I have to admit, I’ve been having a pretty great week thus far. It all started Monday when I got out of work early and decided to dedicate the rest of my evening to dinner and a movie. In this case Tasty Burger was the dinner and The Town was the movie. The Town was amazing (to say the least) but Tasty Burger… not so much. I have to admit I wasn’t overly impressed with the new burger joint that recently popped up in Fenway just a few weeks ago. to be fair, I only ordered “the single” and skipped the fancy toppings (which may or may not make a difference) but at this point I’m sticking with Uburger for my burger fix.
Although Tasty Burger was not everything I had hoped for and more, not all was lost, as Tuesday night brought on some delicious dining adventures. After a seriously fun and somewhat exhausting gym session I found myself in the mood to go out for some late night cocktails, which later turned into late night cocktails and tapas. For whatever reason I decided to go to Estragon, located on Harrison St. in the South End.
I had always heard about Estragon, and the fact that they serve $1 tapas Monday’s through Friday’s from 5:30 – 7pm, but always neglected to visit. After hearing rave reviews about my friends dinner there the other night, I decided now was the time to finally check it out. We found the restaurant situated on a small block surrounded by apartments, homes and hospitals. At 9pm there were still a couple people finishing their meals on the small patio as we walked into the large, dim-lit dining room.
The restaurant was pretty empty for the most part, with only a few people sitting at the bar. We quickly noticed what looked like a lounge area hidden in the back and decided to sit there in some big comfy chairs while we ordered some cocktails. I decided to try the Elderflower Sour (Citrus Vodka, St. Germaine, Lemon) while Dol ordered the Prickly Pear (Brandy, Pear Cognac, Domaine Canton Ginger Liqueur). To our surprise both were delicious, but I can’t say the same for Will’s Mojito.
Before long we realized we were feeling a little hungry so naturally we ordered a plate of assorted Spanish cheeses to start. Our waitress referred to the first three of the four cheeses as Manchego. Not too much of an assortment if you ask me, but we enjoyed it non-the-less. The cheeses were all pretty mild and similar, minus the blue-cheese looking one on the end which was way to aggressive and stinky for my likings.
We went on to try the Crispy Fried Artichoke Hearts, the Fried Calamari with Alioli and Salsa Brava and the Lamb Empanada. All were good, but the real winner was the artichoke hearts (left).
Deciding to be a little adventurous, we also went for the Crispy Fried Pork Belly covered in Salsa Picante. I have to be honest…NOT a fan. The salsa was good, but the pig belly itself was way to gummy and really chewy, sort of what you would expect pig fat to taste and feel like. I was later told by a chef friend that this is NOT what good pork belly should be like, but whatever, I guess I can now officially say it’s not my cup of tea.
After all the fried food you’d think Dessert was out of the question… which would absolutely have been the case, had I not noticed they offered a seasonal bread pudding. Pointing to the dessert menu, I asked what they were offering this season. The waitress responded, “Butterscotch Bread Pudding.” SOLD! I told her I’d take one. Three bites in I should have stopped. It was SOOOO rich, but I couldn’t, it was too good.
Overall we had a great time. The signature cocktails were pretty good and the food was tasty. The prices weren’t out of control and I loved the comfy/casual/cool vibe they had, especially from the comfy lounge chairs in the back corner. I’ll definitely be back for more late night cocktails and snacks next time I’m in the South End.