Last weekend was the Boston Marathon. The weather was gorgeous. So when I headed down to the city center on Saturday I wasn’t surprised to see the Common swarming with people. Bostonians sat on the grass enjoying the sun. Tourists eagerly walked around with their maps scoping out the sights.
I enjoy the Common but I do have one problem with it. As it’s such a tourist-heavy area I tend to be suspicious of any nearby restaurants. Because they will all surely be overpriced and mediocre, yes? I have no evidence about the Common specifically, but it’s been my experience in other tourist-y areas.
So it was with a bit of trepidation that I met my fellow brunchers at Scollay Square, which is just a stone’s throw from the State House. We were gathered as a group of Moms to meet Katie Workman and celebrate the release of her new Mom 100 Cookbook. It was a lot of fun to talk about how a cookbook is put together and what kinds of concerns we had as moms cooking for our kids. But mostly, we all enjoyed eating.
Our menu for the day had choices of sweet and savory, the perennial brunch dilemma. I decided to go savory and chose for my starter the classic Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus. It also came with mozzarella, roasted tomatoes and a balsamic glaze.
It looked even better than it sounded and it tasted as good even better than it looked. The size of the asparagus was just right, so that it wasn’t too much or too little prosciutto. The balsamic was something I’d never had paired with wrapped asparagus before, but it was delicious. A nice thick glaze that I used to freely slather my bites.
The entree choices were tough and I actually did something uncharacteristic and ordered a non-breakfast-y item. I know brunch usually includes lunch-ish stuff but I almost always overlook it because I am so in love with breakfast food. But this time I couldn’t pass up the Butternut Squash Lasagna with Marscarpone, Ricotta, Baby Spinach and Sage Cream.
There is no picture. I could not wait to eat it. And I pretty much devoured it whole. It managed to be full of heavy ingredients and surrounded by a sea of cream, and yet it felt light and lovely on a hot day. Don’t ask me how they pulled that off.
Finally we were brought Strawberry Shortcake.
(Why yes, that IS a pacifier in the picture. Tessa was along for the ride.)
The shortcake was more of a biscuit than a pound cake, and I was really fond of that choice. It kept the dish from being too sweet. The plate had strawberry juice on the bottom in case you didn’t have enough berries already and the ice cream wasn’t at all too heavy. A great dessert.
Also great? $4 mimosas. When they asked if I wanted coffee I asked if they had iced, and they made me one. It was very very tasty.
The location is great if you’re downtown and there’s an outdoor patio which was packed on such a beautiful day, though there was never a line to be seated and plenty of tables inside. Even better, their prices weren’t through the roof. Brunch entrees are generally $12 or less, except for options with steak or lobster. So pretty typical for the Boston area. The menu is standard, with a variety of omelets and french toast.
A great choice if you’re planning to spend a weekend on the Common this summer.