Restaurant Review: Strip-T’s in Watertown

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.