Stroll Into Abby Lane For Your Pre- Or Post-Show Dinner

Posted September 20, 2016 by Cheryl Fenton in Dining Downtown: Restaurant Reviews
Abby Lane

The Wang, the Shubert, Charles Playhouse, the Wilbur – there’s so much to do and see in Boston’s Theatre District. You’ll need to fuel up.

Take a walk down Abby Lane, a hot spot by Chef Jason Santos, the blue haired veteran of Hell’s Kitchen’s 7th season fame and co-owner of Back Bay Harry’s. The name alone is a nod to the arts, eponymous with a famous ’50s Broadway singer/dancer (albeit her spelling was Abbe). Described as “the swingingest sexpot in show business,” she was known for her Latin flare. Does Chef Santos boast his own flare? Clearly. Abby Lane was voted Boston’s Best Pre/Post Theater Dining by the Improper Bostonian. With Cheers Live! tickets in our pockets, we stopped in pre-show for dinner.

The place was packed with business types, families, and presumed theater-goers. The televisions played the Sox game, and the open kitchen was bustling for all to peep what they’re cooking up.

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Abby Lane Showtime Nachos. Photo Credit: Cheryl Fenton

We hit the ground running with perfectly dirty Belvedere martinis and Showtime Nachos. The gasp-inducing platter heaped with the typical goodies didn’t disappointment. You could add bacon, grilled chicken breast, or steak. Guess what we added? Because bacon. Mexican crema, pickled onions (a nice sweetness), queso fresco, guacamole and beans were just what you would want on your nachos, while the cheese placement was a disappointment – clumped on some chips, leaving several dry and lonely. More cheese, please. The game-changing salsa had a unique charred tomato taste with garlic and onions.

Baby Kale & Brussel Sprout Salad. Photo Credit: Cheryl Fenton

Baby Kale & Brussel Sprout Salad. Photo Credit: Cheryl Fenton

One of our favorites, Baby Kale & Brussels Sprouts Caesar, had the perfect amount of dressing mixed with romaine and sprouts. Chickpeas and marinated tomatoes were nice additions, while the giant slice of provolone sprinkled with ciabatta crumbs gave it a deconstructed vibe. Surprise on me when I cut into the crispy egg, thinking it was an arancini, and it oozed its goodness over everything. #delicious

Abby Lane Buffalo Chicken Pizza. Photo Credit: Cheryl Fenton

Abby Lane Buffalo Chicken Pizza. Photo Credit: Cheryl Fenton

Next up – a 10-inch Pizza Buffalo with spicy fried chicken, caramelized onions, blue cheese and ranch. The definition of “Individual” is individual – some could eat all of this hefty-size pie, others would have take-home. But where was the buffalo? The crust was super crispy, but the over-abundance of blue cheese and ranch made it gummy. The chicken itself, entirely too big for the slices, lacked the power punch that accompanies the tag “buffalo.” If there was Frank’s nearby, we would have fought over it.

We soon forgot the buffalo let down when the New England clam chowder came. This is some of the best I’ve ever had in Boston. It was equal opportunity between large chunks of clam and pieces of apple smoked bacon, which added a smoky touch to the super creamy base. Bravo for upping the ante on a traditional dish with your own flare.

 

Abby Lane Pan Roasted Salmon. Photo Credit: Cheryl Fenton

Abby Lane Pan Roasted Salmon. Photo Credit: Cheryl Fenton

With a sadness still lingering that the chowder was gone, we were soon revived with the fantastic Pan Roasted Salmon entree. The filet was huge, thick and juicy, and the Jonah crab atop it was surprisingly generous. The tomato-based white bean stew and wilted spinach were perfect complements, subtle enough in flavor to support the seafood.

Abby Lane Fresh Cinnamon Doughnuts. Photo Credit: Cheryl Fenton

Abby Lane Fresh Cinnamon Doughnuts. Photo Credit: Cheryl Fenton

Although stuffed, we couldn’t turn down the freshly made Cinnamon Doughnuts. They were covered in sugar and came with chocolate, caramel and blueberry compote dipping sauces. These four little globes of heavenly warm dough finished off the night perfectly.

Off to our show after dinner, we came to the same decision. An Abby Lane encore was in our future.

Abby Lane Food & Spirits is located at 255 Tremont Street.