Dining at Journeyman in Union Square has been on my to-do list since before it officially opened and I recently had the pleasure of checking it off my list. A reservation was made and when the night arrived, we dined on some of the best food I’ve ever had delivered with top-notch service in a serene atmosphere.
Journeyman is not a typical restaurant. It’s way more than that. There’s no permanent set menu and things change often depending on what’s in season and the chefs’ inspiration. All you really choose is whether you want five or seven courses and whether you want to do the beverage pairing. I went with five vegetarian courses and Mike went with the omnivore seven (he swapped out the foie gras for another dish, which Journeyman was more than willing to accommodate). We opted for the beverage pairing as well so we could get the full experience.
The first thing we noticed and something we kept remarking on all night was the incredible service and attention to detail at the restaurant. The waiters are very knowledgable about what you’re eating and drinking and explain everything in a way that truly enhances your dining experience.
We were treated first to an amuse bouche of arugula ice cream with croutons and vinegar pearls. It was a lovely palate cleanser and refreshing way to start the evening.
Next up was a deconstructed salad of carrots, beets, radish, tomato, greens, onion and more. The presentation of this and all the dishes was exquisite, almost too beautiful to eat. The salad was served with a crisp Greek white wine that complemented the dish and the season perfectly.
Around this time we were also treated to a hearty plate of bread and butter that we enjoyed throughout the evening. The bread that we enjoyed most, baked fresh in-house, was a dense sourdough.
We then dined on a lettuce-based soup, mine with chopped peaches in it and Mike’s with an oyster and tapioca pearls. Clearly the chefs have not only a way with food, but a cheeky sense of humor as well. We enjoyed a divine Italian white wine with the soup.
Mike then received a plate of freshly prepared fluke shashimi served with wild-foraged seaweed from Maine that truly tasted of the ocean. The wine served alongside this course (Meinklang 2009 pinot gris) was from an Austrian biodynamic farm and was absolutely wonderful.
Next up was probably my favorite savory dish of the night, a soft-cooked egg in a miso broth with peas and mushrooms. The egg was creamy and peppery and perfect paired with the above-mentioned pinot gris.
Mike dined on a deliciously crisp yet tender fish that he enjoyed with a unique and tasty smoked lager beer.
Mike then enjoyed braised cucumbers with kefir mole served with a wonderfully rich rose from Burgundy. I never really understood mole sauce until we tried this, but now, I get how deliciously sweet and savory it can be when expertly prepared.
For my main course, I enjoyed an array of squashes and a stuffed squash blossom that was flavorful and tender, truly tasting of the summer season. This was paired with Edmunds St. John “Bone-Jolly,” an incredible beaujolais.
For his main course, Mike enjoyed rabbit prepared two ways that really showcased the rich flavors of the tender meat. It was served with a wine from east Italy that complemented the dish perfectly.
Just when we thought it was time for dessert, we were presented with the option of ordering a cheese course. As major cheese lovers, we couldn’t refuse and ended up with two of the best cheeses we’d ever tasted. The star of the show though was the winnimere raw cow’s milk cheese from Jasper Hill Farm. It was truly outstanding and memorable.
Dessert might have been the best course of all, though it’s so tough to choose just one. We were served tamarack ice cream that was imbued with a distinct pine flavor, a seared marshmallow and honey cake, all of the flavors and armoas of a night spent by a summer campfire on a plate. Served with a cocktail made from black tea-infused lillet, St. Germain, lemon and soda, it was the perfect end to an incredible meal.
Before leaving, we were presented with more sweets, macarons that rivaled ones eaten in France, a pistachio cake and flour-less chocolate cake. A wonderful send-off after what is undoubtedly the best meal we’ve ever eaten.
Dining at Journeyman is truly a special experience, unlike anything I’ve ever encountered at a restaurant before. And the fact that it’s right here in Somerville is a wonderful testament to the city. It’s an expensive meal, but one that’s worth every penny, as I know I’ll never forget it.