East Coast Grill in Inman Square is a fun and lively place with an informal vibe. East Coast has two sides to its personality that merge well- New BBQ and Ultra Fresh Fish. My favorite place for a fresh piece of fish in Boston is the Village Fish, but East Coast is a different beast.
Its dishes have an artistry that far surpass its décor (a sort of Miami Vice vintage neon lighting theme), and its flavors seemed unpretentious but full of life. This is NOT a quiet place, so be prepared for some Rock Concert decibel levels. So many restaurants tempt me with dishes that feature fancy mixes of ingredients that are from the "Ingredient-name dropping school." You know these places that offer too many black truffle oil infused and wasabi drizzled dishes. Don't get me wrong, some of the restaurants that offer these flairs deliver in a big way (Ariadne in Newton, MA, Blue Ginger in Wellesley, MA), but many fall flat. East Coast's Menu had some of those tendencies, but all the flavors they chose worked well together. Our waitress was friendly, enthusiastic and best of all knowledgeable about the things we all know best about ourselves: the dishes & flavors we love! She shared with us her favorite appetizer as being “her favorite thing on the menu and what she ALWAYS eats,” and we were convinced.
The Black 'n' Blue Tuna Taco which was nearly excellent. The thing that stood out was the uniqueness of this dish. The small tortilla (spinach I believe) had avocado slices, a collection of herbs and a generous amount of fresh thin slices of seared tuna. The dressing was the most delicate orange chipotle glaze that perfectly complemented everything underneath it. Fish taco is not a new idea, but this concoction was just like the restaurant itself, full of life and flavor, but grounded in solid ingredients. I would recommend this appetizer to anyone.
The Dishes we had were: Half of a Roasted Duck with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Greens ($18) and a Braised Short Rib with Blue Cheese Polenta ($16 or $17) and Greens. Both of these entrees were delicious. My duck was immense! A truly huge dish with more food than even I could finish. The mashed sweet potatoes were a great complement. If I had to call this dish any one style, I'd say New Soul Food. It reminded me of a fried turkey leg, full of flavor but a bit drier. I had a few beers with the meal, and I tend to get India Pale Ales that are very hoppy like Sierra Nevada with such flavorful food. The Braised Short Rib packed some serious heat. It was tender and moist, with a huge amount of Flavor. Hot Chili and Bourbon were the predominant flavors. The rich serving bed of Blue Cheese Polenta was expertly prepared to help put the fire out! While it was worth the burn, the intensity of the flavors was a bit overbearing.
Price: The price range was a bit high but understandable because of the excellent quality of the food. I will always pay the extra cash for a meal I consider well prepared. I would simply say economize here, and be careful to watch your cash to alcohol ratio!
I highly recommend the East Coast Grill for its service and its flavors!!! Try it if you have a reasonably flexible budget and some fun dining partners. I will be back for more meals, and when I do I will fill you in…