On Monday night, I met up with my friend Melody and the wonderful Erin of Erin Cooks for a screening of Babette's Feast at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. I felt like a bad food writer for never having seen it before. Of course, we couldn't go into a movie about food without eating something first, so we decided to meet up at the newly opened Regal Beagle just down the street.
The Regal Beagle is a warm and homey spot - the lush red wallpaper makes it very cozy. The layout is a little counter-intuitive, with the bar and lounge area in the back, but it also makes for more secluded drinking.
I tried a couple of the cocktails, which were strong and tasty, but the food was the real winner. We stuck to the bar bites menu and loved every bit.
The crab rangoon empanadas were a delightful twist on the typical crab rangoon - the dough was light and crispy, and although the filling was a little thin (it could have used some chunks of crab or even celery), it was quite flavorful. They were also the most expensive thing we tried, at $8 for 3. The other dishes were a much better value.
I loved the tempura sweet potato fries, which weren't like sweet potato fries anywhere else. The potatoes were cut into thick chunks and were soft and sweet inside the light tempura batter. Five dollars for a heaping plate was fantastic. The dates, stuffed with gorgonzola and wrapped in bacon, were very rich and perfect for sharing (and were only a dollar each!). The pumpkin hummus was also a treat, a little sweeter than your typical hummus and topped with finely chopped cucumber, red onion, and feta and served with crispy pita chips.
I'm glad to see an interesting place like the Regal Beagle in Coolidge Corner, and I think it's a great option for a bite before a movie. I'd love to see even more variety on the bar bites menu, as the entrees are a little higher priced than I thought they would be (they hover around $20).