On the recommendation of our member Lynn, the Foodies gathered at 435 Bar & Grille in Leominster. Tucked away on the second floor of an old mill building, requiring a back door and an elevator ride to find it, 435 Bar & Grille certainly feels hidden. And after the Foodies dined there this month, they found that it was an absolute gem.

Once you enter the restaurant is extremely inviting with a wide open space, big windows and beautiful exposed brick. A massive circular bar feels like a great place to catch up with friends or sip a pre-dinner drink.

The trim, yet diverse menu 435 offers made diners want to try a little bit of everything.

The Poutine was a popular appetizer selection, with Robyn calling it a “must try.” She said the fries were crispy, the short rib meat tender and the gravy delicious. “The meat was tender, the sauce was salty, and there were so many cheese churds!” Stephanie said of her Poutine order.

Almost everyone said they had a hard time choosing an entrée because so many of the items on the menu sounded so good.

“I ended up choosing the Pasta and Chicken which was outstanding,” said Joe. “Nice portion, sweet wine sauce, tender pieces of chicken breast over pasta.”

Braised short rib and lobster tail with pickled mustard seeds, celery root puree, spinach and port wine demi from 435 Bar & Grille in Leominster, MA.

Braised short rib and lobster tail with pickled mustard seeds, celery root puree, spinach and port wine demi

Dana opted for the bacon-wrapped Meatloaf and commended the restaurant for being flexible and pairing it with roasted carrots rather than the asparagus on the menu. “I wouldn’t call it a traditional meatloaf, as it was less firm and structured, but the flavor was fantastic. The bacon complimented the meat nicely and the dish was an overall success. One of the nicer meat loafs I’ve had out,” Dana said.

Stephanie got a “huge portion” of eggplant parmigiana, which was “breaded and fried perfectly” and paired with an enormous bowl of al dente pasta.

Both Robyn and Evan tried the Bolognese. “I would venture to say this is one of the best Bolognese I’ve had anywhere,” Robyn said. “It came in a large bowl filled to the brim with homemade Pappardelle pasta. It came in a rich tomato sauce with chunks of carrots. Topping this dish off was freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.”

Evan described the Bolognese as “incredible.” He said, “The thick, ribbon like pasta was cooked and seasoned perfectly. The sauce was rich and had large chunks of meat large enough that you could’ve cut them with your fork. It was honestly one of the best and largest pasta dishes I have had in recent memory.”

David and Lynn both tried the fig and serrano ham tart. Though labeled a tart on the menu, it was a bit more like a flatbread pizza. “I enjoyed my unique flatbread. The soft egg was a delicious addition,” Lynn said. David said the “ingredients and flavors were wonderful.” He paired his with a beat salad, that was served with burrata cheese, pea tendrils and a squid ink dressing. “The flavors, textures, and contrast with the plaques quitting in the dip dish was amazing.”

Beyond the food, everyone agreed the service was fantastic. The speed and quality with which the food came out combined with friendly and attentive service made dining at the 435 comfortable and fun. Definitely worth the trip.

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