On Sunday May 5 I was invited by the Boston Brunchers for a tasting menu brunch at The Sinclair. I had followed the opening of this new Harvard Square eatery and music venue for a few months and I was eager to try out their brunch menu.
Our group of nine arrived and chatted in the first floor just inside the entrance where there is a bar along with seating. We were led up to the second floor which, to my surprise, is a second large dining room, and onto the deck. Nestled between buildings on three sides, the wooden deck feels like a private backyard area – even with the commotion of May Day going on below, I could only hear faint music. The deck seats about twenty and I can’t wait to return with friends for after-work drinks and snacks…but I’ll order a whole meal. And this is why-
From left to right, Orchard Pear (Australian Liqueur, Nectar, Cava), Novara (Mango, Campari, Cava), and Traditional (Orange Juice, Cava)
We started with the mimosa flight. It was a fun beginning to the meal and the bright summery colors paired with the beautiful weather that day transported me to a relaxing mid-summer morning.
After the mimosa trio we began the tasting menu. The flavors flowed from one to another beautifully, peppered with drinks between. There was sincere thought and consistency through the whole meal, which makes me even more excited to return. The only drawback to this type of meal is that I can’t tell you what any one dish on the brunch menu tasted like – each tasting was a variation of the menu offerings. I guess that’s the concept, though, that we try a bunch of samplings and then want to go back for more. It worked!
Our first tasting was a Misty Point Virginia oyster with a subtle vinaigrette and pink peppercorns. Between my plate arriving and taking a few photos, the strong sun had slightly warmed up the sweet oyster. It was such a treat.
Our second drink was the Smoked Pork Belly Bloody Mary – Wodka Vodka and the bloody mary mix, pork belly, Grillo’s pickle, and pickled garlic on top. Horseradish undertones and accents of smokiness and pickle from the garish were a great combination. I’ll order this again.
The Cured Gravlax was next, and probably my favorite dish of the meal – a generously thick piece of salmon topped with pickled onions, capers, chillies, and dill. This was slightly different from the brunch menu offering, which also features a poached egg and arugula.
The White Asparagus Velouté was so pleasant – the cold creamy soup served as a nice palate cleanser and would also be great as an appetizer.
Fried Calamari with Tom Yum Gain Sauce featured tender calamari and the subtle sauce was a nice addition. I sat across from Jess of Gluten Free Girl Boston and enjoyed chatting throughout our meal. I also learned, because she’s gluten free, that the calamari are gluten free! Always good to ask, you never know.
At this point I thought we were done with drinks, but then this lovely Tiger Lily cocktail arrived for dessert – Corralejo Tequila Blanco, Aperol, grapefruit, and soda. This fresh and sweet drink was nice to end with.
We really thought we were finished. But then…the Duck Confit Hash emerged! This was another version of a brunch item – on the menu it’s served with a poached egg. I was craving the egg, but the dish was delicious. And I felt like I had eaten three meals at this point. It was indulgent, rich, and was like dessert, duck-style.
The whole meal was relaxing, fun, creative, and delicious. I was also fortunate that a fantastic group of brunchers attended this event. It was great to meet a bunch of new food bloggers, catch up with some people I hadn’t seen in probably a year, and leave wanting to go back with the same group at the same time the next weekend.
The Sinclair’s image – interior, menu, flavor combinations, etc – reminded me of a combination between Island Creek Oyster Bar and Deep Ellum, with a little neighborhood friendliness and familiarity thrown in. Our server was seamlessly engaged in our experience and conversation without feeling like it was forced, and staff visited us throughout to introduce dishes and check in.
I look forward to frequenting The Sinclair this summer!
My meal and drinks at The Sinclair were complimentary through the Boston Brunchers,and I provided a tip. As with all EatingPlaces posts, opinions are my own.