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EVOO

 118 Beacon St
Somerville, MA
 

Worth a try

I wasn’t sure what to expect from EVOO, given the cute name, and “eclectic” menu. Is it schizophrenic and unfocused or creative and versatile? The chef’s approach, as explained by our waiter, is to pick the best local ingredients, and then come up with preparations to best use those ingredients, drawing on many inspirations in the process. Also, everything, including bread and desserts, is prepared in-house. My husband and I were uncharacteristically unadventurous and stuck with the more classical preparations. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the wine list, and was able to give a good recommendation that went with everything except the fish – which was the odd dish out. It’s a bit of a strange location, on the Somerville/Cambridge line, but it has parking for those with cars. We’ll probably go here again when we want a nice meal out but don’t want to spend as much as we would at Craigie Street Bistrot.

Smoked Rabbit Confit Salad

I started with the rabbit confit salad. I was worried that starting with game, especially confit, would be too heavy as a starter, but it really set the tone for the evening. The salad of mixed greens, cherries, and pecans was dressed with the rabbit, and it was delicious, possibly my favorite of the evening.

Fishcake with spiced Mayo and slaw

Off their daily menu. My husband started with a fishcake (prepared like crabcake) with a spiced mayo, slaw, and waffle crisps. Well executed, and good flavors, but the fishcake was slightly overpowered by the mayo. And there was a lot of mayo on the plate and in the slaw.

Duck, Duck, Goose

Slices of goose breast, topped with a duck leg confit, topped by a seared duck fois gras. All the meat was accompanied by lentils, green beans and plenty of delicious jus. It was a little much meat for me, but it was all done very well. The flavors were exquisite, and I was happy to sop up the jus with their house-baked bread.

Chicken Cacciatore

Off the daily menu. The chicken in the chicken cacciatore had a melt-in-your-mouth texture, and the vegetables were tasty as well, especially the mushrooms. The fried potato dumpling was crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle. The flavors were good, but not as strong or defined as in the duck and goose.

Pumpkin Cake with pumpkin-seed ice cream

Off the daily menu. The ice cream was wonderful! The pumpkin seeds gave a great nuttiness to the ice cream. The pumpkin cake tasted like autumn.

Banana-Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

I guess I’m not being absolutely fair, as banana bread pudding in general is not to my liking, but the custard sauce was good and there were enough chocolate chips/chunks in there to appease even a non-bread-pudding-lover like myself. My husband has a weakness for bread pudding and liked it.

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