How to say goodbye to Summer? Even though it’s not quite over, with school starting this week and restaurants already starting to close, it seems like a big dinner out with friends is a good way to celebrate all the fun that was had and the fun that is still to come.
There is something so special about getting together with your group of women, your tribe, those that make your life better and make you a better person.
My friend Deirdre suggested we go to Behind the Bookstore for dinner. Reservations were made, a group of nine is sizable, and whenever possible, make that reservation (online, by phone, or in-person, reservations are new at BTB this year).
If you have not been to Behind the Bookstore in the evening, you are missing out. The space is cozy, lights line the sail cloths, adding a little on the “roof” on the outdoor space. The music has the right vibe. All together it’s magical.
So the space is incredible, but so is the food. Chef Molly Levine, in her second season, serves up fresh, creative dishes with local ingredients.
The menu is not huge, but each dish has been carefully crafted to deliver an incredible combination of flavors and presentation.
With such a large group, it’s fun to sample. Before jumping into dinner, there were cocktails to be ordered. Like the food, each drink is fresh, made with care, and a special twist.
Want a margarita? Well the one at Behind the Bookstore is pretty amazing. Its Margarita Verde has tequila, combier (triple sec), cucumber, fresh herbs and lime. All these fresh ingredients make for a tasty and yes, very green cocktail. This was the most popular drink ordered by our group.
I tried the Glamour Shot, which was a bourbon cocktail with egg whites. I love the creamy froth from the egg whites in cocktails. I must admit that I did feel pretty swanky with this cocktail. It was sophisticated and the glass was too.
As we toasted and chatted and celebrated, we perused the menu. Apps first of course. I am a big fan of Behind the Bookstore’s MVM Shiitakes dish. I don’t know if it’s because the mushrooms are so fresh or if it’s Molly’s talent, but this dish is so good.
We ordered a lot of other things too — the Ginger Miso Tuna Tartare is the stuff dreams are made of. Next time, I am getting that as my meal for dinner. The salty chips with the smoothness of the avocado and the tuna. Yum!
We also had Blistered Shishito Peppers with Bottarga (salted fish eggs). These were fine, but I am not a big roasted pepper fan, so I could have done without. I did however enjoy the Grilled Little Gems which is a sturdy lettuce that is particularly good for grilling.
With apps and cocktails pleasing our crowd, we could not wait to get dinner. Everything sounded so good. The Lamb Burger, the Short Ribs, the Good Farm Chicken, the Pan Seared Sea Bass, and of course the Clam Toast.
I mention the Clam Toast, because one of the ladies who joined us, was having the Clam Toast for dinner for the third time in a short period of time. She is slightly obsessed.
After much dilemma, I got the Sea Bass with roasted tomatoes and haricot verts. Elana, the Behind the Bookstore manager, recommended it. She was right. So flavorful and fresh, with the fish cooked just perfectly. A good choice, and the preparation of this dish on any given night, might not be the same as mine.
We all ate and drank our fill, but you must save room or make room for dessert. The Honey Pie at Behind the Bookstore is scrumptious. I have said it before, and will say it again, it is the best ever.
A returning menu item from last year, this is one to get, whether to share or enjoy alone. It is full of sweet honey and butter and a little salt. Served with peaches and a dollop of chocolate sauce, it’s unbelievable.
Dinner under the tent, a truly special experience. We are still talking about how great our meal was and what a wonderful tradition we have started to say goodbye to our favorite season. A season where we celebrate our children, where we live, and our community. A bittersweet evening for sure, but one we will not forget.
One sad thing, Behind the Bookstore will stop serving dinner after September 10th. However, there will be a couple of special pop-ups happening, so stay tuned. Also, be sure to check out the new fun seating groups and bar area, which are new for this year! There are heaters, so if it’s a bit chilly, they’ve got it covered