When I first graduated from college in May 2006 I worked for Fidelity Investments in the Seaport. My office was in the World Trade Center and at the time there were very few surrounding buildings. In fact, most of the neighborhood was parking lots.
Fast forward 11 years and the Seaport is booming. Those parking lots were sold and are now home to hotels, condos and a slew of restaurants and bars. I have spent a lot of time exploring the new additions, most recently Outlook at the Envoy Hotel (did you see they have igloos on the roof?) and Mario Batali's Babbo Pizzeria (speaking of which, I have been craving that cacio e pepe like whoa).
Though you wouldn't know it from the name, Committee serves Greek food. When the restaurant first opened, the chef de cuisine was Geoff Lukas, who hailed from Sofra and Oleana, two Boston gems. Theo Tsilipanos has recently taken the reigns in the kitchen, coming from roles at L’Espalier and Sel de la Terre. In her review of Committee, Boston Globe food critic Devra First opens by commenting on "the sincerity of Committee’s culinary ambition."
I arrived with a friend on a Sunday morning at 11:00am for brunch. Strangely, Committee's kitchen doesn't open until 11:00am on Sundays, which seems late, no matter how hungover you are.
We were a few minutes early, so the host asked us to wait in the lounge area. He gave us menus to look over while we waited. Check out the incredible offerings:
I was equally impressed by the brunch cocktail menu with a fun Greek twist on a Bloody Mary, plus quirky drink names like the Stamos Gin Fizz and The Fresh Prince of Beirut.
Committee's dining room features rows of high top tables beneath industrial-style light fixtures. The color of the copper pipes add a surprising element of warmth to the room.
Behind the high tops is the bar. I love the wooden crates decorating the ceiling. They remind me of the crates at New City Microcreamy in Hudson, MA.
We were seated in the window, right next a row of tables set against a long wooden bench. Fun fact: these banquettes are made from wood reclaimed from Anthony's Pier 4, a Seaport institution.
As we settled in, our waiter, Chris, came over to introduce himself. He brought us a pail of cranberry bread, lightly grilled, and fig jam. The sweetness of the fig was the perfect compliment to the bread and the tart flavor of the cranberries. Can we also talk about the stunning pottery? I couldn't get over those bread plates!
To begin, we each ordered a drink. Coffee for my friend (also in gorgeous pottery) and the Bloody Marietta for me.
I think the best Bloody Mary is at The Sinclair in Harvard Square, but Committee's rendition was a very close second. The Bloody Marietta is vodka, olive tapenade, olive oil, rigani, basil, tabasco and spicy feta-stuffed olives.
The drink was excellent. I like my Bloody Mary to taste like fresh ingredients mixed in a blender, not like a watery tomato juice with a few garnishes. The only disappointment here was the alleged feta-stuffed olives. Each olive had maybe one, teeny tiny piece of feta hidden in there.
For food, we decided to share two starters. The first to arrive was the bougatsa, which is like a Greek donut / pastry hybrid. It is phyllo dough stuffed with custard and topped with ground cinnamon and powdered sugar.
The powdered sugar on top reminded me of Cafe Du Monde beignets. The phyllo dough was light and flaky, almost like a croissant. The custard inside tasted like the love child of a Boston cream pie donut and a creme brulee.
Our second starter was the feta saganaki, which is also available on the Committee dinner menu. A block of feta is rolled in sesame seeds, then drenched in Greek honey.
The outside tasted like a crust made of sesame bagel (which is my favorite bagel) and the feta on the inside was light and pillowy. You normally think of feta as being a bit watery and crumbly, but in this preparation is was so soft. The Greek honey is sweet without being too thick or too sticky.
Can we also discuss this serving dish? Again with the pretty pottery!
There were two of us sharing the feta saganaki and we made a solid dent, but I am positive if we had a third person with us, it would have completely disappeared.
For the entree round, my brunch date selected the homemade granola with labne yogurt and honey. It came topped with honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries and blueberries.
After a few bites she shared, "I love granola when it is crumbly and this was a bit too chewy for my liking. The honey also seemed a bit thin. That being said, this was a huge portion and the fresh fruit was delicious."
I decided on the spanakopita grilled cheese with tomato soup. I had been eyeing this item since opening weekend when I checked out the Committee menu online.
The sandwich is kalamata olive bread, spinach, feta and kasseri. It tastes like spinach and artichoke dip sandwiched between pieces of a salty, crunchy toast.
I dunked each and every bite in the tomato soup, which was superb. When I polished off the sandwich, I gave the soup my undivided attention. I would come back just to eat this dish again.
This meal at Committee was one of those long, lingering brunches where you catch up, you gossip and you pray the waiter doesn't start giving you signs that he wants to turn over your table. Our waiter, Chris, was a doll, making our experience even better.
Throughout the meal we danced in our chairs to the awesome soundtrack including Jay-Z, Kanye West and Aaliyah.
I was worried that Committee might be club-ish based on what I had heard from friends, but we had the most relaxing, leisurely, delicious experience.
When the check came it was attached to this postcard, which I assume is a scene from Greece. I love all of Committee's small, personal touches like these branded clothespins.
If you are looking for a new brunch spot or to explore the rapidly developing Seaport neighborhood, I cannot recommend Committee enough. Next time I plan to order the shakshuka and the Greek yogurt pancakes. Who's in?