Boston Restaurant Blog -- April, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
For several years, one of my favorite restaurants was C.F. Donovan's in the Savin Hill section of Dorchester. It was a comfortable and unpretentious spot that featured classic American fare, a decent beer list, and friendly servers. When I heard that Donovan's was looking to expand in Hyde Park, I was overjoyed, but things soon fell apart for the restaurant, and not only did C.F. Donovan's never open in Hyde Park, but the original in Dorchester shut down as well. A new restaurant Savin Bar and Kitchen has since moved into the Dorchester space, while another new spot called Annabelle's Restaurant took over the space in Hyde Park where Donovan's had been planning to open. It is this second eatery that we recently went to a few nights ago, and our experience there was mostly a favorable one.
Annabelle's Restaurant is located just south of Cleary Square in a location that seems a bit invisible, perhaps because there is little to see between Cleary Square and Readville, a quiet section of Hyde Park that is well over a mile down the road. A fair amount of on-street parking can be found in front of the place, and a tiny parking lot is situated in back. The interior of Annabelle's is fresh, clean, and attractive, with a bit of a gastropub feel to it, though it seems more low-key and reserved than some of the gastropubs found in the Boston area. A small bar area sits by the front entrance, and it is mostly separated from the dining room that is off to the right. The dining area itself is dark and somewhat romantic, with cozy booths along the back wall, stone arches leading to several window seats in the front (the windows open up to the sidewalk in the warmer months), a wooden floor, and spotlights that (fortunately) aren't too harsh and add a modern touch. There is an upstairs as well, which is used for functions and parties.
Our recent trip to Annabelle's was on a weekend night during the peak of dinnertime, but the restaurant was nowhere near full, so we were able to get a prime window seat. We started out with a round of beers, including a Full Sail Session Black (outstanding) and a Harpoon Raspberry Wheat (too much of a medicine taste), along with an order of fried pickle slices and clam chowder. The chowder was very tasty and just a tad on the thick side, while the fried pickle slices were decent (and helped out by a sweet-tasting mayo on top), though marred by a too-thick batter that took away from the flavor of the pickles. Our meals were quite good; the roasted chicken was perfectly cooked and served with smooth mashed potatoes and not-too-bitter Brussels sprouts, while the macaroni and cheese had a crumbly cracker and bread crumb topping and came with four cheeses that blended nicely with the rotini pasta (and crisp bacon pieces that were added to the mac and cheese added a nice saltiness to the dish). More beers were ordered, including a Long Trail Pale Ale that was just a tad on the hoppy side. Our server was both funny and friendly, and prices were not all that bad, with our meals being in the low teens.
It was indeed a pretty impressive first visit to Annabelle's in Hyde Park. I'm not sure it will make me forget about C.F. Donovan's, and it is certainly tough to top the excellent Townsend's nearby, but for a decently-priced meal in a comfortable environment, this place definitely seems like one to check out if you're in the area.
If you would like the address for Annabelle's Restaurant, here it is: Annabelle's Restaurant, 1300 Hyde Park Avenue, Hyde Park, MA, 02136. Phone: (617) 910-9254
Related Blog Entries: Hyde Park restaurants
johnny mahar said:
i lived in Hyde park for 35 years and its about time we have a great restaurant with great food,i'll be back for the cowboy steak!!!!
Posted on 10/13/11
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