Restaurants in Downtown Crossing: Lunch at Silvertone

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Posted March 19, 2013 by Rachel Leah Blumenthal in Eat & Drink
Silvertone Signage

Silvertone is one of those restaurants in Downtown Crossing that’s really known for its late night scene, especially the drinks. And rumor has it that pairing a cocktail with Silvertone’s mac and cheese is the key to a perfect night out.

Recently, a friend and I decided to see if Silvertone‘s weekday lunch scene was comparable to what we’d heard. As we descended the stairs past the neon Silvertone sign, we felt like we were walking into a not-quite-hidden speakeasy, but the daytime lighting quickly dispelled that notion. Nearly every table in the fairly small space was full, and the noise level was energetic. We didn’t have to wait long, however, before a friendly server got us settled at a table in a nook with just one other two-top. Many of Silvertone’s tables are walled off from the others with high banquettes, providing some privacy and noise control—except from your immediate neighbors. Luckily for us, the couple sharing our little space seemed to be on their first date, and we gleefully cringed while they battled over who would pay the check.

Our server’s expertise was evident in how he handled these lovebirds. Their playful back-and-forth became supremely uncomfortable when they both put down a credit card and told the server to choose who should pay. Maintaining his composure, he took both cards, returned, and said that the bartender had chosen randomly. There was a sigh of disappointment, a yelp of triumph, and the promise of another date to even things out.

Silvertone mac and cheese

Silvertone’s mac and cheese is made with cavatappi and has several add-ons available, such as bacon and peas. Photo Credit: Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Meanwhile, we were perusing the menu and taking in the retro ambiance. I was a big fan of the blue-star-shaped lights and vintage advertisements. The food is the same throughout the day, except for a few entrees that are only available after 4 p.m., such as the 12-ounce pork chop and the sirloin steak. Sandwiches and burgers make up the bulk of the menu. Then, of course, there’s the mac and cheese, with add-ons such as bacon, peas, or honey chile chicken.

I declared that one of us absolutely had to try the mac and cheese. My friend took one for the team, as I was in a rare salad mood. Like Max & Dylans, Silvertone expertly uses cavatappi for its mac and cheese, a nontraditional choice that works out well, the double spiral providing more surface area for clingy cheese. My friend got the honey chile chicken add-on, which she found a bit dry, and the noodles were a tad overcooked to her al dente preference. But she loved the “perfect texture” and “great cheesy flavor” of the sauce—”like just-right American cheese.”

Silvertone summer salad

Silvertone’s summer salad is packed with goat cheese, pine nuts, and golden raisins. Photo Credit: Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Dreaming of warmer days, I ordered the not-quite-seasonal “summer salad,” a mountain of mixed greens tossed with balsamic vinaigrette, a healthy dose of goat cheese, golden raisins, and pine nuts. My friend’s mac and cheese also came with a side of greens, and we both agreed that the balsamic was just right. I enjoyed the salad but dashed my own visions of summer with a bowl of soup on the side. I can never resist spicy tomato soup! (In fact, one of my favorite dishes in town is the spicy tomato soup at Sportello in Fort Point.) Sadly, Silvertone’s version was not spicy at all, but it was still a good chunky tomato soup.

Service was efficient and friendly, and it seems like Silvertone is one of the more popular weekday lunch restaurants in Downtown Crossing. The price, speed, and ambiance are all comfortable. I’ll definitely return!

A mystery for next time: The chicken wings are apparently made with “Buffalo or Rochester sauce.” I’d love to know what exactly Rochester sauce is, because I lived in Rochester for five years and ate my way through many wings … all made with Buffalo sauce (Frank’s Red Hot and butter). Also on the docket for next time are cocktails. I can’t wait to get my hands on a Señor Malo (mezcal, yellow Chartreuse, Becherovka, simple syrup) and a Diablo aka Henrique (tequila, cassis, fresh lime, ginger beer).

Silvertone serves food from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays (closed Sundays). The bar is open until 2 a.m. six days a week.

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