ROM: the Regal Beagle

Kendall McGowan and Sofia Georgaklis

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by Kendall McGowan and Sofia Georgaklis

Everything about The Regal Beagle, tucked right in the center of Coolidge Corner, inspired even the youngest members of our group to sit up straight and act mature. Heavy red curtains separated the front door from the restaurant; the mood was subdued with jazz music playing and the server offered us alcoholic drinks.

Of course we declined these, and our server kept our water glasses full as he patiently waited up to half an hour for the stragglers of our group to arrive. He quickly provided us with a basket of bread, which contained both a dense yet tangy sourdough and a rich cranberry nut bread that was very popular at our table.

Photo by Kendall McGowan The bread served before the meal was delicious and very popular amongst our party.
Photo by Kendall McGowan
The bread served before the meal was delicious and very popular amongst our party.

We began the evening by ordering the Red Leaf Lettuce salad ($8), which along with squash ribbons and spiced pepitas, featured a strong citrus flavor that nearly overwhelmed the dish.

Then we ordered our main courses, choosing dishes across the different categories of the menu, including Meat and Game, Fish and Shellfish and Vegetarian. With the relatively low noise level in the restaurant, we found it easy to carry on a conversation, and the food arrived before we knew it. All of the food came in carefully thought out presentations, with some dishes arriving in small black pans with white cloth napkins wrapped around their handles, and others featuring the food neatly arranged and surrounded by appropriate sauces on large white plates.

The Pork Two Ways ($25) was well cooked and exquisitely seasoned. The dish was paired with roasted cabbage, roasted belly and apple butter, giving it a unique flavor. Although we failed to recognize the “two ways” the pork was prepared, it was tender and delectable nonetheless.

Photo by Kendall McGowan  "Pork Two Ways"
Photo by Kendall McGowan
The Pan Roasted Chicken with mushrooms and mustard-lemon spaetzle ($22)

The Pan Roasted Chicken ($22) came with mushrooms and mustard-lemon spaetzle. The chicken was cooked to a satisfying crisp, but the real standout of the dish was the spaetzle, which we also ordered as a side ($5) before realizing it came with the chicken. It won us over with its fluffy yet substantive texture and lemony pasta-like taste.

Photo by Kendall McGowan The Salmon ($22) was cooked perfectly and came with an interesting array of flavors.
Photo by Kendall McGowan
The Salmon ($22) was cooked perfectly and came with an interesting array of flavors.

From the Fish and Shellfish category, we ordered the Salmon ($22), which was cooked to perfection with a tender composition that melted in our mouths. It came with piquant potatoes as well as artichokes, caperberries and an orange blossom sauce with a strange texture that didn’t entirely fit with the rest of the dish.

Photo by Kendall McGowan While appealingly presented, the crust on the mac and cheese was slightly burnt.
Photo by Kendall McGowan
While appealingly presented, the crust on the mac and cheese was slightly burnt.

The Beagle offered two vegetarian main dishes on its menu, and while both were filling and hearty, neither was prepared to our liking. The Mac & Cheese ($12), which was served with truffle oil and a Ritz cracker crust, was satisfyingly creamy once the crust was broken. However, the layer of crackers was not only hard to work through, it had also been burnt, making the otherwise classic and appealing dish slightly less so.

The Braised Stuffed Cabbage ($18) had strong and nearly overwhelming notes of the tomato sauce which the purple cabbage was cooked in, but the wild rice inside the cabbage added the perfect amount of texture to the dish.

Although the food was thoughtfully prepared and satisfying, this might not be the place for high schoolers to have a casual outing for dinner. Its sophisticated atmosphere and high prices make this restaurant a great place to come dine with family on special occasions, but not for a quick and inexpensive bite.

Kendall McGowan and Sofia Georgaklis can be contacted at [email protected]