends, with not a lot of room to wait indoors by the bar (key in the winter time).

I ordered the Fried Halloumi Cheese with Yogurt Sauce because hello, did you just see the words "fried" and "cheese" appear together?  It was good but I didn't think the cheese or the dip had much flavor.

The bread and the hummus-like spread that they serve however, gets two thumbs up from me:

The Abbey is apparently known for their Bison (as in buffalo) Bolognese so I was glad that Jen ordered that as her entree. I did think it was a little picey ($17) but it did live up to the hype and was delicious:

As for my meal, I went with a gnocchi special and a side of shredded brussel sprouts (which everyone knows are my new favorite vegetable) - both were fresh, light and tasty. 

I think The Abbey is definitely worth trying, especially since they feature so many fresh ingredients in the dead of winter, but some of their entrees are a little pricey for me to eat there at a regular basis.


Foley Monster and Pocket said...

We will keep the Abbey in mind. I like how you take pictures of the dishes. I don't know about Amy but the comment about Andrew being your dinner companion for life made Pocket throw up in her mouth a little bit

Jen said...

The Abbey is really close to where we live. I've been twice for dinner and once for drinks. The bartenders are always nice and I agree the food is good. It does get packed in there later in the evening even during the week!

bcallegra said...

Foley Monster and Pocket - You'll learn my biggest passion in life (rivaling baking) is eating and taking pictures of what I eat. :) And I love the fact that Andrew and I have the ability to gross out both sides of our family, haha.

Jen - I thought it was good, and will have to give it another try just for the burgers and the flatbreads, which are getting rave Yelp reviews. Lucky you to be living in Brookline so close to fab restaurants!

Jennifer said...

As the dining companion in question, I feel like I have to weigh in :)

I think that your review was spot on - it was a nice place, but even though I pass by it all of the time, I rarely think about going back. The bison was very tasty, but I don't know if I would order it again. Of course, all of this should be taken with the caveat that I had a bronchitis when we went and was high on cold medicine.