If you work in the Boston area and are looking for the perfect place after work to grab drinks and a bite to eat, head on over to Tip Tap Room near MGH.
Disclaimer: all opinions are my own. I was not invited or compensated by Tip Tap Room or Yum Bunnies Cakery for this review.
Looking for a place to celebrate my future step-father-in-law’s birthday, I started coming up with a list of great meat-focused restaurants in the Boston area. I was looking for somewhere a little more creative than your standard steakhouse; also on the “must-have” list was a breezy, summery atmosphere. Tip Tap Room fit the bill perfectly.
Located just a few blocks away from the Charles MGH red line stop, Tip Tap room is named after it’s two star items: meat tips (and not just your typical steak meat. . .more on that later) + large rotating tap. While Tip Tap room has a comfortable dining room that is perfect when you want somewhere to have a nice, slow-paced meal to catch up with your dining companions, in the summer the bar area is also worth seeking out as the very large windows open up to the outside making you feel like you are still enjoying the nice weather without getting too hot from direct sunlight.
Before we get to what to eat, lets start with the good stuff: drinks! If you are a beer fan you’ll love the variety on tap. They do a good job of keeping their website up to date with their current tap menu so feel free to check it out before you go. But if you’re like me and not a fan of beer, no need to worry as they have a good selection of cocktails including TWO sangrias. If there’s one thing that will keep me coming back to a restaurant over and over again it is a good sangria – and it’s even better when there’s a red and a white option. I went with their blackberry red sangria and was VERY happy with my decision. If you’re not a red wine kind of gal (or guy. . no judgement here 😉 ), Bry’s mom ordered their white peach sangria and was equally as satisfied.
Okay on to the food. Between the four of use we split 4 appetizers as well as each got an entree. A little excessive? Possibly, but none of us were complaining.
While I did enjoy my entree (I’m getting there I promise!) the real stars were the appetizers. In fact, I highly recommend going there just for drinks and apps (however, the steak tips are very good, but you could split them like you would an appetizer).
Quick run-down of our appetizers:
Boar Meatballs: very tender and not at all gamey like I was worried they might be. The sauce was a spicy ginger cilantro broth, which I thought complimented the meatness very well and was relieved didn’t taste very much like cilantro. Melted in your mouth.
Fried Calamari (sorry forgot to take a picture): these were a huge hit with Jeff and Bry! Lightly fried but still perfectly crispy. If you are a calamari fan do not miss out on these!
Hummus & Tabbouleh Plate: my personal favorite. The naan was lightly grilled (I do wish it had been a tad warmer but that’s just being picky) and served with hummus, tabbouleh, red peppers, and crumbled feta. I don’t always like tabbouleh because it can be too heavy in the parsley but not this one. It was so nice and light, I especially loved that they used pearl couscous for the tabbouleh to provide more of a texture. The hummus was exactly what you would want hummus to be: creamy with a hint of garlic and roasted red pepper. Simple, but went very well with the tabbouleh and feta. Would order this again next time!
Lobster Stuffed Avocado: what more do I need to say? Cool, creamy, and a hint of sweetness from the lobster meat – absolutely delicious.
For out entrees, both Bry and Jeff ordered the steak tips, which were served with horseradish mash and cherry peppers. The tips were cooked to medium-rare and were nice and juicy, but Bry felt the best part of the dish was the horseradish mash. If you aren’t a spice-lover use cautions with those cherry peppers – they are HOT!
Donna and I both ordered the lamb burger, which was served with a tzatziki sauce and a side of fries. While the flavor of the lamb was great – I especially liked the tzatziki – the burger did not hold together very well and I was missing an element of texture. If I were to go back and get an entree, I think I would try the lamb tips instead.
Now, for you more adventurous eaters out there, one of Tip Tap Room’s claims to fame is its rotating selection of more exotic meats. This meat could range anywhere from less scary meats like elk or bison to not-so-sure about ones like rattlesnake and kangaroo. Eat at your own risk 😉
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, I saw they do have a dessert menu, but we had no interest in looking at it as we had an awesome surprise dessert back at home!
You can’t celebrate a birthday without cake (or pie in some cases) and if you know Jeff you know you have to go big or go home. I really wanted to surprise him with an above average cake, so I started surfing the web to see what local bakeries were around. While it was important to find a place that makes beautiful cakes, I wanted to make sure it would taste just as delicious- sadly this is too often not the case. After much searching one place kept popping up with stellar reviews: Yum Bunnies Cakery.
Run by Jessica Sahakian, Yum Bunnies Cakery is a neighborhood gem found in Burlington, MA. If you are looking for a place to have a custom designed cake that will blow your taste buds away, you have to go with Yum Bunnies. I stopped by the shop one day after work with the intention to order a cake for Jeff, but honestly didn’t know exactly how it should look. I did know I wanted it to feature Donna and Jeff’s dog Harley D but other than that I was drawing a blank. Jessica was so awesome! All she asked for was a picture of Harley and who the cake was for (and of course the flavor). A week later Bry and I went to pick up the cake. We were stunned. She perfectly captured Harley down to the very last detail and even added in some paw prints on the side of the cake. We loved it, but more importantly Jeff loved it.
Oh, and the taste? SO good. We went with a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache between layers. Holy chocolate! I could have eaten just a whole container of the ganache, it was rich but not cloyingly sweet. The cake part was also wonderfully moist with a deep, rich chocolate flavor. The icing was a traditional buttercream. I personally don’t like frosting (I know, something must be wrong with me) but everyone else scrapped their plates clean so it’s safe to assume it was excellent as well.
So here’s a toast to Jeff, happy birthday!
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A remarkable night, great food, excellent drinks, awesome cake and an even better son and future daughter-in-law.
I’m so glad you had a great night Jeff! Bry and I are very lucky to have you in our lives 🙂
What an awesome dinner with the best surprise of all times. The combination of the two was one of the most special nights we ever could recall. The cake is famous both in taste and the capturing of Harley! Can’t say enough on how lucky we we are!
We are so glad you both loved it 🙂 Bry and I are very lucky too 😉