Monday, September 18, 2017

Seafood and Drinks at The Hourly Oyster House (Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA)

Grafton Group, which has a good hold on Harvard Square with restaurants like Russell House Tavern and Grafton Street, opened another spot last year.
The Hourly
The Hourly is a seafood-focused restaurant. It was named after the horse-drawn carriages that used to transport people from Cambridge to Boston on the hour back in the day - in 1826. The cozy patio features a painting that shows one of the "hourly'.

I recently attended a blogger tasting at The Hourly and tried some of their most popular offerings.

We started with some raw East Coast oysters served with fennel mignonette. Among the oysters we tried were from Cuttyhunk - an island off of Martha's Vineyard, Island Creek oysters from Duxbury, Mookie Blues from Maine, and Warren's Cove from Plymouth, MA.
The Hourly
The oysters were paired with some Tuck Bekstoffer Hogwash Rose of Grenache from Napa. This was just one of the fun wines that they offer at The Hourly.
Next we had some New England clam chowder paired with Barrel House Z's Sunny and 79' Pilsner (MA)
The Hourly
We had a small cup of the chowder to taste, but of course, the regular order is a full bowl. The Hourly also makes their own saltine crackers for the chowder, which was filled with chunks of clams. The beer is quite a unique one. It is a ginned pilsner made using juniper berries and it was aged in used tequila barrel. They paired this with the chowder because tequila works well with seafood.

Since The Hourly focuses on classic New England seafood, naturally we had to try the lobster roll. They serve the Maine-style lobster roll here, with just a touch of mayo on a griddled roll.
The Hourly
The lobster roll was one of the better ones in the city. They serve a generous amount of fresh lobster meat on the nicely griddled buns. The Hourly has a tank to keep live lobsters below the restaurant. Lobsters are so popular in Boston that they go through 600 lbs of lobsters each week.
The Hourly
The poke craze has finally hit Boston. We tried the tuna poke, seaweed salad, sesame, ginger, crispy wontons
The Hourly
I also enjoyed the crab cake, which was full of crab meat and little filler. It was served with braised red cabbage, green apple, bacon vinaigrette. The sweeter cabbage and apple accompaniment different than the usually-creamy sauce, and it was a nice change.
The Hourly
The last couple dishes were paired with a cocktail. I've been a fan of the cocktails at the group's other restaurant, Russell House Tavern, and the drink I had here lived up to it.
We had the Van Lear Rose (strawberry and Olympus flower infused gin, barolo chinato, aperol, rose wine)
The Hourly
This was a good cocktail - well balanced with nice aromatics and complex, not too sweet. The Hourly has a solid beverage program spanning from cocktails to beers to wines.

The Hourly
House smoked salmon served with buckwheat blini

The building The Hourly is housed in is pretty cool. It was home to the Second Cambridge Savings Bank building, and you can still see the remnants of history, like this vault door. The kitchen is downstairs and the underground spaces actually connect up to the alley of Russell House Tavern!
The Hourly

The Hourly serves up some excellent renditions of seafood classics, accompanied with nice drinks. If you are still looking for an excuse to try this restaurant, The Hourly is having their one-year anniversary celebration on September 26 where they will offer $1 oysters all day long!

The Hourly Oyster House
15 Dunster St
Cambridge, MA
The Hourly Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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