East Coast Grill is an Inman Square legend, a standard one often forgets when opting for local dining choices because of it's longevity but, as we recently were reminded, it's still a winner.
We began with this Cheerwine Cooler: Cheerwine, Fresh Ginger Syrup, Kentucky Bourbon and Bitters. Cheerwine is a cherry soda drink wildly popular in the South, rarely heard of here. These authentic Southern touches would be present throughout our dinner making for just the kind of attention to detail that makes a meal memorable.
Our first taste was this Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich. Again, a tribute to Southern roots. I loved the great use of savory, spicy jellies, an often overlooked jewel of inventive, classic Southern cuisine. These sandwiches were served with a Muscadine-Pepper Jelly.
Abita Restoration Ale was brought out for our next course, not only a great brew but part of all sales also go toward the restoration of a post-Katrina New Orleans.
Chargrilled Island Creek Oysters. Graced with Parmesan-Cayenne Butter and served with Saltines, these packed a spicy punch when you hit a streak of the cayenne but, still, I could have eaten these all night.
Crispy Softshell Crayfish was served on Buttermilk Biscuits with Country Ham, Peaches and Crayfish Jelly. Our press table sighed over the biscuits. It had been too long since we'd enjoyed a real, down home texture and richness, flaky and buttery. The biscuit played a great backdrop to the crispy seafood tastes. Great combination of flavors.
Treme Style Head On BBQ Shrimp with Thyme and Paprika Butter. What could be more Southern? Deliciously seasoned, we wiped our fingers on the wet naps after devouring them.
The Shrimp was served with this freshly baked, grilled focaccia bread.
Course three was served with Sangria. I opted for the Blanca and was not disappointed.
The main course: Hickory Smoked Baby Back Ribs, Carolina Mustard Sauce, Blackened Shrimp, Blue Crab Grits and Quick Seared Collard Greens. Others began to grow full as I delved into this. The ribs were perfectly done and the shrimp was crunchy, smoky goodness. The blue crab grits, again, an excellent layer of flavor for the plate.
An excellent squash was served as a side, lending a sweetness to the Southern fare.
Our last sip was this Ginger-Peach Fizz with Fresh Muddles Georgia Peaches, Vodka, Domaine De Canton and House Lemonade, a perfect nod to Southern hospitality and a refreshing way to top off the richly flavored feast.
Dessert was this Coconut-Lemongrass sorbet, a creamy, cool way to end what was an excellent meal.
If you haven't been here recently or just crave some hearty seafood dishes and original cocktails with an inventive Southern flair you just can't go wrong at East Coast Grill.
East Coast Grill
1271 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02139