Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ashmont Grill - a Trip to the South Shore (According to This North Shore Girl)

If you have lived in or grew up in Massachusettes, you know that Route 90 is more than the Mass Pike.  To many of us it is the division between the North Shore and South Shore of the state, and there is a rivalry between the two that starts some heated debates.  I grew up on the North Shore, and before moving to Boston I had crossed over "the line" no more than 5 times - to me, the South End is the South Shore (I mean, you DO cross Rout 90!)  Nick grew up on the North Shore as well, but one side of his family lives throughout the South Shore, so I have become a BIT more used to heading down there, but whenever I do I can't help but feel turned around.

Needless to say, restaurants nestled in Peabody Square in Dorchester were part of my regular rotation.  However, when I was contacted about having dinner at Ashmont Grill, I knew I had to go - the reviews just looked too good.  One night last week Nick and I jumped on the Red Line and headed down to the Ashmont stop, and upon exiting the T were pleasantly surprised by the quaint feeling of Peabody Square.  We immediately spotted Ashmont Grill a short distance away and made our way over.

Walking up to the front door I noticed they actually had made great use of some of the space in the parking lot (yes, you can PARK!), and they were growing some veggies - how fun!  After taking a look around, we walked into the restaurant and were greeted by a lofty space that had a unique decor while maintaining a welcoming feeling with the wood and brick accents.  The lighting and other decorations stuck with the food theme by cleverly using utensils or food items themselves (see the light shades below).

Scenes from Ashmont Grill
After getting settled, we ordered a couple of drinks.  I got the special pear sangria.  The pear added a lovely flavor that sort of cut the sweetness that comes with a lot of sangrias.

Pear Sangria
Nick went with a cocktail made withvodka, grapefruit juice and the most delicious basil syrup, which Ashmont Grill makes in house.  According to our waitress Micheala, there is a special skill in making this to maintain the lovely green color rather than a weird brown color!  I was not sure about the basil flavor, but melded with the sugar syrup it gave just the right punch to the drink.

Vodka, Grapefruit and Basil Syrup drink
Looking over the menu there were many delicious options at a variety of price points to tempt everyone.  The first of our two appetizers was the the lighter of the two: the Grilled and Chilled Zucchini and Hazelnuts, which was topped with balsamic vinegar, basil leaves and shaved Parmesan.  This was such a great alternative to a salad with its cool and fresh taste, and you still got some great grilled flavor.  The added crunch of the hazelnuts was unexpected and fun.

Grilled and Chilled Zucchini
For the second appetizer, we went rich with the Wood Grilled Lamb Sliders on an Olive Focaccia.         This may have been our favorite dish of the evening.  The lamb was tender and juicy and you could taste the hickory from the grill.  The focaccia was light and airy and the feta in combination with the raita was the icing on the burger.  There was a depth of flavor in each bite that kept us going back for more!  We finished up this dish while discussing when we could head back to the restaurant to order them again.  This is a definite order.

Lamb Sliders
For entrees we switched gears from land to sea.  I ordered the Pan-Seared Norwegian Salmon served over baby bok choy, hakuri turnips, nori seaweed, and beech mushrooms in a dashi-miso broth.  I loved the Asian flavors in this dish.  They worked well with the perfectly cooked salmon.  The sear added a nice little crisp to each bite.  Another well executed dish with loads of flavor.  

Pan-Seared Norwegian Salmon
Nick got the fish special that evening, which was a pan-seared Mahi-Mahi with a tomato broth (ragu) and corn fritter.  This dish was unbelievable!  The fish was cooked perfectly and the tomato sauce was flavorful (neither of us ever really thought of serving fish with a tomato sauce!).  The corn fritter was something that was unlike any fritter I had before.  The outside had a nice golden crisp while the inside was soft and gooey and rich.  I don't know how they did it, but all fritters should be made the Ashmont Grill way!

Fish of the Day - Mahi-Mahi
By this point, we re-upped our drinks and Nick got the red sangria.  In Nick's opinion, it wasn't as good as his earlier basil drink, but still a good option.

Red Sangria
I got the cucumber vodka cocktail that was nice and refreshing after our meal thus far.

Cucumber Cocktail
While normal people would call it a night after so much food, we had to order dessert.  The meal was just too good so we knew the dessert would rank right up there.  I ordered the 'Potted' Chocolate, which was a baked mousse with raspberries and minted whipped cream.  Of course the plating of the dessert in a literal pot was right up my alley - so cute!  The mousse was rich, but still nice and light.  The whipped cream was not overwhelming minty, just a nice hint of the herb to add a nice accent to each bite.

'Potted' Chocolate
Nick was struggling with what dessert to order, he was torn between the Sticky Toffee Pudding and the Peach Plum Crisp.  Turning again to the infinite wisdom of our server Michaela, she pointed out that the stone fruit was at the peak of the season so crisp is a good way to go.  She also noted that the sticky toffee pudding was featured on Food Network's Sugar High with Duff, and that we could always come back and try it another night.  Still torn, Nick ultimately went with the crisp.  However, when our dessert came out, Michaela brought out both, saying it was just too good and that she didn't want us to miss out.  So nice of her!

Nick first dug into a sample of the crisp and it was delicious, with a great crunch to the crisp, and of course the stone fruit was flavorful and amazing (can this season last longer?!).

Peach and Plum Crisp
As good as the crisp was, the sticky toffee pudding was out of this world.  There is a legitimate reason this dish was featured on TV - it's amazing!  The pudding cake was rich and even though it was drenched in the sauce, it was still not heavy.  I abandoned my potted chocolate in favor of this dish as well.

Sticky Toffee Pudding
For a girl who does not head south of the Pike often, I would plan on going back to Ashmont Grill in a heartbeat, if only for the Lamb Sliders and the Sticky Toffee Pudding (I seriously cannot explain how good these both were - I dream of them at night!)  It really is only a short ride down the Red Line and you are right there.

This meal exceeded every expectation we had.  Our server Michaela was eager to please and took the time to ask us about temperatures for each dish, including the fish, and was sure to follow up with us to make sure the temperature was appropriate.  The people at Ashmont Grill paid attention to every detail, and the meal was executed perfectly.  I am eagerly looking for any excuse to head back here ASAP - anyone?!

Ashmont Grill on Urbanspoon

This meal was provided free of charge, but my thoughts and opinions are my own.  


  1. We love Ashmont Grill. You should check out one of their wine club Mondays. It's a lot of fun and an amazing deal. . . lots of wine! ;)

  2. I have been hearing Meghan rave about the place for years. so glad you enjoyed it. I would love to pay them a visit sometime.

  3. oh my what an indulgent evening. I have never been to Ashmont Grill and now need to go. The sliders, the salmon the chocolate - all looks fantastic!

  4. Definitely looks worth the trip for those lamb sliders alone!

  5. What a meal!! I can decide what I would want to have most- the lamb sliders, the desserts, or that crisp cucumber cocktail! I definitely stay on the northern side of things too often and should really venture to places like the Ashmont Grill.

  6. wow! this meal looks so good! I am drooling over those dessert!

  7. Everything looks seriously good! I want that sticky toffee pudding

  8. I'll go! I've never been but have always wanted to check out Ashmont Grill. Now I especially want to go for that mahi-mahi dish, the zucchini salad, and the potted chocolate!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...