Branch Line Watertown MA

Went last night and everything was mostly spot on.

Excellent:
Fried Cheese Balls
Avocado
Snap Pea Salad with Marcona Almonds
1/2 Rotisserie chicken
Sweet cream ice cream with hazelnut crumble (beetlebug is correct, the ice cream is a vehicle for the hazelnut goodness)
$41 bottle of red Corsican wine. Yves L-something.
Service from the Harker team, similar to what you get at the Kenmore triumvirate.

Excellent with reservations
Lamb skewer - the lamb was delicious, marinated and cooked perfectly, but the skewer had just three small (1 inch x 1/2 inch) pieces of lamb with veggies, and was $14. Just not a good value IMO.

Very Good
Fried potatoes, I liked them more than my wife, but I would try the other potatoes next time.
Smoked mushrooms - excellent smoky flavor, but I would have preferred a mix of mushrooms, rather than all small button mushrooms. Would try the roasted carrots next time.

Needs a lot of work
The black bench that runs along the outside wall of the restaurant, moved each time anyone moved on it, which when you have 20 or so people sitting on it, was pretty much constantly. This bothered my wife immensely, and she would not sit there again unless it’s fixed.

Over all, we really enjoyed it, and since it’s a 5 minute drive from our Brighton home, I’m sure it will become one of our favorites. The bill was $135 plus tip.

My SO and I made it to Branch Line for a holiday lunch. Thanks, kimfair, for the recs: we totally agree with your take on the cheese balls, salted avocado, pea salad, rotisserie chicken and the ice cream. Also had the tasty porchetta sandwich, with chucks of skin-on pork (rather than slabs you would get at market in Italy) on an excellent Iggy’s roll. And a fried brussel sprout special, very nice. The tap beer selection is impressive. I could only sample one but I’d like to return to try several more before they rotate out. We sat at one end of the long bench, and it didn’t budge, so it appears they’ve locked it down.

The service was spot on - very correct presentation of wine and beer, smooth teamwork in running dishes to the table. The space is pleasant, with isles wide enough for two, exposed brick, high ceilings, and abundant light - you can sense the lineage from Row 34. The room (but not the bar) was full at lunch time, and conversation was no problem. The playlist was interesting - all 1960’s for the duration of our two-hour lunch.

A welcome addition to the neighborhood, indeed.

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