I was invited to spend an evening at The Concord Colonial Inn last weekend to meet Chef Cassandra Pianowski for a special tasting at the Inn’s fine dining restaurant, Merchant’s Row. So Sergio and I drove up to Concord, MA to enjoy what turned out to be a surprisingly delicious six course meal.
Concord, MA is a quaint New England town, 30 minutes north west of Boston by car and also easily accessible by commuter rail. Before dinner we were treated to some delicious passed hors d’oeuvres and wines from Westport Rivers Winery here in Westport, MA in Liberty’s Tap Room Lounge; Liberty is the second (more casual) restaurant option at The Colonial Inn.
The local wines set the tone for Chef Pianowski’s dinner, which wherever possible incorporated local produce and ingredients. The first two courses (shown below) included salmon tartare, pickled red onions and managa chips that was beautifully served on slate and drizzled with sweet soy. Fortunately, Sergio isn’t big on anything tartare so I was able to eat both The salmon was followed by shrimp and grits with scallion, mushroom and smoked pork. Sadly, Sergio greedily consumed this course, but considering the amount of food served I couldn’t have made it through the entire dinner eating for two.
Following a refreshing mango sorbet, Chef Pianowski serve two of my favorite plates. The fourth course consisted of meyer lemon diver scallops with a cherry balsamic, pureed parsnips and cubed beets. The fifth course included the restaurant’s signature braised short ribs and steak frites. I didn’t let the fact that I was nearing full slow me down as I ate both plates. Should you visit Merchant’s Row I would easily recommend the scallops, ribs or steak for your main plate. It was flavorful and very satisfying both in taste and presentation.
The sixth and final course was a decadent dessert sampler that included a stout chocolate cake, brioche bread pudding and the Colonial Inn blondie sundae complete with cracker jacks to add extra crunch.
Merchant’s Row at The Concord Colonial Inn is open daily for breakfast from 7AM – 11AM; lunch from 11AM – 3:30PM; and dinner from 5PM – 9PM. For more information about the menu and to make reservations link here.
Merchant’s Row at Concord Colonial Inn at 48 Monument Square
Reservations are highly recommended