MEDFIELD – A burger dripping with deliciousness, an enormous Crab Rangoon, and all kinds of Fried Dough. This is what happens when fun food gets a little gourmet. At Nosh & Grog Provisions in Medfield, owner Craig Neubecker is hoping customers feel all sorts of nostalgia – around the dining room, and on the plate.
“We took fine dining chefs and we put them into a casual environment, and gave them the challenge of saying, ‘how can you take your fine dining skills, and how can you make it very accessible, very approachable? How can you make it fun?'”
Executive Chef Joshua Bottini has happily accepted the mission to create a menu filled with family favorites and carnival classics.
“Good food is good food. I’m not above anything. There are no rules for me.”
Nosh & Grog offers all kinds of small plates to snack on and share, like Fried Pickles drizzled with sriracha aioli; Waffle and Curly Fries with Cajun ranch seasoning; and Food Truck Tacos with avocado creama. It is all served in plastic baskets and paper boats, just like you would find at a county fair.
“I think now more than ever, people know quality food,” Craig said. “They don’t need to have white linen tablecloths, or fine china, or flowers on the table to convince them that this is quality food.”
The design of the dining room forgets about formality, in favor of nostalgia.
“We have the industrial steel. We have reclaimed wood. There’s a drink rail here made from a barn that was torn down in West Braintree, Mass. It’s warm. It’s inviting. It’s comfortable. It’s not pretentious. It’s fun,” Craig described.
Many of the dishes at Nosh & Grog are reimagined versions of the foods you know and love, like the Firecrackers, which pack all the flavors of Buffalo wings inside a crispy wrapper; or the eye-popping Crab Rangoon.
“Our crab rangoons are amazing,” Craig declared. “The first thing you notice is that it’s huge. It’s not a plate of four, five, six small crab rangoons. It’s one large crab rangoon, usually larger than the plate it’s served on. But the big difference on this crab rangoon is that we make it with real crab, not the artificial crab meat you get in most Chinese restaurants. So you can really taste the difference.”
You will also taste the difference in dishes like buttery Shrimp Scampi, and hearty Bolognaise, because all the pastas are made fresh, every day, by hand.
“This is homemade, housemade pasta. I’m not talking about extruded from a machine. I’m not talking about fresh bought from somebody else. I’m talking about hand rolling it out in the kitchen, taking hours,” Craig explained.
Seafood fans will want to try Nosh & Grog’s deliciously different take on Mussels. They are served with a lemon, butter, wine sauce on the side, because instead of being steamed, they are smoked, in a way you have probably never seen before.
“The mussels themselves are coated in rock salt, thrown in a dry pan, so the salt burns off faster than the mussels cook, and creates a smoking environment,” described Craig. “The mussels end up being smoked, end up actually getting plumper and juicier and delicious.”
Another inventive option is the Chef’s Chicken, featuring a roulade of dark and white meat, with silky potatoes and a charred onion. Despite this dish being filled with fine dining technique, it’s finished with a simple slice of cranberry sauce straight from the can.
“All of a sudden you’re brought back to your six-year-old self the minute you taste that cranberry. Going to your aunt’s house, and her having you at Thanksgiving dinner, and you get that cranberry sauce. I want to hit that note,” said Chef Josh.
Another note Josh wants to hit is with his burger. This one had to be pitch perfect, so he created a patty made with Waygu beef, ground chuck, and pork belly. Then he topped it with American and Cheddar cheeses, finished it with bacon aioli and caramelized onions, and served it up on a grilled potato roll. It’s a combination that turned out to be obscenely delicious.
“Our burger is so good that when we were experimenting, trying to make the best burger we could possibly make, the chef made me one. I bit into it and said, ‘Oh S*#t. This is a great burger’. So we ended up naming it the Oh S*#t Burger,” Craig recalled.
For dessert, Fried Dough is the only option, but it comes with an ever-changing choice of toppings, like S’more, Apple Crumb, and Mixed Berry. That certainly gives a sweet ending to what Craig hopes is a meal full of memories.
“When people are going out to eat, that is their best hour or two of the week. That’s when they get to relax. That’s when they get to have fun. That’s when they get to be with the ones they love. That’s when they get to really enjoy quality food and quality drinks, and I get to be around those people all of the time.”
You can find Nosh & Grog Provisions at 21 North Street in Medfield, and online at noshandgrog.com.
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