Classy, Comfy, Complimentary: Steel & Rye

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Note from Tony: Every weekend Lisa and I make the trek into the city (Boston) to eat some fabulous food. We’re original and appropriately call this event “Date Night.” 

[FYI: Lisa vetoed my idea to call it something with more bravado: I.e., “A Night of Libations, Eating Dead Animal Flesh, and Crushing Gluten.”

Yes, I understand gluten – and avoiding it at all costs – is the cool thing to do nowadays. And I equally understand that for some people (a minute few, mind you; namely those with Celiac Disease) need to be very careful with their dietary choices, especially with regards to gluten.

Outside of that, however, “gluten free” is nothing more than a fad, most have no idea what it even is (much less what it affects), and the only reason why they avoid it is because People Magazine told them to.

Anyways, we crush gluten….but that’s besides the point. We’re trying to keep it classy people!.

So, for now, Date Night Review is what we’re calling this series].

While the bulk of reviews will cover restaurants in Boston and the Metro-West area, because we both travel for work we’ll also be offering reviews on eateries all over the country and, fingers crossed, the world.

It’s NOT our objective to speak ill of any restaurant we visit. We’re not assholes. And besides, anywhere we eat is better than the grilled chicken and streamed broccoli we’d eat otherwise at home. 

Instead, the goal is to just highlight our experiences at said establishments, maybe point fellow food lovers to kick-ass places to eat, and to eventually become food celebrities and eat for free.


Steel & Rye, Milton, MA

After watching an episode of our beloved Top Chef (the current season, Season 12, was filmed here in Boston), I made a reservation for Tony and I at Steel & Rye in Milton, MA, which was featured on the show.

Little do we get into our car and drive to a restaurant outside of Boston for date night, but it was well worth it!

As city-dwellers, we are easily seduced by all things convenient and complimentary – Steel & Rye had us at “Complimentary Valet”!

With already-happy grins spread across our faces, we walked into the restaurant to find a large and open, yet warm and cozy vibe.

Beautifully designed, the space was once a garage for an ambulance company. The open kitchen is gorgeous and buzzing with activity, the bar is sprawling and busied with couples and small groups, and there are plenty of tables to accommodate a lively Saturday evening.

We loved our original place setting, with menu wrapped up in the napkin. We loved our mason jar with twinkling votive inside, and we (mostly I) loved our choice of flat or sparkling water, again complimentary.


I had my carafe of sparkling, Tony had his flat; we loved our waiter (I am so sorry I can’t remember his name! Eric? Derrick?).

Obviously, one must have some Rye when dining at Steel & Rye – or so I imagined.

Apparently the “Rye” in Steel and Rye has nothing to do with the libation and more to do with bread, but I went with it anyway and ordered the old fashioned (easy on the sugar). A delight! Here is a photo alongside my complimentary sparkling and bread.

The pickled veggies were fresh, crispy, and the perfect start. We then enjoyed lamb meatballs with harissa (my favorite of the evening) and an arugula salad with plenty of goat cheese.

For dinner, Tony ordered “The Burger”, bun-less, of course. I’m always skeptical of this order since we all know a growing boy will be hungry after eating a 4oz beef patty sitting atop mixed greens, but to each his own.

Tony ordered his meal sans the accompanying chips that usually come with, but out they came with the patty and salad anyway. For such a lovely restaurant with such lovely food, it seemed a little lacking to put potato chips on the plate, as opposed to a more substantial potato or veggie.

Note from TG: admittedly, it’s not like they piled my plate with Lays Potato Chips (or some other trans fat atrocity), and I could be making a false claim here by stating that they’re “home made (?),” but nevertheless chips aren’t my bag (<— LOL, pun intended) and it was a bit of a bummer I wasn’t given the “extra veggies” I asked for.

I had the salmon, which was perfectly cooked, but included slices of apples that didn’t seem to go with the rest of the dish. I just pushed them to the side.

The dish overall was very sweet – some kind of maple glaze which distracted from the salmon and made me want to stop eating before I was full. I will admit that I don’t like my food (or cocktails) sweet, so I imagine the glaze is a hit for the sweet-toothed masses that might shy away from the salmony taste of salmon.

Overall you ask? A-.

Ambiance: Awesome. Service: Stellar. Food: Fairly fantastic, with a little room for improvement.

If you are a city dweller and enjoy an occasional trek to suburbia but fear you may sacrifice the originality, quality, and ambiance of a south-end spot or a Back-Bay bistro, to Steel & Rye you must go!

We enjoyed it all very much and will definitely be back!

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