Local. Honest. Fresh. These are the motivations behind Chef Peter Hansen’s culinary executions. Growing up leveraging fresh ingredients from his parent’s garden, Chef Peter wanted to emulate this concept in his own restaurants, utilizing the fresh products from local farmers in his creations.
The Cottage Wellesley is a prime example of local, honest, and fresh. The quaint restaurant – located off of Linden Street in the Boston suburb - just underwent an interior revamp by well acclaimed interior designer Taniya Nayak (globally credited and known from her appearances on HGTV’s show ‘Designed to Sell’). The decor is fresh and comfortable with use of warm blue, green, and grey tones. The locals coin it as an upscale vibe with a friendly atmosphere and great staff.
The first thing I noticed when I arrived was the crowd. Wow – the place was jammin’ at 6pm, and the influx of people piling through the door did not stop by the time I left two hours later.
To start my experience, I looked through the cocktail menu, which I thought was spunky and fresh. I ordered the ‘getafix’ cocktail which contained plantation pineapple rum, pineapple and black pepper syrup, citrus, falernum, and was topped with a black seal rum float. I was feeling fruity….
During a not-so-stimulating call at work earlier that day, I did some heavy lurking on the dinner menu. So right off the bat I knew I needed (not wanted, but needed) the ahi tuna nachos as an appetizer. Right away, I put in an order of the nachos and paired it with their charred avocado toast.
Okay – let me tell you about these nachos. They were out of this world. I am a huge ahi tuna fan as is, but I especially love when it’s prepared thoughtfully. These nachos were served in ‘street form’. The rare seared tuna lay atop Asian vegetables and was garnished with sesame seeds, ginger vinaigrette, banana peppers, and wasabi cream.
I’m not kidding I ate five out of the six….no shame.
The avocado toast was also excellent, balanced with a sweet whipped cilantro ricotta and drizzled in light balsamic vinaigrette.
One would think I’d be full from the five massive ahi tuna nachos I consumed plus a full slice of avocado toast…but think again. After careful review of the entrees I decided to order the grilled shrimp skewers, cottage fish tacos, and the lamb burger.
Each dish was delicious, but the lamb burger really stuck out. This was my first time having lamb in burger form, and I honestly was a little scared of the dish mainly because it contained paprika aioli, an ingredient I am not fond of (mayo is the enemy). But nonetheless I ordered the burger per the restaurants recommendation. Well, I was blown away! Each taste was so well blended into such a concise flavor profile. Another win is that the lamb was cooked to perfection (and right as I ordered it). My mouth is watering all over again just writing this.
Update: now I’m getting full. But of course, wanting dessert is independent of fullness (it’s a separate stomach, I swear).
To cap off my experience, I ordered the brownie sundae – a well done execution of the classic dish.
At this point in the evening, I’m thinking I am now (and finally) ‘shut off’. Put a fork in me!
The Cottage Wellesley is not to be missed from all aspects; the warm, family ambiance and fresh menu. If you are hesitant to make the drive to the suburb location, (though it is only about 30 minutes from Boston proper), fear not. The Cottage has a sister location in Chestnut Hill (the ahi tuna nachos are available there as well). I’ll see you there!