When you first enter the Square Café in Hingham Center, you aren’t able to see beyond the sage green curtain just inside the doorway. Once you open the curtain, it’s like entering a whole new world, one that Hingham is not accustomed to. The long bar sits to the right of the main dining room with pale green wainscoting on the white walls complete with black framed prints. If you like Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn décor, you’re going to love the interior design of the Square Café.
We didn’t come to just ogle at the beautiful furniture adorning the restaurant. We were shown to our table by owner Patty Kane. She was a partner with Eat Well, Inc., owners of Stars, Tosca, Fireking Baking Company and Marina Bay. When she and her husband divorced in 1999, she took some time off but always wanted to open a small restaurant in the square.
“I envisioned a boutique, storefront restaurant that would be fun and all about the food, very earthy and simple. I’d ride up each morning on my old-fashioned Schwinn bike with a big wicker basket on the front, brimming with organic produce. We’d have a sophisticated family environment with an emphasis on quality and staff would be positive and loving,” Kane said.
Square Café combines these soothing elements with wood and stone flooring and rich wood furnishings. At dinner, candles illuminate the white tablecloths at this upscale restaurant. The food is characterized and refined American comfort food with a New England sensibility. Chef William Park relies heavily on seasonal ingredients.
We began our evening with a sample of the lobster and asparagus risotto ($11), a decadent combination of Arborio rice and asiago and romano cheeses. The fried calamari ($8) was crispy with large tender pieces of calamari inside. Other appetizers included the roast butternut ravioli ($8), oven roasted polenta ($7) and New England seafood chowder ($8).
We didn’t try the salads, which looked wonderfully fresh when served to our neighboring table. The traditional Caesar ($7) and café mixed greens ($7) were good-sized portions.
The sautéed veal marsala ($19) was amazingly tender, served with wild mushrooms and field spinach. My husband ordered the grilled New York sirloin ($21), a tender, juicy cut, cooked to perfection. Other entrees included grilled lamb steak (419), roast chicken under a brick ($16), oven roasted cod ($17) and Square Café burger ($10).
Be sure to save room for their signature dessert, the Scharffen Berger chocolate pudding cake ($6), which was served warm and oozed chocolate when cut in the center. The crème brulee ($6) was enticing but the warm banana bread pudding ($6) is slated for our finale next visit.
For reservations or more information, call the Square Café at 781-740-4060.
150 North Street
Hingham, MA 02043
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Kellie K. Speed is
a freelance travel writer and restaurant reviewer. Her features have been
published in various publications including The Boston Globe, Cahners’
Industrial Distribution and Graphic Arts Monthly magazines and Reno Air
Kellie has reviewed numerous first-class hotels and
travel destinations, including Hawaii, California, Arizona, Bermuda and
Mexico, to name a few. She has also traveled internationally to Ireland,
England, France, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Next year, she is
planning a trip to Tahiti.
Since she is from Massachusetts, she will be providing
reviews of local restaurants for Travel-Watch.
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