Happy's Bar + Kitchen
1363 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215
I've literally anticipated the opening of this restaurant for an entire month. Having heard rumor that the restaurant was set to open in April, I would walk by it on my way home and peek into the restaurant to see its progress. It seemed like tonight would never come, but it did.
The decor of this place is pretty awesome. It's a little bit random, but a ton of fun. I'm a fan of the way tables are set up, you don't feel like they tried to pack you into the place like sardines. I'm always a fan of the open kitchen concept and dream that one day I'll get invited to the special chef's table near the kitchen so I can watch the chef's cook and ignore my guests (sorry Joe, I realize I am the worst date ever).
There were a variety of appetizers on the menu, things that caught my eye (that I will try next time) include the soft shell crab with corn, bacon, and lime and the spicy mussels with tomato, garlic, white wine and grilled bread. Joe and I decided to go with the ceviche of the day from the raw bar, which happened to be a tuna ceviche. It's not the best or craziest ceviche I ever had, but it was fresh and had an appropriate amount of citrus.
Next came Petra's Super Mac-N-Cheese with bacon, peas, jalapenos and crunchy bread crumbs. I could have done without the peas, but Joe seemed to like them. I like the bites of jalapenos and especially enjoyed the bread crumb topping. I hate when places put too much or too little so it either over powers the creamy mac-n-cheese or you are kept longing for more. This was perfect though and gave the mac-n-cheese a wonderful textural element.
Then came the entrees. I ordered the Wowburger. I appreciated that the burger came medium-rare (per my order) and thought the sharp horseradish mayo, creamy cheddar, and crunchy onion strings paired perfectly with the juicy burger. The burger came with fries which were just perfectly crunchy and perfectly seasoned. This is something I would definitely order again (I believe this burger might be available at Schlow's restaurant Radius as well).
Joe got the pork chop with cherry peppers, sausage, and potatoes. The pork chop was cooked very well and was very tender and flavorful. I liked the cherry pepper and sausage sauce which enhanced the pork chop beautifully (pork on pork action is always good). I'm not a huge pork chop person, but Joe said this is something he would definitely go back for.
No dessert this time as we were stuffed from the entrees. I looked around and it seemed like while the appetizers were on the small side the entrees were pretty filling.
They have blue plate specials every day and never frozen TV dinners which rotate. I'll have to go back and try the 1lb meatball and eventually I'll have to try a TV dinner as well since that just seems like a fun concept!
Service wise, you could definitely tell it was opening night. The waiter didn't seem all that familiar with the menu and the wait for entrees was on the long side. But I had great Company so it wasn't a big deal. Plus it was opening night, so service errors are forgiven.
I've heard this place was supposed to be a cool brunch/lunch place as well so I can't wait to try out their brunch. I've heard rumor of a duck confit hash on the menu!