Words and Photos by The Trio
Burgers and salmon and steak, oh my! This week, The Trio took a stroll down the yellow brick road (okay, it was more like the “D” line) to Needham where we dined at the newly-renovated Blue on Highland. This restaurant serves fine modern American cuisine in a contemporary setting. Trapped in the Boston bubble, we often forget how lucky we are to have so many amazing towns only a quick train ride away. We underestimate how calming it can be to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find peace in a mellow suburban area. Amidst the stressful whirl of midterms, Needham was the perfect getaway for The Trio.
When we entered the restaurant, we were enveloped by the open atmosphere of the dining room and bar. The restaurant was radiant and inviting with a combination of exposed white brick and light rustic wood. This was contrasted by the dark booths and black chairs, which made the room feel warmer. The well-lit room (which was brighter than most evening dining spaces) was buzzing with the light chatter of its patrons as they enjoyed elegant food and good conversation.
This time, The Trio began our meal on a sweet note (much to Amanda’s excitement). We ordered Blue’s Baked Brie as an appetizer, which arrived artfully plated and adorned with dried cranberries, almonds, acacia honey, bosc pears, and flatbread. The brie was warm and creamy atop the crisp flatbread, and the fruit and honey on top complemented this savoriness with an exquisite sweetness.
This sweet start was quickly followed by the main course. Marisa went with one of her go-to dishes: grilled salmon. Blue on Highland served their grilled seasoned salmon atop a bed of creamy parmesan risotto, with fresh spears of asparagus on both sides. Marisa was impressed by the beautiful simplicity of the plate, but even more so by the flavor of the dish itself. Her favorite part of the meal was how well the drizzle of basil aioli paired with the salmon, which was tender and tasty.
One of Amanda’s great life philosophies is, “when in doubt, go with the burger.” At first undecided about what she wanted, her choice was made as soon as she saw that The Highlander was entered into Boston Magazine’s Burger Battle. The dish Amanda was presented with was bursting; crispy fries were practically flowing off of the plate and the burger itself was precariously prepared to make sure that all of its many components (cheddar cheese, onion strings, roasted garlic, Worchester demi-glaze sauce, slow braised short ribs) stayed in place in between a bun emblazoned with the restaurant’s logo. The burger was cooked perfectly medium and juicy, but by far the highlight of the dish was the double-helping of meat. The short ribs melted in Amanda’s mouth and reminded her of a home-cooked pot roast. If you agree that the best plates are the messiest plates, then this is the dish for you.
After the recommendation of our waitress, Jordan decided upon the Steak Frites. She was in the mood for a hearty dish as she had not eaten anything since her early lunch. When the heaping plate of meat and potatoes arrived, her stomach leapt with excitement. The perfectly cooked medium-rare flat iron steak was topped with what can only be described as delicious garlic butter, which gave the meat excellent flavor. It was paired excellently with crisp french fries and sauteed basil almond spinach (although the spinach was a tad over-seasoned). This was American food at its finest.
Once again intrigued by the promise of salted caramel ice cream (fresh from Richardson’s Dairy), we chose chocolate bread pudding as our dessert. It came to the table piping hot with the ice cream practically oozing as it melted into the bread pudding. Even though we were filled to the brim from our appetizer and entrees, the treat was too good not to finish.
All in all, The Trio thoroughly enjoyed their experience at Blue on Highland. While a night in Needham’s neighborhood was a refreshing reprieve, we headed back to campus that evening with the feeling that there’s no place like Boston.
Blue on Highland:
882 Highland Ave,
Needham, MA 02494
**Our meal was provided courtesy of Blue on Highland, but this article only contains the honest and true opinions of The Trio.**