We had a family night out the other night and one of the places the kids repeatedly ask for is Livery. Everyone really likes it and it’s one of the places when people ask me where to eat on Mass Ave, I always recommend.
Anyhow, it had been awhile since we had been and one thing we all knew was that we wanted was empanadas. It was just a matter of which flavor, how many, and at what stage of the meal. The negotiations began. So we ended up settling on getting a couple of appetizers and then including a bunch of empanadas with some main dishes and sharing it all.
To start we had the carnitas taquitos ($10) and the artichokes ($9). There were two fairly large taquitos filled with carnitas meat and topped with Amarillo gastrique. There was a little escabeche salad with it and some guacamole. Everyone gave this dish great reviews. The taquitos were nice and crunchy and I really liked eating them with the creamy salad. Hubby loved the salad on its own and ate it all even after the taquitos were gone. I agreed, it was a well composed dish.
The artichokes were also very good. They were grilled half artichokes that had a chili vinaigrette and a grilled lemon served alongside. I loved it with the squeeze of the really juicy lemon. Another great, really well composed dish—and the oil and the acid from the vinaigrette and lemon really accentuated the artichoke and that is something that is often a challenge for restaurants to pull off in my experience. Both appetizers were enjoyed and devoured.
For dinner we had chicken, lamb, and mushroom empanadas ($9 for three). We ordered a lot of them and our server sort of gave us the side eye about it, but whatever. Our family loves the chicken empanadas and this time was no exception. They are stuffed with seasoned chicken, tomato, and beans, and served with what they call an avocado salsa but is basically like a light guacamole. They also serve a little kale salad on the side with the empanadas. Again, the chicken is one of our standard orders. We tried the lamb for the first time, which was ground lamb in a tomato-based sauce and served with a poblano crema. These were also really good and I would say table-wise, they were probably the favorite over the mushroom, although hubby and I really liked the mushrooms ones as well. They had huitlacoche and white cheddar inside with the mushrooms and were served with a jalapeno crema. We also got some of the bean puree that usually comes with the cheese empanadas at my daughter’s request. I was really torn about which I liked best. I’d be hard pressed not to get them all. They do a great job with empanadas.
I was also really impressed with what appeared to be a new menu item to me—the potato tart ($15). It is a crustless tart of crispy sliced potatoes that was topped with burrata cheese, mushrooms, arugula, tomatoes and tomato crema. I loved the slightly smoky flavor in the potatoes and the nice amount of acid from tomatoes. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this dish, but we were very pleased.
We also had the skirt steak with polenta/Manchego fries, broccolini, tomato crema and jalapeno butter ($18). The steak was seasoned and cooked very well and was a generous dish that was also a crowd favorite, but a particular favorite of my steak-loving son.
All in all, while we always have enjoyed Livery, food-wise, this was top to bottom one of our best meals. The service was a little slow and absent at times, but otherwise, we had a good experience. And it is nice to see it routinely busy, as it deserves to be. I was also happy to see some variation in the menu as well, even if certain things don’t change. What are your favorite of the empanadas?
720 N. College