(Originally posted 3/12/07)
Over the weekend, I dined at Kromel's in Stoneham square. This is a small restaurant that has two dining rooms, one on its second floor. It is nicely decorated and you can see into the kitchen in the first floor dining area. The menu does change regularly and contains a good selection of appetizers, salads and entrees. The wine menu is ok, with many standard selections, and there are a fair number of reasonably priced wines. I would prefer a little more variety on the list.
We began with two appetizers, a spinach salad with warm bacon dressing and coconut curry shrimp. The salad was good sized and very tasty . It had a strong bacon flavor and was very fresh. The other appetizer consisted of three large shrimp with an ok coating. I would have liked a bit more flavor. Our entrees were good-sized.
The entree was a 12 oz. hangar steak, with cheese risotto and roasted carrots. The steak was a bit tougher in a few spots though it was flavorful. The risotto was exceptional! The second entree was a duck dish, with a confit and a leg. The duck was meaty, tender and very flavorful. It was accompanied by mashed sweet potatoes sweetened with cinnamon. I should mention the bread basket we received as well. It contained some thin breadsticks, a couple of warm rolls, and a couple of warm croissants. The croissants were very good, and had some intriguing spices on them that I could not pinpoint. We ordered more of these delicious rolls.
We shared a dessert, a s'mores sundae, which was quite delicious. Vailla ice cream, crumbled graham crackers, marshmallow and chocolate. Very decadent and well worth getting. I have been to Kromel's several times and my experiences have been similar. You do get plenty of food. You won't leave hungry. And they do some dishes quite well, though some things fall short too. With a bit more consistency, this restaurant could be excellent.
(Originally posted 4/17/07)
Today I had a conversation with Melissa L. Symes, the owner of KroMels. She had some concerns about my reviews of her restaurant. So, to clarify my thoughts, and to avoid any confusion, I wanted to add a few explanatory comments.
First, this is definitely a restaurant that I recommend. There is much good there, and some of the dishes I have had were superb. Yes, I have had a few issues with certain dishes but overall, those matters did not significantly detract from the quality of the restaurant. I continue to patronize this restaurant because I enjoy the place. I have never left the restaurant hungry and it is reasonably priced for its quality.
Second, Melissa Symes, the owner, is obviously very passionate and dedicated to her restaurant. She is genuinely concerned that her customers enjoy themselves at her restaurant. When I previously had a few issues about some of the dishes at KroMels, I did not say anything to my server, the chef or Melissa. If I had done so, Melissa indicated sincerely that she would have tried to rectify any problem. I probably should have spoken up at the time. Next time I dine there, if I do have any issues, I will raise the issue immediately.
Third, I consider KroMels to be an intimate, higher-end suburban restaurant. Such restaurants are a rarity. There are only a handful of such places in the surrounding area. KroMels is intimate because of its small size and homey atmosphere. It is the type of place where you can go to enjoy a relaxing or a romantic dinner. I consider it higher-end because of its type of cuisine, quality and price. It is not some fast food joint or chain restaurant. It is comparable to what you might get in some of the better Boston restaurants, but without the aggravation of driving into Boston, and at a lower price. Restaurants such as these do deserve our support.
I appreciate that Melissa took the time to contact me and I hope that my additional comments help clarify my thoughts on KroMels.
407 Main Street