NAVY YARD BISTRO in the Charlestown Navy Yard
I became friendly with the owner of the Navy Yard Bistro after he was a patient at the hospital where I work. I wouldn’t add this tidbit but owner John Moore has been very public about his story and his recovery, which has been an ongoing and remarkable battle. Ever since meeting him I have been dying to go to the Bistro and have been promising that I would come in and check it out.
The Navy Yard Bistro opened seven years ago and is really your only option for a nice restaurant in the Charlestown Navy Yard. I am often weary of places that are the only option because sometimes they slack on quality if they have such a good location or situation. This is not the case. The Navy Yard Bistro has never advertised, but through word-of-mouth and, of course, the praise of many yelpers and amateur online critics like me, it is absolutely packed.
We went on a Friday night when I had confirmed that John would be there. Even though the “in” with the owner got some free glasses of delicious rosé, we still had to wait a solid hour for a table to open up. The bar was at least two people deep and was filled with the classy and sophisticated folk who have transplanted to the Charlestown Navy Yard. This place has casual appeal but is elegant enough for a special occasion or a new dress. To generalize, the average demographic was a 50-something, wealthy and good-looking couple that had moved into the city after their kids went to college.
When we were seated we shared an appetizer of Buttermilk Fried Oysters served with Crispy Andouille Sausage, Arugula and a Cajun Remoulade. Yum!
For an entree I ordered the 16 oz Bone-In Pork Chop with Brown Butter & Sage gnocchi, patty pan squash, cippolini onions and a Manodori Balsamic. He ordered the Ginger-Sake Salmon with Jasmine Rice, Seaweed and Cucumber Salad, Wasabi Crème Fraiche and Ponzu Sauce. We shared them both and I wondered to myself after why I couldn’t have at least appeared to have a girlier appetite and ordered the fish dish myself instead of a huge piece of bone-in meat!
The food was delicious; just solid well-developed flavors and perfectly prepped cuts. Overall incredibly enjoyable experience but next time I want to sit at the bar. I might have to venture at 5PM on a Monday to do so.
The highlight of my night however, was what happened when we were leaving. We stopped to chat with John on the way out and he asked me if we had seen Nancy Kerrigan sitting at the table two down from us. No we had not, and although I had a minor obsession with her and figure skating when I was younger, I don’t know that I would ever recognize her out of context. Turns out, Nancy was there with her girlfriends and they left a note that they had made a donation to the hospital in John’s honor. How cool that we were there the night this happened!