On Sunday evening, I met some of my favorite dinner companions at The Brahmin, a new restaurant tucked away on Stanhope Street. Knowing it was quite possibly our last chance to dine al fresco, we snagged a patio table right out front.
We each settled in with a drink and then began analyzing the menu. I say analyzing because we really try to get an assortment of dishes whenever we go out together, and at a place like The Brahmin, where small plates abound, it's easy to do, but also easy to get carried away. We started at the top and worked our way down the menu voting on our faves and deciding what we could skip, and we eventually settled on 10 dishes.
Our waitress offered to bring the dishes out in courses for us, and we definitely took her up on it for fear of having 10 dishes piled in front of us at once.
We started off with one of the salad offerings: the arugula and goat cheese salad, which came with crisp prosciutto, fresh apples, and lemon vinaigrette. The crisp prosciutto was the shining star in this salad.
Next we snacked on some fried pickles with a sweet red pepper sauce for dipping. The pickles could have used a little more seasoning, but the sauce helped.
A wedge of potato and roasted onion frittata for $3.50 caught all of our eyes, and we were pleasantly surprised when it came out with a stunning pepper relish on top. The sweet relish really made this dish.
We thought the tater tots accompanied by truffled ketchup, garlic aioli, and grainy mustard were a must-order, but like the fried pickles, they were lacking in seasoning. I found myself using them as a means to eat lots of truffled ketchup, which was awesome.
Truffled mac and cheese was another must-order and was one of my favorite dishes of the night. I caught a whiff of truffle as soon as it was set down before us. And I found myself scooping more of it onto my plate throughout the evening.
The grilled white asparagus wrapped in Serrano ham and served with a lemon vinaigrette was pleasantly salty and nicely charred.
The beef short rib answered any cravings I was starting to get for fall comfort foods. The tender, well flavored short-rib meat broke apart with the mere touch of a fork, and the cauliflower-parsnip puree and pickled shallots with their own strong flavors were worthy complements.
A plate of tomatoes and mozzarella drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with smoked sea salt was the perfect summer-ending dish. It reminded us that those last summer tomatoes are dwindling, and we savored these ripe red beauties.
The grilled prawns were simply prepared and offered a hint of heat.
The last dish, the tuna two ways, was also one of my favorites (though I heard that the bread that came with it, which I didn't try, was stale). Thinly sliced pieces of tuna were stacked on slices of watermelon for one of the "ways." And a cake of tuna tartare was the other. The dish was pretty ordinary, but in both preparations, I found the tuna fresh and nicely seasoned. It was just what I was in the mood for that night.
The Brahmin is one of those places you should visit with a group so you can try a number of different dishes. The truffle mac and cheese, short rib, and tuna were the winning dishes in my book. The rest of the dishes were good but not earth shattering. The Brahmin is still fairly new, so I can see things just getting better from here. Our waitress was attentive (I usually think I'll be forgotten about when I sit on a patio), and she helped us figure out how many dishes we should get by talking us through them, explaining the portion sizes, and telling us about her favorites.
I enjoyed visiting with Emily, Meghan, Daisy, and Amy, and we're already thinking about where we should go for our next dinner date.
Are there any restaurants you think we should head to?