Recently, I headed up to the Top of the Hub for a working lunch. The view of the Boston skyline is incredible. The bar looked trendy, but welcoming with large comfy chairs and a huge bar. If you can’t afford the pricey dinner, the cocktails are more affordable and come with the same amazing view.
Lunch is surprisingly reasonable. The three-course prix fixe menu is $22 and most lunch items are under $20 dollars. When my boss suggested lunch there, at first I was concerned. I had heard the Top of the Hub was more about the view and less about the food, so I was worried they were overcharging for heavily processed food, but Top of the Hub produces palate-pleasing dishes. I wouldn’t call the prix fixe menu adventurous, but the quality food is well-executed.
We had noted my food allergy in the reservation request via Opentable.com. Soon after we were seated, the waiter came by to confirm my food allergy. He was able to confirm which items on the prix fixe menu were gluten-free and which could not be changed.
I started with a romaine wedge salad. Instead of iceberg lettuce, they used romaine. I liked that the salad was not swimming in dressing. There was a healthy drizzle of creamy peppercorn dressing, which went well with the tomatoes, onion and crispy bacon. The other option was a soup of the day, so it will be luck of the draw as to whether the soup is ok on a given day.
The chicken and pasta entrées on the prix fixe menu cannot be made gluten-free, but the salmon with wild rice pilaf and a little cream sauce is gluten-free. The salmon was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The rice pilaf was made up of basmati, wild rice and brown rice. It was tasty, but some of the types of rice were more al dente than others. I think they cooked them in the same pot, but wild rice and brown rice require different cooking than basmati rice…so that didn’t work out perfectly. Anyway, pilaf was made more interesting by the addition of dried cranberries. Anything that includes cranberries has my attention.
I was surprised to find that both desserts on offer that day were gluten-free: a chocolate panna cotta and a crème brulee. I tried the crème brulee with seasonal berries. The top of the crème brulee was well caramelized, but a single berry does not a seasonal berry assortment make. Those berries would have really helped this dish because the crème brulee was bland. It could have used some almond or orange extract, something to add depth to the creaminess.
Overall, this was a good lunch with excellent service.
g/f friendly: 4 out of 5
food quality and taste: 4 out of 5