I remembered how a couple of my friends said that Rocca has a nice patio area in the summertime, plus I remembered how they have a parking lot, and that I wanted to take Tony there sometime after dining there during restaurant week. So I convinced him to drive to over there, but by the time we got there the sun had moved just enough so that there wasn't any shining in their patio area. Argh. Then we decided to try to find a parking spot on Tremont Street in the South End, and after about ten minutes, our parking angel found us one. But then we walked up and down the street in search of an outdoor table to no avail: it seemed like everyone else shared our idea of enjoying a cold libation outside under the beautiful sun too. Bummer.
So we got back in the car and drove back to Rocca, only to find out that by now (it was 4:30 pm) the kitchen was taking a break until 5:00 pm. (Did I mention that we were starving at this point?!) We decided to get drinks anyway and wait it out, so Tony had a nice tall glass of Peroni (he wasn't in a wine mood anymore ... hunger ...) and I had a glass of Prosecco. The bartender that helped us the last time I was there for restaurant week recognized me (insert husband's comment about being famous here). But it was like a club scene in there with super loud disco-tech music playing, so we opted to find another place for dinner.
And the point to my long story is that we finally ended up at the South End Buttery after finding a parking spot on Washington Street. We parked near the park and it was packed with people and dogs in the dog park, people playing basketball and tennis, and little kids running around everywhere. The cafe is located on the corner of Shawmut Avenue and Union Park Street, just a short walk down Bradford Street from the park.
We [obviously] didn't have a reservation so they seated us downstairs which, since by this point the sun was setting a little more, was dark but nice and cozy.
Tony ordered the meatloaf dish ($16) which was served with sour cream mashed potatoes, haricot verts, a piece of bacon on top, and a pearl onion gravy. It was delicious and surprisingly not tomato sauce based. The portion was quite large so we ended up taking some of it home.
I had the Chatham Silver Hake ($19) which was served with lobster mac and cheese, parsley-lemon bread crumbs, and braised leeks. It was also delicious but the lobster mac and cheese kind of overpowered the flavor of the Hake (fish). I think either components on their own would be great. There were some nice large chunks of lobster meat in the mac and cheese, and the Hake would've been great on something like a bed of arugula or mashed potatoes.
Alas, I wasn't that critical at the time because I ended up eating everything on the plate. (Remember, I was starving!) But with so much food, there was absolutely no room for dessert.
Oh and we both had a glass of wine with our food. Tony had the 2006 Silver Palm Cabernet Sauvignon ($10) which he said was quite nice, and I had the 2008 Pine Ridge Viognier Blend ($8) which was excellent (note to self: must find a bottle for home sometime).
In the end, it was a nice dining experience but it's not a place I would go out of my way to go back to anytime very soon. I had been wanting to try it out for about a year now, and if anything, I'd like to go back and experience their pastries and coffee one morning or even their brunch menu. I'm glad that we finally got to try it out though; I'm sure if we ever won the lottery and bought property in that section of the South End then we'd probably be there frequently.
South End Buttery
314 Shawmut Avenue
Boston, MA 02118