A Finer Diner
Somerville’s Highland Kitchen has a lock on the local café.
Few recipes are as foolproof as this: Find a culinary dead zone. Set up a great bar. Keep the entrées cheap, and watch the locals roll in.
Of course, it also helps to have a veteran at the helm. Chef Mark Romano earned a following at Cambridge’s Green Street Grill, where he mastered comfort fare like steak frites and mac and cheese. Here at the new Highland Kitchen near Somerville City Hall, his menu wanders beyond those benchmarks. Some offerings, like seafood gumbo, have a southern bent; others, like curried goat, are unexpectedly global. Deviled egg and spiced nut appetizers reference ’60s party snacks, while throwbacks like the Sazerac rule the drink list.
Every dish was solid, if sometimes underwhelming. The surprise of the evening was the excellent banana bread pudding served with Christina’s ice cream, proof that these folks know the formula’s final step: End on a high note.
150 Highland Ave., Somerville, 617-625-1131, highlandkitchen.com. $$