North End Grill has been open for a while now, but because of the spat between Peter Wells and Adam Platt, I didn't bother going... oh and the suits crowd dominates this joint on weekdays.
But, if there's one meal that's not for suits, it's brunch. During brunch, North End Grill is like any other restaurant within walking distance: full of children.
I got the lobster egg custard with sea urchin and bonito flakes. I couldn't help myself. It just sounded so interesting. The lobster wasn't folded in as the waitress described... it was more of a bisque custard.
The urchin was unbelievably fresh. I really liked this dish, but I wouldn't recommend this for everyone. It is the most concentrated seafood that I've ever had. If you're not ready to drink the sea, don't do it. The custard was incredibly light and fresh, and the bonito flakes were fun to eat. They weren't as strange of an addition as I thought they would be.
The burger expert in the family said that the burger's excellent. I agree. I had a bite and the meat was succulent. The bread looked overwhelming, but compressed quite well. The fries/chips tasted distinctly Indian - like papadum. It turns out the executive chef's Indian! Taste buds don't lie.
Milk chocolate with pomegranates and mascarpone sorbet. This was insanely good. The chocolate sandwich was difficult to cut properly, but it was so creamy that I suspect I was eating butter. Every single component of this dish was plate-licking good. Not that you can do that at North End Grill... they wouldn't want to scare off the wives and babies of the suits.
Their bread pudding was phenomenal. It's even better than the chocolate. And to think (!) neither of these are supposedly as good as the cheesecake, which they did not have! Anyway. bread pudding has really been elevated in the past few years... once thought to be the dessert equivalent of stuffing, it's now something of a craft. This brioche was soaked in cream and honey and baked to custardy perfection. The roasted apples on the bottom of the sherbet was just the right amount of tartness. I could eat dessert from here every day.
Overall, brunch was a great success, and we're thinking of going back soon. We were both torn between 2 entree choices, and I still haven't had the cheesecake!