A Brunch to Love Wholeheartedly: Alden & Harlow

You know that moment when a new house crosses over and becomes a home.  It is when the memory of the rooms, as anything other than what they are today, has completely faded except perhaps if you catch a glimpse of a little hook left in a closet from a former resident or a scrap of wall paper wedged behind some molding.  Casablanca was a true Harvard Square, or to be fair Boston, institution, yet when you walk into Alden & Harlow you step inside Chef Michael Scelfo’s “home” and once you take your first taste you never want to leave.

Warning: You may want to move in here.  The season's gems preserved.
Warning: You may want to move in here. The season’s gems preserved.

Victor Lazio in Casablanca said, “You know how you sound…? Like a man who’s trying to convince himself of something he doesn’t believe in his heart.”

When it comes to brunch, or any other meal at Alden and Harlow for that matter,  you will need no convincing.  You will know in your heart, your belly, your nose, your soul that you have just experienced food prepared with skill, creativity and the best ingredients available of the season.  You will taste food that Chef Scelfo and his team believe in from their hearts to their palates.  I was a guest recently invited to try the brunch menu.  I have been to Alden and Harlow for dinner and am always counting the days until I can go back for brunch with the family or dinner with friends, or a drink and bite at the bar.

Here is a peek at what can be found on the brunch menu.

Root Vegetable Latkes with homemade sour cream and Rey's apple sauce.  I am a purist when it comes to latkes but I'm making an exception for these.  I can eat these from now to Chanukah!
Root Vegetable Latkes with homemade sour cream and Rey’s apple sauce. I am a purist when it comes to latkes but I’m making an exception for these. I can eat these from now to Chanukah!
Root Vegetable Latkes at Alden & Harlow.
Root Vegetable Latkes at Alden & Harlow.
This is a side dish of smoked fish pâté and toast.  The arugula is perfect on top.  You might think you don't like fish pâté but try it, it's so good.
This is a side dish of smoked fish pâté and toast. The arugula is perfect on top. You might think you don’t like fish pâté but try it, it’s so good.
This is another dish I could eat for lunch every day.
This is another dish I could eat for lunch every day.
I love crumpets.  I have made crumpets before.  I grew up eating crumpets.  And yet, I have never quite had crumpets like this before.  These are the perfect texture and size. Top with cream and jam and your weekend is made.
I love crumpets. I have made crumpets from scratch at home. I grew up eating crumpets. And yet, I have never quite had crumpets like this before. These are the perfect texture and size. Top with cream and jam and your weekend is made.
Don't judge me for this, and I loved everything I tasted on the brunch menu, but this one was my favourite.  The smell of the herbs as this gorgeous mound of panzanella was placed on the table hooked me in.  This panzanella is made with picked ramps, grilled halloumi and an oregano chimichurri. Perhaps one of the more simple sounding dishes on the menu, but with lots of hidden treasures and surprises.
Don’t judge me for this, and I loved everything I tasted on the brunch menu, but this one was my favourite. The smell of the herbs as this gorgeous mound of panzanella was placed on the table hooked me in. This panzanella is made with picked ramps, grilled halloumi and an oregano chimichurri. Perhaps one of the more simple sounding dishes on the menu, but with lots of hidden treasures and surprises.
Spring Vegetable Panzanella at Alden & Harlow.
Spring Vegetable Panzanella at Alden & Harlow.
This shakshouka is topped with pea greens, spiced with harissa and has nice, briny anchovy croutons rounding out the flavours.
This shakshouka is topped with pea greens, spiced with harissa and has nice, briny anchovy croutons rounding out the flavours.

Alden & Harlow's  Farm Egg Shakshouka

The Convert is a beautiful sunrise-coloured cocktail with carrot, lemon, ginger beer, Montenegro and Genever.
The Convert is a beautiful sunrise-coloured cocktail with carrot, lemon, ginger beer, Montenegro and Genever.
Maple glazed pig tails with a poached egg and cheese crisps on grits.
Maple glazed pig tails with a poached egg and cheese crisps on grits.
Pig Tails and grits at Alden & Harlow.
Pig Tails and grits at Alden & Harlow.
Pig blood scrapple and eggs at Alden & Harlow.
Pig blood scrapple and eggs at Alden & Harlow.
Braised Oxtail Melt from Alden and Harlow with fig jam, Taleggio cheese, and pumpernickel.
Braised Oxtail Melt from Alden and Harlow with fig jam, Taleggio cheese, and pumpernickel.
Kale Toasts with anchovy aioli and Benton's bacon for brunch at Alden & Harlow.
Kale Toasts with anchovy aioli and Benton’s bacon for brunch at Alden & Harlow.
Ellen's Berry Buckle cooked in a cast iron pan creates the perfect ratio of caramelized crust and rich soft middle.  Topped with cream you
Ellen’s Berry Buckle cooked in a cast iron pan creates the perfect ratio of caramelized crust and rich soft middle. Topped with cream you
Ellen's Berry Buckle...so good you just need to take one more look.
Ellen’s Berry Buckle…so good you just need to take one more look.
I don't know who Dave is, but he's my new best friend.  This skillet has an incredible sausage over potatoes that are the perfect vehicle to swipe through the salty, cheese Cabot Clothbound Cheddar sauce. There you have it, but Dave's all mine.
I don’t know who Dave is, but he’s my new best friend. This skillet, Dave’s Sausage and Potato Skillet, has an incredible almost crumbly sausage over potatoes that are the perfect vehicle to swipe through the salty, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar sauce. There you have it, go and try it, but Dave’s all mine as soon as I figure out who he is.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Jody and Ken says:

    I don’t ordinarily do brunch, but clearly this place is calling me to make an exception. Pig tails! Ken

    Like

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