Pierogi, Spaetzle, And More At Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.

Mini wurst plate at Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.

Sometimes, as a food blogger, you can lose sight of what going out to dinner is all about. You pull out your camera as every dish arrives from the kitchen; you concentrate on getting a good photo and then you focus on the flavors, the presentation, the creativity of the dish. You get so wrapped up that the whole dinner becomes about the intricate details of the food -- not that there's anything wrong with that. But there's another piece to going out to dinner, and that's the company.

When I recently went to Bronwyn, enticed by a menu of German favorites from schnitzel to spaetzle, I wasn't even sure if I was going to blog about the meal. I was more excited about catching up with friends, and so while I did snap some quick pictures (I can't seem to get over that fear of "What if I ate the best thing ever and never got a photo of it?"), I relaxed a little and let this be just a dinner, rather than a job. What I got was a laid-back evening with a nice balance of good conversation mixed with good drinks and good bites. It was just what I needed.

While taking sips from our first round of cocktails and beer (a Sieben -- a refreshing mixture of Citadelle gin, Cocchi Americano, Aperol, grapefruit, and sparkling Riesling -- for me) and breaking off soft bits of the giant haus bretzel and dipping them in mustard that was hot and spicy in a good way, we caught each other up on how our jobs are going.

Sieben cocktail at Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.Giant haus bretzel at Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.

In between bites of pierogi, filled with ham and cheddar with a sweet pea relish, and wurst (we went with a small wurst platter with a link of currywurst and a round of cotechino), smears of schmaltz on rye bread with pickled onion and cucumber, and perfectly pink pickled eggs, we delved into our relationships, house hunting and house maintenance, and our future plans.

Pierogi at Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.Schmaltz and cracklin at Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.

Pickled eggs at Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.Mini wurst plate at Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.

And for just a moment, when we tried the spaetzle (or spätzle), the conversation paused. We were all speechless as we kept reaching forks into the bowl to grab every last bite of the oversize dumplings with spring ramps, lots of gooey Comté, and a balancing red onion marmalade.

Spaetzle at Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.

We soon ordered another round of drinks (this time I tried a Vier -- another citrusy, refreshing drink with more Citadelle gin, Mathilde Poire, Barenjager, lemon, and apple cider ) and sampled bites of schnitzel and soldier bean ragu with soft-boiled egg, white anchovies, and capers and crunchy rhubarb-topped potato pancakes sitting in a dill creme fraiche, all the while gushing about our dogs, otherwise known as our fur babies -- offering a loaner to the friend who doesn't have one.

Schnitzel at Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.

Vier cocktail at Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.Reibekuchen (potato pancakes) at Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.

And as we found room for dessert and lazily grabbed forkfuls of German chocolate cake, we discussed when and where our next dinner should be, so we could spend another evening enjoying good food and the company of great friends.

German chocolate cake at Bronwyn, Somerville, Mass.

At Bronwyn, I enjoyed the food easily, sharing with friends, not analyzing every detail, but savoring every bite. I look forward to returning for another leisurely evening and more German cuisine and some wonderful cocktails.

When's the last time you had a night out with great conversation and great food?

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