Review: Canary Square
Restaurateurs Mike Moxley and Jim Cochener (of Coda and Common Ground) introduce their latest, which attempts to find its niche in Jamaica Plain’s keep-it-local-and-charming scene. Exposed brick, low lighting and chairs built from recycled materials make for an intimate, approachable neighborhood feel.
They do drinks well, with a 20-seat bar for creative cocktails, 29 beers and plenty of bottles of wine under $40. We wouldn’t recommend traveling much further, though, until the kitchen works out the finer points of efficient service and well-crafted dishes.
Daring? Chance it in the dining area, where a polite server will bring you house-made pickles. Peruse menu offerings like the pulled chicken salad ($9) and baked mac and cheese ($15). The mushroom and spinach crepe ($8) is as garlic-laden as it is hefty. Alas, no one item really stands out; it’s nothing to foodie-blog home about.
Canary Square isn’t for the impatient. Executive Chef Marco Suarez provides a puzzling equation: there’s an accessible menu and a well-stocked bar, but the combination produces turtle-paced service and dishes that are palatable at best. Give this new venue some time to square itself away.
Drink this: For some hyper-local love, the Centre Street ($9) is your bag. Jim Beam, rosemary-orange syrup, ginger ale and lemon juice come together to produce a delightfully tart and surprisingly refreshing combination.
Eat this: Skip the unreliable main courses and dive face-first into what you really want: dessert. The seasonal ice cream is a rich chocolate cayenne; order it atop the butterscotch bread pudding ($6). Like most things in life, it pairs well with beer.
Sit here: The tall tables bordering the bar at the edge of the dining area make an ideal perch for people watching.
Conversation piece: The space was named for a former neighbor—William E. Canary, a JP resident who died in combat during World War I.