One of my favorite conversations to have with people I meet around town is about their most loved restaurants in Somerville. After several people in a row told me that Bergamot was their number one choice for dinner, I knew I had to return. I enlisted some friends to dine at the eatery on Beacon Street (not a difficult task) and we made a reservation for a recent Friday night.
One of the highlights of dining at places like Bergamot is the professional service. It was a chilly night and we were burdened by heavy coats, scarves and gloves, but the host promptly ferried them away when we arrived. And the attentive service didn’t end there. From frequent, but not nosy check-ins by the waitress to an Irish coffee that was personally rushed over by the bartender so the fresh-made whipped cream didn’t melt, we were well taken care of.
In addition to being able to order off the menu a la carte, Bergamot does a special three course prix fixe menu that allows you to choose an appetizer, main course and dessert for $39. We all opted to go for the prix fixe option and were happy we did. The courses are substantial enough for you to feel full at the end of the meal, but small enough to keep you wanting more throughout.
Bergamot’s menu changes frequently with the seasons and we loved all of the local, fresh dishes. For appetizers, we sampled the fried oysters and roasted forno beets, both of which were incredibly flavorful. I also really enjoyed the various textures used in all of the dishes throughout the meal.
For my main course (pictured above), I ordered the local pollock, which came with one of my favorite fall vegetables: spaghetti squash. The fish was perfectly crisp on the outside, while remaining tender and flaky inside. I was skeptical of the scampi sauce, but it was light and used sparingly, so it complemented the dish rather than overwhelming it.
One of my dining companions ordered the chicken two ways and was quite satisfied with both preparations as well as the accompaniments: blue hubbard squash, endive, grapes, walnuts and gorgonzola cheese. Another hit at the table was the fall vegetable sheperd’s pie (pictured below), a hearty dish of root vegetables, onions, lentils and tomatoes topped with creamy mashed potatoes.
And if we hadn’t already been completely won over by every bite, dessert sealed our love for this meal. All of the desserts were perfectly portioned to give you a taste of something sweet without leaving you feeling stuffed or heavy. The pumpkin cake was moist and uniquely served with mascarpone cheese (and incredibly delicious spiced walnuts). The coconut cremeux was full of unique flavors and textures that complemented each other perfectly: miso ice cream, banana ganache, cashews and chocolate. And the chocolate-chipotle cake was delightfully sweet with a kick.
To wash down all of this tasty food, we sampled several carefully crafted cocktails. I loved Bergamot’s take on the last word (their version is called the latest word and made with bols genever) and my dining companions raved about the chambery gimlet (Beefeater London Dry, lime, rosemary and Dolin Blanc) and my favorite things (Rittenhouse 100, Cynar, Aperol, Cocchi Barolo Chinato). The above-mentioned Irish coffee was the perfect end to the meal as was a glass of the sparkling rosé.
We didn’t want to leave the cozy, romantic atmosphere of Bergamot, but as dinner came to an end, we gathered our coats and braced ourselves for the chilly fall air. At least we were well fortified by a special meal and time spent with friends.