Frequently switching up the offerings on their "home-grown" menu, EVOO (or extra virgin olive oil) prides itself on freshness by using local ingredients that reflect the seasons. The restaurant was just opening when we arrived for an early lunch around 11:30am. The dining area glows with earthy but saturated tones such as warm browns, deep reds and oranges. The waitress served up a basket of freshly baked bread that was still warm from the kitchen. Since we were right in Kendall Square, we opted for just the 2-course meal over the 3-course and headed over to one of my favorite bakeries, Flour, for dessert after.
Cornmeal Crusted Fried OysterThis was a great starter. The oysters were freshly fried and very crispy. I appreciated the light coating of batter and not the heavy cakey mess that I often find on fried items. The fresh, meaty oysters sat on top of a bed of apple-bacon salsa. The apple was tart and crunchy and worked really well in contrasting the creaminess from the goat cheese fondue. And not that additional seasoning was needed but the bacon bits added a little more salt to the dish (one can never have too much bacon). They were quite generous with the portion.
Shaved Lamb on BaguetteAfter such a great appetizer, the entree really underwhelmed. To begin, I ordered the habanero coleslaw as my side but was served fries by accident, but I didn't mind too terribly much. The sandwich included roasted red peppers, arugula, tomatoes, pickles and some sort of mayo or cream sauce. The lamb itself was tender and soft but really (and I mean REALLY) lacked seasoning. In fact, the sandwich as a whole was extremely bland and I really wished they'd use a more flavorful spread or sauce for the bread.
Parsley and Garlic Studded Beef Tenderloin
Ordered by my lunch date, this entree was far more exciting than mine. The beef was served with a fried ball of creamy whipped potatoes (sort of like a croquette) and doused in a delicious mushroom sauce. The meat was lean but tender and quite tasty. They could have withheld the unnecessary salad on top though.