SOMERVILLE – Situated below the Davis Square Theatre in Somerville, there’s a hideaway that’s almost impossible to spot, if it weren’t for the tiny bulb that bares its name. But once you’ve entered, there’s no mistaking. This is Saloon.
Reminiscent of pre-prohibition times, the cozy, dark space boasts rich wood, exposed brick and antique lighting. Custom made craft cocktails take center stage courtesy of handsomely dressed bartenders trained and schooled in the art of shaking, stirring and serving.
The menu boasts a variety of upscale bar snacks like Lamb Ribs slathered in a house made barbecue sauce and fresh-shucked Island Creek Oysters. Along with potent rum smugglers and retro rye cocktails, you can also find slow-braised Short Ribs and pillowy Parisian gnocchi.
After Phantom sucked back a spiked Strawberry Rickey, he wanted to find out if Saloon’s kitchen could keep up with the bar. So he tasted it all, to find the Perfect Meal.
Saloon’s sharable starters are certainly a delicious way to sop up all of those spirits. The trio of sliders are topped with bacon jam, blue cheese and served on buttery brioche. Skewered sweet dates come stuffed with savory blue cheese, wrapped in crispy bacon and baked until the flavors blend. But the Beer Battered Pickled Peppers are the perfect way to begin your binge. A twist on the classic jalapeno popper, this altered version pairs a much sweeter pepper with flavorful Boursin cheese.
“It’s very unique,” said Saloon Partner David Flanagan said of the pickled peppers. “Hugely popular. Great for sharing. They’re a little bit spicy, but our take on jalapeno poppers.”
Entrees are extravagant, and exceed what most people expect to find in a Saloon. The Grilled Minute Steak is presented on a board with a fresh house salad and a tin of hand cut Fries. There’s an upscale riff on bacon and eggs featuring three thick cut slices of mouth-watering Pork Belly with a perfectly poached egg that’s drizzled with truffle oil. Or you can feed the whole table with one entree by ordering the whole roast chicken, which comes with its own carving knife so you can slice it up right at the table.
“People just get very, very excited about it,” Flanagan said, “especially like six or seven people coming in. You just want to snack and rather than order your typical burger, let’s just get a whole bird and sit down and rip it apart and just chow on it.”
After you’ve put back all that poultry, you’ll want to finish your feast with some of Saloon’s sweet-smelling hot Apple Crisp. Loaded with perfectly baked granny smith apples and topped with a cinnamon oatmeal streusel, this is one course, you probably won’t want to share.
Beer Battered Pickled Peppers. A Whole Roasted Chicken. An outstanding Apple Crisp. And another round of handcrafted cocktails. That’s the Perfect Meal at Saloon.
Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.
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