T.W. Food, a restaurant tucked away on Walden Street, near Huron Village in Cambridge, has been on my list for about two years....TWO years! It was like one of those awful recurring nightmares where, try as you might, you just can't get to the door. (In fact, I think I had a dream about not being able to get past the door to T.W. Food once...it was very scary).
Fortunately, not only was I able to put a stop to this nightmare, but I was able to hit it clean out of the park with not only one visit, but two...in the same week! I tried their dinner and their Sunday Jazz brunch, because not only is Tim Weichmann a formidable chef, but he is also a Jazz enthusiast and livens up his guests' Sunday mornings with a Jazz trio in which he plays the guitar.
What struck me immediately at this restaurant, was the attention to detail, not only in the food but in the decor as well. Run by Tim and his wife, Bronwyn, no stone is left unturned and to me it was obvious from the moment I laid eyes on the small and modest, but exquisitely maintained front entrance.
When I went for dinner, it was Restaurant Week, and although I have my reservations about this concept, T.W. Food is a fine place to try out. They do nothing to minimize their menu and the quality of service and food is top. Above is just one example of the beautiful art the team creates with every dish. This golden beet salad with horseradish 'gelee' was as tasty and interesting as it was pretty.
I want to move right on to the Brunch however, because it was with this meal that the restaurant really came into its own. As I mentioned before, the Sunday Brunch is a jazz brunch where Tim, himself, plays with two other musicians throughout the 10-2 service. The combination of music and great food, fills the space with a sense of community and friendship that is truly personable.
You can select from a Prix Fixe menu, three courses for 31 dollars (really quite a good deal!), or a la carte that offers the same items. Our table did a mix and ended up with a good deal of food...which was fine by me - seeing as I ended up taking home all the left overs:)
To start, we had their bakery plate with a chocolate-almond muffin, currant scones and house-made jam. I love starting my Sunday off with some delicious baked goods;)
We also got an order of Tim's petite charcuterie duo - chicken liver mousse and pork rillettes. Both were good, but I have such a weakness for liver mousse and Chef Tim's was velvety and smooth:)
For the main dish, we tried pretty much one of everything, and I am very glad to say that at T.W. Food, the eggs are done well! You might think it is a given that eggs are cooked properly at a brunch-serving restaurant, but I have been to far too many establishments that fail to grasp this subtle art. I ordered their Vermont Smoked Beef Brisket which had a great smokey flavor and was topped with two beautifully poached eggs.....the yolks were a fresh yellow and you can tell they are ready to ooze out at the slightest pressure:) As usual, the biscuit had me all in a dither!
There was a great french toast dish, two omelettes (goat's milk cheese and one with house-cured ham) and a very tasty local shellfish chowder, but my second favorite dish was without a doubt the creamy, scrambled egg (served wittingly in a martini glass) and grilled 'comte' cheese with apple. The grilled cheese sandwich was crisp and sharp and the egg was so creamy and smooth...it was a surprising match, made somewhere divine:)
Of course, a prix fixe would not be complete without dessert and although many people may find it 'too early' for dessert, I think it fits right in! To my surprise, I leaned towards their pear tarte with almond frangipane and salted caramel ice cream (yummers). The flavors worked so well together and it made for a perfect spring-time treat.
Also of note was their chocolate budino: a jar of rich, dark chocolate, topped with a hint of sea salt and olive oil (talk about decadence!) and their lavender creme brulee. I am a fan of the traditional creme brulee, but this version was pulled off well with only a hint of lavender (sometimes it can be overbearing).
By the end of the meal, I was in such a state of bliss. Sitting in the small dining room, with the jazz strumming away in the corner and the kitchen team cooking up a storm, you feel like you are just hanging with friends...and if that is not spot on for a Sunday brunch...I don't know what is.
Hopefully I make it back soon:)