BOSTON – When we go out to dinner, we all hope for a night of endless food, awesome drinks and interesting conversation. At a restaurant called Committee, that perfect night just happens to be every night.
In many ways, Committee is exactly what you would expect from a cool new restaurant in Boston’s Seaport District, with big windows, industrial lighting and reclaimed wood. While the atmosphere may be trendy, the food is about as homey as it gets.READ MORE: 3 People Rescued From Rip Currents At Salisbury Beach; DCR Issues Warning
The name Committee refers to the Prohibition National Committee of the 1920’s, and it’s quite appropriate given that the restaurant sits just steps from the Courthouse. Yet unlike the Committee of the Prohibition Era, this Committee pours cocktails generously and often. Though the name comes from a period in American history, the menu here is strictly Mediterranean.
“It’s really a whole style of service where people can come in, and choose your own adventure,” said Chef de cuisine Geoff Lukas. He knows that great Mediterranean food is both simple and shareable, which is why the menu offers classic meze style dining full of all kinds of small plates and spreads.
There are grape leaves stuffed with rice and pine nuts, and flights of creamy tzatziki, baba ganoush, cucumber salad and homemade hummus. The best part about this stuff is that no utensils are required. Rather than a fork and knife, these dishes are served with a side of warm, freshly baked pita bread.
“It’s a more sort of visceral connection,” Geoff said. “You’re eating the utensil that you’re using to engage with the food. To a certain extent, I think silverware puts distance between you and the food that’s in front of you.”
Once you’ve used your pita to devour every bit of baba ganoush, it’s time to move on to the warm section of the meze menu, where favorites include Yogurt Marinated Chicken Skewers drizzled with spiced honey sauce; deliciously tender Lamb Skewers; Artichoke Moussaka layered with caramelized onions, potato and three cheese béchamel; Flatbreads topped with spiced lamb and rich charred tomatoes; Greek-style Meatballs over a bed of cool tzatziki; and Zucchini Chips so good, you may forget about potato chips altogether.
“It’s incredible,” Geoff boasted. “You get the nice, tangy, savory sweet dipping sauce that goes well with the salty, crispy chips.”
The one true standout starter is the Saganaki, boasting flambéed Greek cheese, made with brandy and a berry compote. This dish may lack a bit in terms of visual appeal, but it more than makes up for it in flavor.
“The cheese itself is sort of very complex, and once you pan-fry it and flambé it, you get this nice, crispy caramelized outside and a creamy, salty inside,” Geoff described.READ MORE: Worcester Unveils Statue Of Celtics Legend Bob Cousy
There’s a theory about Greek restaurants. Some believe a Greek restaurant is only as good as its gyro, and luckily for Committee, their rendition passes the test with flying colors. For lunch, they offer both chicken and lamb gyros, served on one of those warm, fluffy pitas with tzatziki, cucumber and tomato jam.
“We wanted, especially for the lunch menu in this part of town, we wanted people to come in and eat something that was sort of quick but also delicious and distinctive.”
If you do order one of these sandwiches, just make sure you do so correctly, especially around General Manager Demetri Tsolakis.
“Gyro’s very important. First of all, it has to be pronounced correctly. It’s not ji-ro; it’s gyro.”
If that gets you tongue-tied, just wait until it’s time for dessert. Custard wrapped in phyllo and drizzled in honey sounds like a simple enough recipe, but the pronunciation of this dish is a little more complicated.
“If you pronounce this dessert you get it for free,” Demetri promised. “Galaktoboureko.”
With a free dessert on the line, you may want to do some practicing, but for a dessert you won’t need any coaching on, order up a slice of baklava made with sliced almonds and honey.
Even when the food is finished, Committee’s lively atmosphere will have you sticking around, because this restaurant isn’t just serving Mediterranean recipes; they’re serving up a whole different lifestyle, one that’s all about great food, great conversation and great company.
You can find Committee at 50 Northern Avenue in Boston, and online at committeeboston.com.MORE NEWS: Boston Marks Juneteenth With Celebration In Nubian Square
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