Every Thursday night I have dinner with one of my best friends from college. We started the tradition when we graduated in May of 2006 and we just celebrated 10 years of weekly dinners. For the past three or four weeks we've been stalking the opening of Article 24, the newest venture from The Neighborhood Restaurant Group, who also owns Local 149 and the Biltmore Bar & Grille.
Two weeks ago we showed up on Thursday night to discover the restaurant was set up inside but the doors were locked. We tugged a few times, but they were definitely not welcoming guests. Last week we read online that they had finally opened and we headed in on night two to check it out.
Article 24 is located on Western Ave, right where Brighton, Allston and Watertown meet. There are a ton of new condo buildings that have opened on this street in the past year, so surely this will become their new watering hole.
Inside, the restaurant has exposed brick walls, mustard yellow banquettes and retro beer and gas station signs adorning the walls.
There is a large bar right when you walk in (that night many people were watching the NBA finals) and behind the bar area is the dining room. There is also additional seating downstairs.
We were greeted by our adorable and friendly waiter, Doug. The whole team at Article 24 wears band t-shirts. That night we saw people sporting shirts from Pink Floyd to Mumford & Sons to Wu Tang Clan. He brought us the cocktail menu, which sports the signature Nirvana smiley face.
After perusing the cocktail list, we decided on the Friendly Relations (left) and the Figawi (right).
The Friendly Relations is a mix of cachaca, mango, coconut water, sugar, lime and toasted coconut. After taking a Brazilian cocktail class at Tavern Road, I know I really like cachaca. I was expecting this drink to taste like a tropical vacation cocktail with strong mango and coconut flavors. Unfortunately, all I tasted was the alcohol. This drink is super strong, so sip slowly!
The Figawi, garnished with watermelon and mint, is vodka muddled with watermelon, cucumber, mint and lemon. This drink was so refreshing. It's the type of summer cocktail you want to mix up in a giant batch and serve from a pitcher in your backyard.
With cocktails in hand, we were ready to look at the food menu. At the top of the menu is the explanation behind the restaurant's name. In the universal declaration of human rights, article 24 refers to every person's "right to rest and leisure."
To start, we decided to share two appetizers. The first to arrive was mac and cheese fritters, served over house sriracha sauce.
Our second starter was the grilled street corn with cotija cheese, cilantro and spicy lime mayo. Again, the portion size was ideal, with one piece of corn for each person. The corn had a great char on the outside, was generously coated with the spicy mayo and then sprinkled with lots of cheese.
I still think the best street corn in Boston is at Lone Star Taco Bar, but Article 24 offers a valiant contender. If you are headed to Article 24 on a date, warning: this appetizer is very messy to eat!
For dinner we each decided to try one of the salads. My dinner date went with the arugula salad which came with roasted corn, radish, pecorino cheese and a red wine vinaigrette. She also opted to add shrimp.
When the dish arrived she said, "Really? It's a $5 up charge for shrimp and you only get three? That's more than $1 dollar per shrimp!" She continued on to say, "Despite my disappointment with the shrimp, the salad is a really large portion. The dressing is tasty and very light. I just wish there had been a more equal ratio of arugula to all the other goodies. It felt like 90% arugula."
I ordered the Chop 24 salad which is mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, egg, bacon, chickpeas, sunflower seeds and a Greek dressing. When I asked if the salad could be made without bacon, the chef was happy to accommodate. The salad came in a very pretty presentation. Unlike the arugula salad, this salad had the ideal ratio of greens to goodies. I loved the taste of the Greek dressing, the heartiness of the chickpeas and the hard boiled egg, which helped me to feel full.
After our salad plates had been cleared, Doug asked if he could interest us in dessert. He let us know they had two offerings - a peach crisp and a plate of four chocolate chip peanut butter cookies. You could add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to either.
Now, people who know me well know that I don't do fruit desserts and that peanut butter is on my yuck list, so both of these were a no-go for me. My dinner date was interested in trying the peanut butter cookies, so we ordered them up, just to see.
The plate arrived with the four cookies, each lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar. Before even taking a bite we both commented that they looked a bit more like shortbread than traditional peanut butter cookies. After the first bite, my friend confirmed they were shortbread-like and were actually quite dry.
My hope is that Article 24 will keep experimenting with desserts. I'd love to try their take on say, a brownie sundae.
When we were ready to head out Doug brought our check attached to a flirty little postcard. I love all these little touches that really help a restaurant stand out.
Before leaving, we asked Doug to tell us a bit more about their weekend brunch. Article 24 is going to host an EDM brunch with a DJ and dance floor. The menu includes things like boozy pancakes made with coffee liqueur, steak and eggs, a breakfast burger topped with a fried egg and a vegetarian eggs benny.
I'm excited to return to Article 24 and try more dishes. The restaurant is in a great location, the staff could not be more friendly and there are some definite stars on the menu. I'm already thinking about when I can eat those mac and cheese fritters again.