A long time ago (2 weeks, though it seems much longer), in a galaxy far, far away (Boston), Dish Gal and Z met for dinner at the South End Buttery.
Dish Dad always says don't bury the lead, so I'll start with my verdict: I'd give the food a B- and the atmosphere an A+.
First off, the South End Buttery is adjacent to my favorite street in Boston-- Union Park. The brownstones, the trees, the cobblestones-- it all makes for quite a fairy tale-esque scene.
Inside the restaurant, the ground floor holds the bakery in one room and the bar area in another. The hostess seated us downstairs in the dining room, in a diminutive room with a roaring fireplace and comfy, plush banquettes. I was astonished at how charming this subterranean dining room is. It's maybe the coziest dining room in Boston. And I've eaten in a lot ;)
On to the food. Z started with a crabcake appetizer with all these crazy sauces spiraled about on the plate (crazy being piquillo and avocado). The sauces reminded me of my Sibling Rivalry "let's just throw a bunch of sauces on the plate" gripe. Usually I'm anti-shellfish in general, but a few weeks ago at the Share Our Strength dinner at Hamersley's, I was blown away by Rich Vellante's crabcake appetizer, so I decided to try this one. I didn't love it; too fishy for me. We also shared a Caesar salad. Nothing special, but I did enjoy it.
For our entrees, I (very randomly) selected the pulled pork sandwich after our waitress mentioned it was a staff favorite. The dish seemed out of place on an otherwise steak/salmon/swordfish dominated menu. It was yummy, but still, very random. And MASSIVE. I took about 3/4 of it home.
Z got the swordfish. He "liked it a lot" (direct quote via text message). I didn't get a chance to try it.
Finally, we got the green tea crème brulee. I didn't taste any green tea in this at all. But I'm never going to say blech to a crème brulee…
So there you have it, folks. A charming, romantic, reasonably-priced spot hidden on a fairytale-esque street in the heart of the South End. Just make sure your date is not a foodie ;)