It’s not even officially duck season or rabbit season, but I keep ordering up delicious gamy dishes.
Tonight’s full moon found me at Somerville fave EVOO (that’s foodie talk for Extra Virgin Olive Oil) by random chance. J brought a batch of peachy mamas for chef owner Peter McCarthy and we crunched on a couple before sitting down to dinner. Don’t listen to her when she says they’re not hot. They are hot. Not in a terrible running for cover apocalyptic way, but they are hot. I’m just saying.
EVOO is probably the first really good restaurant I discovered about ten years ago when I lived in Somerville, just a few blocks away on Calvin Street. They do a great job of using local and seasonal ingredients and the space always feels soothing. I’m also a big sucker for the occasionally punny names for dishes, such as the Fried Green Monsters (softshell crabs with wasabi crust) and Duck Duck Goose, which I’ll describe shortly.
We started off with (note all the names of local providers) Verrill Farm’s Sweet Corn Bisque with Cilantro, Scallions and Lydia’s Pig Pancetta and Smoked Rabbit Confit, Eva’s Organic Wild Greens, Port Soaked Cherries and Toasted Pecan Salad with Shaved Vermont Cheddar and Grain Mustard – Rosemary Vinaigrette. Peter had indicated that he still had a bushel of excellent sweet corn and he wasn’t blowing smoke. The bisque was thick but not so finely milled as to be too smooth, and the pancetta and scallions added smoke and crunch in excellent proportion to the sweetness of the corn.
The Smoked Rabbit Confit salad – nuts on the side, thank you – was a blend of so many flavors and textures it’s hard to describe except to say that it was excellent. We had barely made a dent in those starters when we received one more from the kitchen, a sort of antipasto with prosciutto, “special secret stash pickles” and super-creamy Hannahbells cheeses.
Note the EVOO on the cheese. Nice touch! But really, we all know I was there for one thing above all others. Duck Duck Goose: Duck Confit, Seared Hudson Valley Duck Foie Gras, Slices of Goose Breast, Lentils, Local Farmer’s Summer Beans, Verrill Farm’s Wilted Greens and Sherry – Ginger Sauce.
The photo obscures the lentils, crunchy yellow beans and greens, without which it would be unbearably rich. Not that I wouldn’t bear it anyway, but still. We also had a side of warm red beets, The duck foie gras was delicate and expertly seared – I spread my part on some crusty house-made bread. The goose breast was tender and rare, soaking up the sherry ginger sauce admirably. The duck confit was arguably the best part, with crispy skin and almost flaky salty meat inside.
It’s good to see that EVOO stil has it and still innovates while supporting locavorism in all its glory.