Joie Gerhardt

Stepping into Crose Nest Apothecary’s newly opened tea lounge- Evergreen Room, I
felt the buzz of a kid in a candy store. The intimate space seemed to whisk my friend
and I out of Hudson, MA and into the lo-fi beat videos that have dominated Youtube’
study-music niche: a vintage anime world with an aesthetic that’s eclectic, yet cozy and
balanced. This is not the musing of a millennial on psychedelics—if you lost me at
“lo-fi”, just picture a trendy, big little business with authority in its realm.

While Evergreen Room’s tea selection is intimidating for an apothecary novice, the staff
is accommodating in helping you discover your new favorite herbs. The cocktail
program is an extension of that, with description of the key herbs used in each beverage
and their intended effects. I ordered the ‘Stay Gold’, a cocktail with a turmeric & spice
infused rum, featuring birch beer, maple, lime, and mint, finished with a lemongrass
stirrer. Stay Gold’s intentions are listed as: “soothe, cool, ground”. You will not find a
better reading from an oracle, so don’t even try.

Prior to opening, their instagram profile seduced us with images of poached pear
desserts, sourdough loaves from heaven, and graze boards with accoutrements that put
other boards to shame. My friend demanded we go together for an all-out feast, but we
couldn’t make it past the Evergreen Board. The board’s description cautions a serving
for 2-4 people, but hubris told us to accept that challenge, and it was so worth the
defeat. For those chasing the “perfect bite” in a meal, this board offered us many:
mushroom pâté, pickled kumquat, sugared blood orange, artisanal cheeses, jams,
pistachio and swiss chard pesto (and more)- all served with fresh bread and crisps. It
was an indulgent observance of exquisite flavor. We sat there, on the best friend date
ever, stuffed past capacity.

I impulsively marched to the counter to purchase two prix fixe tickets for their 4 course
Lovebirds offering the same night, as if I hadn’t already lived like a king for the day. I
was love drunk off of my wholesome meal and I wanted my partner to experience this.
Budget be damned, I returned to Worcester to spread the gospel to my valentine. I
barely digested the first meal before being ushered out of our house to return. The
second drive to Hudson didn’t even matter.

The prix fixe was an amusement park for the senses. We cozied up on the couch with
four courses of tea, merriment, and even a surprise aphrodisiac-herbed cotton candy
stick served with a parsnip puree. Then, I reveled in my second (considerably smaller)
Evergreen Board of the day. Our main dish selections were braised short rib, or a
mountain of mushrooms, both rosemary scented- including beet parsnip puree,
artichokes, and a pomegranate/schisandra reduction. We spooned a wall of lavender
meringue out of their Mai Tai, aptly named, “Put a Spell on You”. My partner was in
awe, from the bartender’s presentation to his flawless execution.

Owner Kinsey Rosene is the ‘head witch in charge’ (sorry, Kinsey) of this sorcery. She’s
been sharing her style and holistic expertise through Crose Nest for seven years.
Despite all of her team’s creativity, she’s crafted a humble space for anyone to expand
their knowledge on herbs and cuisine. While the apothecary itself is worth a trip to
Hudson, Evergreen Room deserves celebration. You may not have the same cult-like
reaction as I did, but I assure you that the tea lounge is a fantastic date spot for friends,
self, and lovers alike. It’s Kinsey’s gift to us all (but mostly me)!