I ate at Loyal Nine with a few friends earlier in the summer and I’ve been meaning to write about how very good this place is. There’s a separate thread on LN’s coffee and its virtues as a cafe (link below), and I agree with all the accolades there, but no thread on its virtues as a dinner destination (although there’s praise here and there on other threads).
Soused bluefish: Loved the fish, but were not completely convinced of the pairing with the Boston brown bread.
Fried soldier beans: One of the hits of the night. Crisp, crunchy, salty.
Sallet: Boston lettuce, goat cheese, disks of kohlrabi. Very nice combination.
Steel cut oats: Pan fried oats with spinach, turnips, garlic. Much more than the sum of its humble parts.
Pork ribs: Very tender, the sweetness of the molasses nicely cut by hot peppers.
Duck breast: I did not get to try any, but it was a lovely pink in the center and highly praised by those who ate it.
Fried clams: Cleanly fried, with no excess grease, and a delicious accompanying aioli.
Liver pate: Richly livery, smooth, and nicely paired with something jammy.
There was more, but the bottles of wine that went with the meal, and the passage of several weeks, has erased what else we ate from my memory, other than the recollection that there wasn’t a single false step (the brown bread and bluefish came closest). The balance of tastes and the precise execution made this among the 25 (or so) best meals we’ve had in Cambridge/Boston/NYC/SF/Beijing/Delhi/Munich in the last 5 years. (I choose that specific time period because we spent a bit of 2011 in Italy, eating our way from Venice to Palermo, and not much can compare with that.)
It was a lovely early summer evening the night we ate there, and we sat in their beautiful garden. Our first choice had been Oleana, but the difficulty of guaranteeing garden seating there made us change. We’re glad we did. Given our love for Oleana, that’s a significant statement.