Ashmont Grill revisited

It was too hot to cook today, so Barbara and I went to the Ashmont Grill, along with our friend Cheri. This was our third dinner visit there in the past six months or so (in addition to a couple of brunches). I didn’t post anything about the previous two dinners, since I was waiting for a tie-breaker, and now we have one.

First of all, what happened two visits ago? We had been disappointed at that time, because earlier experiences at the Ashmont Grill had all been wonderful; but that time everything was mediocre. Vegetables were somewhat overcooked, meat was a bit dry and not hot enough, and service was haphazard. Next time would be better, we hoped. And indeed it was. So which was the real Ashmont Grill? I am pleased to report that the one disappointing experience was an anomaly, and all seems to be well. The three of us sampled a variety of items on the menu, and there wasn’t a false step among them: crisp, light calamari, whisked to us from the fryer without spending time under a heat lamp; plump, fresh, garlicky mussels in a red pepper sauce; a top-quality hamburger cooked exactly to order; fall-off-the-bone short ribs in not too much sauce; excellent home-made cole slaw; hot, thick, sinfully rich home-made onion rings; hot, fresh, cornbread; and a nice bottle of Côtes du Rousillon.

The prices, of course, are significantly lower than those at Chris Douglass’s other restaurant, his flagship Icarus, which is one of the very best restaurants in Boston. But it still seems a bit expensive for an informal, low-key, neighborhood-type place. Oh, it’s still definitely worth it, but don’t expect cheap. The food and service are great; now if only the prices were a little lower…

Categories: Dorchester/Boston, Food & Restaurants