By Katie Pelczar — Photographed by Jazz Martin
Swank tables by the floor-to-ceiling windows impress clients without any pretension. The enormous open kitchen entertains out-of-towners with urban energy. Beautiful and lively, the dual bars are a great spot to unwind after work. Cozy corner booths next to the fireplace are perfect for romantic dinners. Relaxed and comforting, yet sophisticated and urban, Post 390 pretty much has it all.
Dinner at Post 390 starts with a warm baguette and a bottle of house-purified sparkling water. With the help of Luis, our waiter, we managed to settle on two appetizers; fried Ipswich clams, and a duo of tuna tartare and smoked sashimi. Amazingly crisp fried clams and hot peppers are served with a pepper-laced tarter sauce. Chef Al Stubbmann shared the secret of the extra light and flavorful batter: a mixture of corn flour, all-purpose flour, and potato flakes. The tartare, which is mixed with pickled cabbage and topped with a salad of Spanish black radishes, is a wonderful play on texture. The smokiness of the sashimi is enlivened by a creamy mustard sauce.
Sommelier Brahm Callahan poured for us the 2000 Boxler Grand Cru Sommerberg Reisling. This food-friendly wine brings out the sweetness of the clams, but it also has a mild yeastiness that works wonderfully with the tartare. The genius of Callahan’s choice really showed when the wine stood up to the heat of the peppers. Post 390’s extensive wine list is certainly enough to keep you busy on your own. But the obliging Post 390 sommeliers have a knack for pairing. And beyond crafting an exciting list, they continually acquire special off-list bottles that might just be exactly what you never knew
Following the tartare and clams, we sampled a grilled flatbread topped with minted ricotta, feta cheese, house-made lamb sausage and hot pickled peppers. The aroma and flavor of the fresh mint sprinkled on top prepares the palate for the saltiness of the cheese and the richness of the fennel-laced lamb. The crust is crisp and the ricotta gives the flatbread just a touch of creaminess.
The entrée selection at Post 390 is inspired, eclectic, and homey. From the Kobe beef hot dog to the fish and chips, the decision is not an easy one! We sampled the buttermilk fried chicken, with its crisp, highly seasoned skin and moist, flavorful meat. The generous platter of chicken comes with a traditional macaroni salad, a biscuit and the most lovely piquant orange jalapeño marmalade. The pairing of the chicken and the marmalade is unexpected and touches on such a wide range of flavors, from salty to sweet to bitter. Callahan suggests Berkshire Brewing Company’s Steel Rail Extra Pail Ale to match the chicken. The light and flavorful local beer stands up to the saltiness and crunch of the chicken.
Along with the fried chicken we enjoyed the four cheese macaroni. Big al dente shells are baked with fontina, blue cheese, cheddar and dry jack cheese, as well as duck ham and roasted jalapeños. The crunchy brown top and the cheesy pasta are laced with smokiness from the duck and a residual heat from the jalapeños. We also had the pan roasted cod, which is light, flavorful and sophisticated. The filet of cod is surrounded by a coconut milk broth scented with balanced, subtle Thai spices. This beautiful curry is accented with fresh mussels, sweet shallots and red bell peppers. A scallion and cucumber salad tops the cod and adds an acidic brightness to the dish.
For dessert, we dove into Post 390’s famed banana cream pie. The pillowy pie, with layer after layer of fresh bananas, rich banana custard, and sweet whipped cream, is addictive. The bananas in the pie are sliced paper thin so that each bite bursts with an equal intensity of banana flavor. Caramelized bananas come alongside the slice of pie and add a burnt-sugar bite to the dessert. We also devoured the cupcake sampler, since I can never say no to a cupcake! Luis brought out our three adorable cupcakes, along with an extra foamy cappuccino. I started with the vanilla cupcake, which is filled with creamy lemon curd, frosted with strawberry buttercream and garnished with bright, sweet candied lemon zest. I then bit into the devil’s food cupcake, which is filled with butterscotch and topped with chocolate ganache. Saving the best for last, I savored the moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, which was wonderful with the cappuccino.
Classic comfort food elevated to sophisticated heights makes Post 390 Copley Square’s go-to restaurant. I am certainly looking forward to going back with my husband to enjoy a romantic corner booth by the fire!