After 31 years co-owners Mary-Catherine Deibel and Deborah Hughes have decided to close their successful restaurant in Harvard Square. When word of their closing was announced, I spoke to my very good friend and fellow blogger, 40-Something Life about having a last hurrah at UpStairs.
I suppose this isn’t quite a review as much as it is a tribute to a restaurant that has been uniquely true to itself over its 30+ years in business. For my final dinner at UpStairs on the Square I made reservations for the Soirée Dining Room and we were seated near the beautiful fireplace in the back third of the room – sometimes called the Jewel Box because of the round windows and champagne bubbles in silver leaf that decorate the walls.
Dinner was superb from start to finish with flawless service that was attentive without being intrusive. We started our meals sharing the beet trio $17.00 and grilled oysters $18.00. While both starters were delicious the half dozen grilled oysters served on a bed of salt were so good that I kicked myself for not having ordered them before. The oyster shells were hot to the touch, but the meat of the oysters only warm providing a uniquely delicious dining experience.
For our main plates we opted to try some of the house favorites. Tracey (40-something life) ordered the crescent duck served with beets and the juice of blood oranges $33.00. The duck was succulent with a salty exterior that made it impossible not to devour. I opted for the monkfish which was served with mushrooms and sauce that was so addictive my dining partner had to dip her bread into it a second time to enjoy it again. I had contemplated ordering the salmon but our waiter had suggested I try the monkfish and I’m happy he did. The fish was delicious with the bottle of Laroche Chablis we had ordered with our dinner.
Following our meal, we were provided complimentary glasses of sparkling wine served in classic champagne glasses. Perhaps it was the bubbles or just knowing that we’d not return again but neither Tracey nor I wanted the dinner to end so we ordered a cheese platter $15.00 and glasses of Sauvignon Blanc. The cheese plate included (from left to right) Charmoix – a cow’s milk cheese from Belgium, Gran Pyramide de Chevre – a goat’s milk cheese also from Belgium and a Comte (my favorite) from France.
I will miss this restaurant and would encourage anyone in the area to make one final reservation – preferably for their Soirée Dining Room before they close for good on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2013.
UpStairs on the Square you will be missed.