Healthy and Sane

The Cottage Chestnut Hill–brunch review

September 13th, 2011 · 27 Comments · blogger meetups, Boston, Eating out, restaurant reviews

If you’ve been reading Healthy and Sane for a while, or have had a chance to check out my restaurant review page, you know I eat out a lot. I love to cook – yes, but eating out at quality restaurants is absolutely one of my favorite pass times (Quality is key. Since I cook and eat out a lot, I have high standards). I love the anticipation before the actual event, then the excitement for the meal after reading the menu and making a selection and of course being pampered by waiters and chef. But my favorite part of all is the ability to disconnect from all the other obligations and really be in the moment – with the people you’re with, enjoying a (hopefully) wonderful meal.

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Luckily, Boston has a lot of foodies with the same love for eating out… and brunching. We even have a Boston Brunchers group, which meets monthly for… you guessed it, brunch. Since it’s inception less than a year ago it grew to over 300 bloggers. And this is why it’s the very first time I got to finally join them. Clearly, the seats at these brunches go fast!

This past Sunday, The Cottage in Chestnut Hill hosted 16 of us bloggers to an amazing brunch. If you’re familiar with Chestnut Hill, the Cottage is located right in the strip mall by the newly renovated Shaw’s, the movie theater and Macy’s (which used to be a Bloomingdales… also known as my mom’s second home Winking smile ).

The restaurant space is absolutely gorgeous. It has gigantic windows which just shower the rooms with natural light. Everything is so clean, fresh and inviting. It definitely had a very modern cottage feel (the original location in La Jolla was in fact a cottage, that’s how the name came about).

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I just loved the little details like flowers on each table and little knickknacks throughout (see the shelving units in the next picture).

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Bloggers chatting it up… we never run out of food related topics! Smile [I also spy my Bloody Mary there. It was solid.]

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Chef Todd (below) and the owner John came out for a bit to say hello and welcome us to brunch. They talked about their other locations in La Jolla, CA and (surprisingly close to the Chestnut Hill location) Wellesley, MA. All are in affluent cities with demand for high quality restaurants.

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Chef Todd shared a story about the executive team’s semi-yearly trips to California where they stuff themselves silly doing “research” for future menu planning. He admitted it actually gets painful towards the end, but it’s absolutely the biggest inspiration for the restaurant’s ever-changing menu (hey guys, I wasn’t joking when I said I’m willing to endure the pain. Call me!). The focus is always on freshest ingredients, and as often as possible – local (you can see from the menu it’s definitely seasonally appropriate!). I was also happy to hear that they work with local and sustainable meat suppliers (I noticed in their dinner menu duck from Crescent Farms and Brandt Farms beef – both committed to humaine treatment of their animals).

Since the restaurant hosted us bloggers for brunch and everything was taken care of (except for tax and tip), obviously I can’t review “normal” service. We were all treated like queens! I can, however, tell you about the food. I’m sure you’d get the same quality even without camera in tow.

Truffled tater tots

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Need I say more? They were mentioned as a side to bbq tenderloin tips and caught our attention right away. Luckily, the server was happy to bring us a few plates to share sans the beef (and was even kind enough to swap the fries for tots for a few ladies). Under a wonderfully crispy layer, were creamy truffled mashed potatoes. I admit that truffle oil can feel like cheating but man oh man, that’s my kind of cheating. These were incredible and got 2 thumbs up (or something less geeky Winking smile) from everyone at the table!

For my entrée, I was *thisclose* to ordering stuffed French Toast with strawberry compote + marscapone cheese (Liz did – smart girl!). Doesn’t it look and sound incredible?!!

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I sort of OD’ed on sweets the day before so I went with a savory option instead.

Maine Lobster Cobbmixed greens, applewood bacon, egg, spring beans, tomato, great hill blue cheese, hass avocado, tarragon vinaigrette

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[sans the blue cheese]

This salad was fantastic. Every ingredient on its own was super fresh and I just loved the citrusy tarragon dressing covering the greens. And what is better than fresh Maine lobster on a beautiful summer day? Nothing! If (correction: when) I come back to The Cottage, I will make sure someone at my table orders this salad so I can steal a few bites (there is no way I’m not ordering the stuffed french toast twice in a row – let’s get real!).

Some other gorgeous eats a few other ladies ordered…

Quiche of the day with broccoli and caramelized onions

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Maine Lobster BLT+A with hass avocado, applewood bacon, lemon aioli, butter lettuce, tomato, toasted brioche bread

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Um, I think I need this Lobster BLTA  in my life right now!

Every single plate was licked clean when we were done. It’s safe to say this brunch was a great success (say it like Borat!).

It was really fun to catch up with a few of my blog friends and meet some new ones! Smile Thanks again to Renee for organizing this event and to The Cottage for hosting us! I am certain I’ll be back again. Open-mouthed smile

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27 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Kim @ Eat, Live, and Blog

    Lobster BLT sounds amazing! Everything looks delicious. :)

  • #2 - Morgan

    yum! I ADORE The Cottage. Their polenta is amazing and I love the fish tacos, plus they always treat us so well. It’s a great restaurant and consistently serves fantastic food!

    • #3 - Elina

      I really want to come back there for dinner. The tacos intrigued me as well!

  • #4 - Katy @ RecipeCan

    OO i didn’t even see the quiche! Looks delicious. Love your photos :)

  • #5 - MelissaNibbles

    Such a fancy brunch! Looks delicious!

  • #6 - Michelle

    This brunch looks fantastic and I love the restaurant’s decor!

  • #7 - Elizabeth

    The space is so pretty! I wanted to go so much but was away this weekend. That stuffed french toast looks insane

  • #8 - sarah@spinach and spice

    Great review! The atmosphere looks lovely, as does the food!

  • #9 - Ali

    The cottage in La Jolla is just as wonderful and tasty! Perfect for a Sunday brunch. It’s our special “go to” spot. Now you have me thinking…. Yummm….

    • #10 - Elina

      Fun! I love that this review is relevant for my California readers as well. :)

  • #11 - Renee {Eat.Live.Blog}

    Can I tell you how much I love the picture of all of us talking away…even with my stupid expression? Can you send me a copy of that?

    PS- What up commenter Eat Live and Blog! Nice blog name :)

    • #12 - Elina

      Hehe, i didn’t even notice that.
      Do you want to just take the picture from here or do you want the original?

  • #13 - Ranjani

    that lobster BLT+A looks incredible. I love lobster. and BLTs. and most of all, avocado. I need that sandwich.

    • #14 - Elina

      I know. Looking at this picture I totally want one myself. And a lobster roll from Neptune. Man I love lobster!! :)

  • #15 - AmberBlueBird

    well the food certainly looks tasty.

  • #16 - Erica

    Brunch is by far my favorite meal!! These meet ups sound incredible. Id be all over the Maine Lobster Cobb

  • #17 - Tiffany

    This is a chain? We used to eat brunch there all the time when we lived in La Jolla! So good. Crazy delicious Mac and cheese!! It’s nice to know there’s another one in the area :) Kyle and I will have to check it out.

  • #18 - Hillary Gras

    Truffled tater tots?! Those look amazing!! Were they fried?

    Need to check this place out when I visit Boston next!

    • #19 - Elina

      Yup. Fried and amazing. It’s in the suburbs, just an fyi (but off the T).

  • #20 - shannon

    wow, all of those look AMAZING. and now that i know someone with a car (haha), that will be a place to hit up :)

  • #21 - Liz

    Great recap and loving the action shot of the group. The stuffed french toast WAS delicious, but I need to go back to try everything else we saw!

    It was fantastic to finally meet you!

  • #22 - Holly

    If you ever come to los angeles, I would like to take you to a place called Gjelina’s. You would love it so much!!

  • #23 - Beth

    You had me at truffled tater tots. How do more places not make these? It sounds absolutely genius! I’ll be in Boston for two weeks at the end of this month, and I’m going to have to try to have brunch here, just for those tater tots (though everything else looks delicious too!) I’ve been eating truffle salt on my popcorn for two weeks straight now, so the truffle obsession is strong. :) Thanks for posting!

    • #24 - Elina

      Truffle salt! I forgot I actually have a little packet of it and was planning on roasting a chicken with it. Perfect timing since I had chicken on the menu for tomorrow :)

  • #25 - Cara

    Sounds like all the meals were perfectly thought-out and prepared. I’ll have to add this to my list of places to check out!

  • #26 - Daisy

    this brunch looks amazing. I’m usually a savory bfast person but you sold me on the french toast.

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