Tag Archives: restaurant review

Menotomy Grill and Tavern: Restaurant Review

I don’t go out to lunch. If I do, it’s because I’m working at a cafe with wifi and need to grab something to eat. But recently the Menotomy Grill and Tavern in East Arlington hosted a small group of bloggers for lunch (including me, hooray!). Menotomy Grill is a cozy restaurant with a Colonial tavern feel.

Menotomy Grill fills a niche for Arlington: a restaurant where you can get a good lunch or relaxing dinner or go for drinks and watch the game (what game? I don’t know these sports-games-things–but you know, the game) on the big screen at the bar. I’ve previously been there to meet friends for drinks. It’s a place in Arlington to meet friends for drinks! I’ve been there for dinner with my husband and, another time, with my mother–and another time, with a friend–for dinner. It’s fine for dinner.

This was my first time having lunch there.


OK, so maybe the ductwork undoes the cozy feel of this particular chandelier, but trust me, this place is cozy. #blamethephotographer

The place is called Menotomy Grill because it harkens back to when Arlington was called Menotomy [I can also tell you why the Jason Russell House is famous and what East Arlington used to be famous for (answer: lettuce); I know my Arlington history]. The American Revolution hit this town hard, and like the Warren Tavern in Charlestown (but with a more spacious feel), Menotomy Grill has some features that bring you back to colonial days: the stone fireplace, the wood tables and floors, and the iron/candle replica light fixtures. I’ll admit it: I am very partial to the light fixtures.


The place has a lot of nice historical touches. You could spend a lot of time near the bathroom, studying the old maps of the town.

It also has a decidedly modern feel and upscale vibe.

Menotomy Grill has a decent wine list and a very good beer list, plus ciders and cocktails. I failed to take note of their current list at this lunch, as I had seltzer, but I’ve had wine and beer there at dinner and have enjoyed my selections.

Let’s talk about the food, right? That’s what we’re here for. I think among the six of us we ordered most of the appetizers. I would not have selected the Fried Dill Pickles ($7), since I don’t like fried food, and I’m a pickles purist, but they turned out to be mightily addictive, even if if you didn’t bother dipping them into the spicy remoulade they were served with (also kind of addictive). They didn’t need it. They were like the seared tuna of fried pickles: hot and tender on the outside, cooler and with more substance in the middle. The perfect meld of temperature and texture. I want to go back there right now, just thinking of those pickles.

We also tried the Chipotle Citrus Wings (served with peppercorn ranch, $11), which sounded good and looked pretty. IMG_3535.JPG

The wings had a nice kick to them but failed to deliver in other ways: they were almost soggy, and the meat wasn’t falling off the bone the way I like it to be.

We also tried the flatbread as an appetizer. Menotomy Grill usually has two flatbreads on the menu (Margherita ($10) as well as Grilled Steak and Caramelized Onion ($12). The day’s special flatbread was smoked salmon on cream cheese on an everything dough. The special sounded like a creative combo, but we decided to try the Margherita, which was fairly crispy and very tasty. The sauce was perfect.

The House Smoked St. Louis Ribs (with guava BBQ sauce and Napa cabbage/pickled jalapeno slaw, $11) was tasty. If you’re hoping for saucy ribs, these are not them, but they were perfectly cooked and nicely porky. The Napa cabbage slaw underneath the ribs was fantastic, and I could easily envision this dish as a salad tipped with some meat cut off the ribs.


It’s hard to see the lovely salad under all the ribs.

Another blogger ordered the Wedge Salad ($9). It was everything you wanted in an wedge salad: crisp fresh iceberg lettuce, heirloom cherry tomatoes, a generous sprinkling of bacon cubes (I’d call them lardons), a confident splash of buttermilk bleu cheese dressing. Oh, and avocado. I don’t think it needs the avocado. It’s heaven on a plate, crunchy/creamy/crisp/fatty/fresh/salty/startling. I would go there just for that.


We tried a bunch of sides (each $6). The House Baked Beans are good, the Edna’s Potato Sausage Stuffing thick and meaty and delicious. The Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Mustard are tender and tasty, though a touch more watery than I prefer (I like them simple, just roasted with garlic). We also tried the various fries: Sweet Potato, Herbed Parmesan, and regular. They’re all crispy and good.


I’ve had the Grilled Vegetable Panini before, at dinner (lots of grilled vegetables and cheese). This day, we all tried the Menotomy Cheeseburger ($13), topped with cheddar, lettuce, red onion, and a smoked tomato jam (add a fried egg or bacon for additional charge). It was a good burger: slightly but not overly fatty, off-set by the crisped grilled bun and the startling sweet touch of the tomato jam. I’d go back there for that (and the Wedge Salad!).

The Greek Salad ($9) has a nice dressing and is big. Others ordered the Herb Roasted Chicken, the Grilled Hanger Steak, the Grilled Chicken BLT, and the day’s special sandwich (a grilled ham and cheese club with house-made chips) and reported back very positively.

We didn’t try the desserts. We had no room.

But I’ll be back, to the cozy Colonial-tavern space.


[Disclosure: We were hosted for lunch. All opinions are my own.] 

Wagamama: Change Up Your Flavors! #giveaway

japanese pickles

japanese pickles

If you haven’t heard of Wagamama, it’s a Japanese-inspired restaurant and noodle bar. You won’t find sushi here, but you will find a ton of other delicious dishes: many noodle dishes, amazing crispy chicken with curry sauce, salmon so tender, delicate lightly-dressed leaves, and plenty of soy, with scattered cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

I was recently invited to a night-before-opening-night feast at the newest U.S. Wagamama location (in Lynnfield, Massachusetts). I’d been to the Wagamama in Harvard Square when that first opened. The Lynnfield one is in a nice new shopping center; imagine having a good, tasty, nutritious, and affordable restaurant to go to after running some errands or doing some shopping!

We faced a whole table full of beautiful, delicious-smelling dishes. table lightWe were able to speak with the chef about the various dishes, how they are made and what they are flavored with. Then we sat down and were fed. Everything. An entire menu’s worth of food: freshly squeezed juices, appetizers, entries.

Super Green Juice: apple, mint, celery, lime...freshly-squeezed, of course

Super Green Juice: apple, mint, celery, lime…freshly squeezed, of course

Ramen and soba and rice, chicken and beef and salmon and tofu… curry…chili…vegetables…

table cameras

First the food was set up for us to look at and photograph…then they brought out fresh plates of everything.

Everything is made fresh and fast. The restaurant interior is sleek and modern, and the food is available for takeout as well.

yasai itame

yasai itame

teriyaki salmon soba

teriyaki salmon soba

ram_chilli chicken

On, no. We weren’t done yet.

They also have dessert: chocolate cake so good I took some home and ate it for breakfast the next morning (and let me tell you, I don’t eat just any cake for breakfast!), and coconut reika — coconut ice cream with a tangy mango sauce and toasted coconut, for a creamy, crunchy, bright, joyful dessert. And cheesecake.

coconut reika

coconut reika

Much of the menu is gluten free; many dishes are vegetarian. Plus, it turns out, they have a kids’ menu! Mini ramen, yaki soba (tofu or chicken, egg, sweet corn, snow peas, peppers, teriyaki), grilled noodles (with grilled chicken or cod, carrot, sweet corn, cucumber, teriyaki), chicken katsu (with rice, carrot, cucumber, sweet corn)…nothing too out there, but much better than any standard kids’ menu I’ve seen lately!


One lucky reader will win a $25 gift card to any Wagamama location! Enter via the Rafflecopter below. Gift card will be sent directly by Wagamama, not by this blogger, to the winner. Winner will be selected Friday, November 29 (just in time for a post-Thanksgiving change of pace!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Disclosure: I was invited to a preview tasting meal at Wagamama and given a gift bag (with the Wagamama cookbook!! Cannot wait to try it!). All opinions are my own.]