Friday, September 11, 2009
Stuff to Eat in the Suburbs, Needham: Blue on Highland
This Bostonist hasn’t spent a lot of time in Needham. After the fantastic experience we had at a little restaurant there called Blue on Highland, though, this suburb is definitely on our map. We picked this restaurant on a whim, wanting something nice, nearby, and not too expensive. The menu at Blue on Highland is simple but contains a little bit of everything. From burgers and pizzas to filet mignon and chicken scaloppini, there is a delicious option for everyone.
One wall of the restaurant is covered with a tall multi-panel painting done entirely in blues and blacks, presumably to reinforce the name of the restaurant. The facing wall contains some fun abstract art. These pieces give the place the feel of a hip gallery and restaurant all rolled up in one.
The first thing that really caught our attention was the specialty martini menu, which contained items like a raspberry lime rickey and a pomegranate cosmopolitan. The raspberry lime rickey was amazing, with just enough raspberry flavor to have you smacking your lips but not so much that the drink became cloying or overpowering. The fresh lime juice did a great job of cutting the raspberry and orange liquors and the champagne added a tiny bit of bubbly that made it really taste like a raspberry lime rickey.
The night we visited we tried the crab cake with Cajun remoulade and arugula. This huge crab cake somehow managed to be more meat than breading, while still holding its shape. The remoulade was tangy and just a little bit spicy which perfectly accented the salty richness of the crab cake and the sharp bitterness of the arugula was a refreshing addition to the plate.
For entrees, we tried the steak frites and a swordfish special. These were both unexpectedly exceptional. The steak was tender, perfectly cooked, and the red wine demi glaze was so savory and well balanced that each bite had to be stirred around in the extra sauce. The fries were crispy and not greasy at all with just the right amount of salt, and our waitress automatically brought tiny sides of ketchup without us needing to ask. The real surprise on the plate was the perfectly crispy and flavorful sugar snap peas. This Bostonist has never had cooked snap peas that tasted so good!
The swordfish special was simply amazing. The balsamic glaze was so tangy and sweet that after one bite our mouths were watering for more. And the meaty steak of swordfish was perfectly paired with the light bitterness of fresh arugula and a salty base of white beans combined with fresh fall vegetables. We really hope this becomes a regular menu item!
This meal made such an impression that we immediately went out and recommended the restaurant to friends looking for a nice night out. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations for fewer than five people, and the booths are a little small if you have tall men in the party. But the awesome food, open atmosphere and friendly and knowledgeable wait staff more than makes up for these little shortcomings. You can find the menu and directions on the website.