Restaurant Review: Strip-T's in Watertown
“Ben the Mushroom Man” mix with spruce needles, $8.
Even more unexpected: the wonderfully unpretentious (and yet very professional) waitstaff. The servers, wearing T-shirts that show off their tats, look like gawky high school students at their first summer job. But drop a fork, empty your glass, or require a new napkin, and they’re there without a sound and gone before you can thank them. This might be because the front of the house is run with quiet aplomb by Maslow’s fiancée (and fellow Momofuku alum) Jee-Eun Burke along with Menton vet Jonathan Fenelon, both of whom answer the phone and graciously take reservations, something Strip-T’s didn’t do when it first started getting attention. The restaurant would be worth visiting just for the service.
But of course, it’s worth visiting for the food, too, particularly the reimagined takes on bar fare. I admit to a strong dislike of Buffalo wings and their greasy, barbecue-sauce-laden cousins. But chicken wings with Moxie sauce ($9) reinvent the standard. Maslow cures the meat overnight in sugar and salt, then simmers the wings in rendered chicken fat like a confit, chars them on a griddle, and coats them with a reduced sauce of an Indonesian chili paste called sambal oelek and Moxie—the bittersweet New England soda made with gentian root. They’re luscious.