Where to Field & Vine, a restaurant where the food is inspired by the natural world: seasonal, sustainable, ingredient-driven. It’s located in the former Journeyman space.
What for A very Somerville experience. Chef Andrew Brady and Sara Markey met working at Bronwyn in Union Square, fell in love, started doing pop-ups as Company Picnic, and finally opened this brick-and-mortar, steps away from Bronwyn.
The scene It’s like Journeyman’s Vermont cousin. The reclaimed wood and kitchenside counter remain, now with green paint, hanging bunches of garlic and herbs, and a tangle of branches festooned with twinkling lights above. Brady is cooking in the kitchen; Markey roves from wooden table to wooden table, engaging customers in enthusiastic conversation about mushrooms. A Tom Petty song comes on and the dining room lets out a collective “aww.” Next in the rotation: Steely Dan. “Are they just, like, playing dead guys?,” asks a man in a fuzzy cardigan, clutching a glass of wine. “I’m so depressed.”
What you’re eating There’s raw bar, from oysters to tautog ceviche with mint and sumac, and snacks like focaccia with a choice of spreads. But most of the menu is divided between “vegetables” and “not vegetables.” In the former category: grilled beets with late-season strawberries and halloumi, crispy potatoes, and radishes with chicken liver pate. In the latter: beef tartare with nuoc cham aioli and chips, Parisian gnocchi with foraged mushrooms, and fried chicken with kohlrabi, maple, and pickled-ramp ranch dressing. For dessert, there are lavender pots de creme and milk and cookies. Field & Vine also does the food for the adjacent Back Bar. Think pickles, bluefish pate, and a spicy, crispy chicken sandwich.
Care for a drink? Start with a vermouth aperitif, then move on to local beer and cider. In keeping with the menu, the wine list showcases producers dedicated to the expression of terroir, from a Slovenian sparkler to a lightly chilled grignolino. After dinner, try one of several tea blends, such as turmeric-ginger or smoky vanilla chai.
Overheard “It feels like the holidays in here!,” exclaims a first-timer, taking in the cozy atmosphere. “Is there a fireplace?” At a table, one friend confides in another: “Both my parents voted for Trump.” “I don’t even know what I would do,” she murmurs, shaking her head. “I’m man enough to live off the land,” a plaid-clad gentleman announces. “I’ve never had this mushroom before and it’s amazing,” his companion marvels. A group of friends is well into a bottle of wine. Says one to another, laughing: “So you have a beautiful idea of humanity, and I think you’re wrong, but it’s a beautiful idea nonetheless.”
9 Sanborn Court, Union Square, Somerville, 617-718-2333, www.fieldandvinesomerville.com