Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Club Passim Launches In-House Dining Program (Cambridge, MA)

Club Passim, the long-time folk music venue and nonprofit that’s been supporting the local arts community in Cambridge for many years, have finally launched an in-house food program. They’d been lucky to snag Chef Brandon Arms to head this new kitchen. Until recently, Chef Arms headed the kitchen at Garden at the Cellar in Cambridge.

I was quite pleasantly surprised by the food they are offering. The food wasn’t just “really good for a live music venue”, it was actually really good in its own right. The menu items aren’t just your typical pub/bar fare, but Chef Brandon has created some fun, creative dishes that are rather ambitious for a venue like this.

We started off with some Roasted brussels sprouts, country ham, egg yolk puree, crispy potato ($7)
Club Passim
The brussels sprouts they used were smaller than usual, but a perfect bite size! I've never had them with egg yolk before, but this was a great alternative take on brussels sprouts.

Pork belly bun, asian pickles, jalapeno, cilantro, sweet soy ($5)
Club Passim
This was off-menu, but I really enjoyed the French Onion soup.
Club Passim
We sampled a duck pastrami reuben sandwich which will be available on the lunch menu. A nice sandwich from the bread to the slaw.
Club Passim
It's not all just rich dishes, there's an elegant Roasted beet salad, candied walnuts, Roquefort cheese, apple, celery leaves ($10)
Club Passim
Club Passim has a beer and wine license and since they are supporters of the local community, they offer beers from Cambridge Brewing Company on tap. Their bottled list also focuses on local craft brews. I had the Jack’s Abby Lashes Lager ($7) to accompany my dinner.
Club Passim
For the entree, I tried the Lamb gnocchi, golden raisins, oyster mushrooms, tomatoes, crispy chestnuts ($22, or $12 for a half size)
Club Passim
I love lamb and this was a rich and comforting dish with pillowy gnocchi.

Butter poached lobster, fried duck egg, brioche croutons, black truffles ($18)
Club Passim

I tried a bite of this and the lobster was beautifully cooked, and looks like there was a generous amount of truffle shavings on there.

Still want your regular "bar food" while watching a music performance? Get the Grass fed burger (arugula, aged cheddar, Worcestershire aioli, pub fries, $13)
Club Passim

Dessert options include Meyer lemon curd, banana bread pudding, and zeppole donuts.

We had an overall great meal, surprisingly so for a live music venue! I hope they keep churning out more great dishes in the future as well. As I mentioned, I loved what Club Passim is all about. I came for their Iguana Music Fund award night, where they've awarded a small amount of money to various music and community projects in the area. There was a choir club for people with aphasia, an older gentleman recording lost folk music, and two different projects to start square dancing clubs in their cities. You can check out the club's concert calendar, and be assured to not grab dinner somewhere else next time and try the new menu instead!

Club Passim
47 Palmer St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 492-7679
Club Passim on Urbanspoon


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