Technique in Kendall Square
I can’t recall when or how I learned about Technique restaurant, but a few months ago when my friend Carrie and I were thinking of a place to meet for dinner, I clicked through my “restaurant” folder in Gmail and came across the link. Technique, with locations across the country, is a restaurant where you can get a delicious gourmet meal prepared by Le Cordon Bleu students under the guidance of an on-site chef instructor. It’s like a teaching-kitchen! I read the reviews and we knew we had to go there: at Technique you can order either a 3 course meal for $13 or a five (FIVE!) course meal for $15.00! Yes you read that right! These are no skimpy meals, either. The only caveat is that you can’t go expecting 5-star service. The host and servers are all culinary students – they do not have front-of-the-house expertise. But we didn’t go for the service, we went for the food. And we were not disappointed (for $15!!!).
But let me backtrack…we tried to make a reservation in December and not only did nobody answer the phone (after multiple calls) but when I looked for a reservation online at opentable.com, there were slim pickings. Think 5pm or 9pm. We booked way in advance, and got the last 6pm reservation last Friday, which even felt early to us, but we were determined to try it!
We each started with a glass of wine, which was very inexpensive (so was the beer) and you can choose from a 3 or 6 ounce glass, or a bottle. Great for people who can never finish a whole 4+ ounce glass (mom). Carrie and I each started with the Three Onion Soup with Sourdough Crouton and Melted Gruyere (sans cheese for me). It was a good starter, but nothing amazing. The salad we got, though, was. It was a Salad of Spinach, Beets, Apples, Candied Pecans, with Poached Quail Egg and Warm Pancetta (I got mine without the egg and pancetta). Amazing! A nice, light, flavorful salad with some of my all time favorite ingredients.
Carrie and I shared our first plates of Shrimp Scampi Tartine with Asparagus, Lemon-Garlic Beurre Blanc and Sweet Tomato Jam and a White Cornmeal Johnny Cake with Lobster, Leeks and Tarragon Beurre Blanc. Amazing! I could have eaten either of these as a main meal. The shrimp popped in your mouth and that tomato jam was a slightly sweet, slightly savory dipping sauce.
I enjoyed the Pan Seared Organic almon with Apple Sauerkraut, Roasted Fingerlings, Honey Roasted Carrots and Thyme Mustard Sauce as my main entree. The salmon was cooked perfectly with a nice salty crisp on the outside and the apple sauerkraut was a really interesting side dish. I love apples and sauerkraut, and that’s exactly what it tasted like – a combo of the two! I would have liked more veggies, but otherwise a great entree.
I have to say my Pumpkin Creme Brulee did disappoint. Creme Brulee is one of my favorite dishes, and it’s hard for me to pass it up on a menu. And pumpkin creme brulee? Doesn’t get better than that. Mine was paired with ginger snap cookies that I didn’t like at all. And sorry to say I didn’t like the creme brulee either. It just didn’t taste like creamy custard and there was no crackly sugared layer on top, just some pumpkin pie spices I’m guessing. It was the first time in my life I didn’t lick the ramekin clean. In fact, I stopped after about 3 bites.
But, overall, it was such a blast enjoying such a grand meal with a great friend and to be honest, it was kind of nice not being interrupted by any waitstaff while we ate! The servers’ nervousness was actually kind of cute, as they handed us each other’s meals by accident and served us with wobbly hands. We realized they only seat about 12 tables each night at staggered times, so if you’re looking to go on a specific date and time, make a reservation WAY ahead of time (and opentable.com worked well) so you can go when you want. Their menu is always changing so I can’t wait to go back soon! What a steal!
Pssst…sorry about the poor photos – I was only armed with my Blackberry camera that night!