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Boston Restaurant Blog >> 2009 archives >> June, 2009 >> blog entry

Boston Restaurant Blog -- June, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

Two Nights at Orleans Restaurant, Somerville

It is strange that sometimes you end up at a restaurant or bar repeatedly within a short period of time after not being there for awhile. And in the case of Orleans in Somerville, I took this to the extreme, hitting the place twice in a 24-hour span last week after not being there for maybe six or seven years. And like the times I went there long ago, it was impressive for its beer list and atmosphere, and the food was mostly decent (with one real standout, by the way--more on that later).

photo of Orleans Restaurant, Somerville, Massachusetts Orleans is located in a strip of funky stores just northwest of Davis Square (on the road to Teele Square). The restaurant has a full bar in the front, a dining area partly partitioned off toward the back, and a relaxing area complete with comfy couches by the windows to the front and left. Orleans has a rather dark, Spartan feel inside (especially toward the back) and the hard floor brings up the noise level somewhat, but there are enough upscale touches to keep the place fairly attractive. For those who don't know, Orleans is one of four restaurants owned by the same folks, including Devlin's Bistro and Porter Belly's Pub (both in Brighton), and the Warren Tavern (in Charlestown).

My first trip to Orleans was strictly for a couple of rounds of drinks, and we were able to grab some of the aforementioned couches in the front, enjoying some truly excellent beers including one of my favorites (Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat, which actually tastes a bit like liquid Fruity Pebbles). The following night, we stopped by Orleans for dinner, getting there early enough to have nearly the entire place to ourselves. After being served some tasty bread with a very nice garlic spread, we ordered an Asian dumpling appetizer which was just ok, though the deliciously sweet chili sauce more than made up for the somewhat bland dumplings. Our meals soon came out, and included a gnocchi dish that had a somewhat acidic tomato sauce, a lot of sliced onions (too many, in my opinion), and whole tomatoes, which only added to the rather harsh acid taste. The other dish--a gourmet pizza with olives, broccoli, spinach, and feta cheese--was simply outstanding, as the thin crust was dry and slightly charred on the bottom, the vegetables seemed fresh, and the cheese had a nice hint of bitterness (it was a white pizza, with no tomato sauce). Unfortunately, we had no room for dessert. Overall prices weren't too bad, with both dishes being in the teens.

I have never been completely in love with Orleans, but I do like the place enough to return again (this time not waiting six or seven years to do so). When I do go back, my guess is that I may opt for the pizza, since it really was something special.

For those who want the address for Orleans, here it is: Orleans Restaurant, 65 Holland Street, Somerville, MA, 02144. The phone number is (617) 591-2100.

Orleans on Urbanspoon


Related Blog Entries: Somerville restaurants

Suze said:
We went there a few weeks ago to sit at the patio. Didn't realize we'd be looking at a parking lot. Our server was really, really terrible (but nice)! Forgetting drink orders more than once. Taking 15 minutes to ring up the check, etc... We also had the dumplings (too sticky sweet), garlic shrimp app (over cooked) and a caprese salad (the pale watery tomatoes weren't great). Went once for lunch and had a pretty good tuna melt, though. I am with you...great for drinks and pizza.
Posted on 6/3/09

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