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Brickstone Kitchen: So Many Delicious Dishes, So Little Time!


Brickstone Kitchen
4 Worcester-Providence Turnpike (Route 146 Southbound), Sutton
Phone: (508) 865-8650

If the thought of driving to Sutton for dinner feels like hassle with a capital H, relax! Brickstone Kitchen is just minutes down Route 146 from Worcester. It’s so close that speeding past it is the riskiest part of the trip.

After parking the car and observing the building and its surroundings, my impression was “Roadhouse Blues”; that feeling you get from a place located just out of town where people, under the cloak of anonymity, can freely act on their inner impulses. Do these places even exist anymore? Yeah, Las Vegas comes mind.

But take a step through the doorway and first impressions are replaced by the warmth and banter of families and friends crowding tables and the bar. This feels like a neighborhood hangout. Brittney, our server, introduced herself and brought menus and a breadbasket.

Perhaps it was the promise of early springtime in the air, as I scanned the appetizer list, I yearned for something with deep colors, bright flavors and fresh ingredients. Cheese Balls, Artichoke Dip and Shrimp sounded tempting, but my impulse led me to their salads and, ultimately, my companion and I ordered Brickstone’s Roasted Beet salad.

This had the colors, textures and freshness I craved; all in a salad big enough for a meal or ample for sharing. Naturally, there were the rich-tasting chunks of blood-red beets, but these were joined by leafy arugula and tender baby kale with flashes of magenta-hued radicchio tossed in. Tangy-sweet strawberry slices, blackberries and blueberries tumbled their way onto our plates, all scattered with creamy goat cheese crumbles and toasted slivers of almond.

The greatest risk to salads such as this is the raspberry vinaigrette. All too often it disappoints with lollipop-sweet cloying flavor. Brickstone’s vinaigrette was ideal, it balanced the brightness of raspberry with just a hint of sweet.

From there, we turned our attention to the breadbasket, which contained moist, Italian bread and, even better, slices of herbed focaccia-like bread studded with baked-in parmesan cheese. It was a chance for me to explore my glass of Timberyard Brewing Company (East Brookfield) Hindsight, a New England IPA. This is another fine-tasting NEIPA that balances hoppy bitter with a touch of tropical fruit. These brews hold their own just fine but also come alive with food.

Brickstone’s menu was punctuated with meals suffixed with people’s names: Steak Anna, Chicken Anthony, Tonight’s Special Tiffany. Don’t know why, but I usually stay away from these items. But this evening I actually read some of their descriptions and ordered Chicken Emma. Great choice!

Chicken Emma could be considered a hybrid; a multi-course meal on one plate. Its star attraction was two boneless breasts of chicken, pounded a bit, coated with fine-grained panko crumbs and pan-fried golden brown. They were partially concealed by leafy greens lightly dressed with fresh vinaigrette and set over a bed of potato gnocchi. The tender gnocchi were drenched in pesto cream sauce; I don’t know how the kitchen did it this time of year, but the basil flavor was ideal, without a trace of processed flavor. Scattered throughout were crumbles of fried prosciutto ham and shavings of parmesan cheese.

This was a large meal; half went home so I could enjoy it the next day. Even then, after re-heating, the gnocchi were tender and the pesto sauce freshly fragrant.

My companion’s entrée was a Friday-night stalwart: Fish & Chips. So reasonably priced; if Brickstone could excel here, we knew we’d be back.

And they nailed it: two generously sized haddock fillets coated with a tasty batter were served over a plate-load of thick French fries and heaped with a tangle of fried onion strings. Each element of the meal was served piping hot; crispy where it needed to be and crunchy where it mattered. The fish, snow-white and flaky inside its golden-brown shell, was tender and fresh.

In the past couple weeks, I’ve dined twice at Brickstone Kitchen. The first visit I chose from their lighter menu, choosing Fish Taco’s. They were memorable, with sparks of flavor coming from fresh cilantro, picked onion and roasted corn. This evening’s meal proved their versatility with the rest of their menu.

But their Fish & Chips alone are reason for many return visits!

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