Thursday, July 22, 2010

Boston Restaurant/Happy Hour: Church

posted by Katie

What: Church of Boston
Where: 69 Kilmarnock Street, near Fenway
When: Free chips and salsa and $5 margaritas on Thursdays
Honeys Heart: The 7 Deadly Sin martinis

Last Thursday, Shannon, Anna, and I met up at Church in the Fenway for dinner.

Church is owned by the same folks who own The Regal Beagle, and the restaurants share a head chef, Laura Henry-Zoubir, which explains why some of the menu items looked familiar to me.

Both restaurants focus on high-quality comfort food, but when it comes to drinks, I think Church comes out on top with its fun and creative "7 Deadly Sin" martinis and "4 Horsemen" drinks.

Now, I'm sure Kel and I have mentioned our love of Gluttony martinis from Vault in Portland, and I have to admit that I was at first a little disappointed to see that Church's take on the 7 Deadly Sins is quite different than Vault's. But then I got over that real fast.

That's because I was drinking this:

The Lust martini ($10) "is a floral, gin-based drink made with purple flowers picked from the base of the Austrian Alps, accented with ginger." You can't really tell in this picture, but it was a very pretty purple color, as you might expect. Shannon and Anna both thought that it tasted too strongly of gin, but I thought the combination of gin and ginger was well-balanced and refreshing. A very good start to my visit to Church.

Anna went with Vanity.

Vanity ($10) is "a vodka based cocktail made with fresh squeezed, sweetened, ruby red grapefruits." Very fruity and very sweet. Anna has a predilection toward the saccharine, so it was perfect for her.

I'll send you over to Church's online menu to read about all the other specialty drinks they feature, including Gluttony, which is made with rum, thai coconut milk, and mint chocolate, and Conquest, which is made with rhubarb tequila, agave nectar and strawberries.Yum.

Shannon ordered the house margarita. Decent, but nothing to get too excited about really. Not when you can drink the 7 Deadly Sins or the 4 Horsemen instead. 

As an appetizer, Shannon and I shared the flatbread special of the day ($6) which was piled high with ham, arugula, caramelized onions (my new favorite), roasted red peppers, cheddar cheese and wasabi-garlic aioli.

There was more than enough for two people to share and I thought the flavors of the ham, the sweet caramelized onions, the bitter arugula, and the unexpected wasabi aioli came together perfectly. Too bad they don't have this particular flatbread every night...

For dinner, I ordered the buttermilk fried chicken with smashed Yukon gold potatoes and green bean and red onion salad with buttermilk dressing ($16).

 It was quite a decadent dish. The fried chicken was crispy and very flavorful and I'm always a sucker for smashed potatoes. The green bean and red onion salad rounded out the plate nicely by bringing in some crisp freshness. Definitely not something you would want to eat all the time, but a great treat once in awhile.

Shannon had the baked mac & cheese with truffle oil, Ritz crackers and sea salt ($12).

Talk about comfort food. The mac was cheesy and delicious and I loved the little bit of crunch from the Ritz crackers on top. My only complaint is that I would have liked to taste more of the truffle oil because I love the stuff. Probably I'm just being greedy though...

Anna went with the pan seared crab cakes with gazpacho, roasted corn salad, and garlic aioli ($10) and a side order of truffle french fries.

I was glad that the crab cakes had a bit of kick to them and the fries were heavenly. No lack of truffle oil there. Loved them.

In addition to the restaurant where we ate, Church also has an adjacent club which serves food from the restaurant until 11pm and has live music every night. Sounds like fun!

Two caveats about Church though:
1) Make sure you plan to spend a good amount of time in the restaurant if you have drinks, an appetizer, and dinner as we did. We arrived a little after 6:30pm and didn't get our bill until around 8:30pm.

2) Be sure to confirm with your server that he or she knows that you would like the Thursday $5 margarita special when you order. Shannon didn't mention that when she ordered and when the bill came, she had been charged the regular $7.50 price. I'm sure our server would have gladly fixed the bill, but by that time we were tired and full and quite ready to head home so we just let it go.

Overall, however, we had a great time and a delicious meal and I plan to go back to try another of the 7 Deadly Sins or maybe one of the 4 Horsemen in the near future.

Also, you should probably follow @ChurchBoston on Twitter so you can know about all their special deals including their Twitter Tuesday specials.

Thanks to Church for their generosity in comping my meal. It was a pleasure to review your restaurant!