The Industry on Adams Street in Dorchester opened in a former pub in June. Executive chef Stephen Coe serves up comfort food in a comfortable setting. My only complaint is that I don’t live closer.
The interior is inviting but confusing. Several large TVs invoke a sports bar vibe, yet the red leather seats and dark wood invoke formality. The clientele was a mix of young and old couples, making us middle-agers feel right at home.
The music wasn’t too loud, which was fortunate because it was as if someone set Pandora to the “cheesy dance music for weddings” station then walked away (think, “Celebrate” by Kool and the Gang and “Get Down Tonight” by KC and the Sunshine Band).
Despite the split personality and odd music choice, The Industry is not a “turn and burn” restaurant where noise and uncomfortable seats discourage lingering diners. Our booth was near the bar but the high walls afforded us enough privacy and quiet to enjoy good conversation and food. We happily ensconced ourselves in that booth for over two hours.
When Mighty Zac and I try a new restaurant, we always order the calamari, assuming it’s on the menu. So, naturally, we started with the tempura calamari. Fresh from the kitchen, I thought the spicy-sweet, lightly breaded calamari was perfecty cooked and satisfying. Our dining partners concurred.
By the time the calamari made it over to Zac, it was picked over and room temperature – so he wasn’t terribly impressed – but that’s mainly because he was preoccupied with starter salad of mixed greens and shaved veggies tossed with a basil viniagrette. The salad was somewhat underdressed but we considered that a point in its favor.
The sesame tuna nachos sounded intriguing on paper, but there was something off about the texture. Plus, the siracha sour cream overwhelmed the raw tuna. I took to eating the savory, crispy wonton crackers by themselves.
We found a lot to love in the entrees, although the frequent addition of fruit was controversial at our table. There were clear winners, like the swordfish with lobster risotto, where the addition of citrus fruit made sense.
The evening’s special, duck cooked two ways, came with a parsnip and cherry pudding. I liked the fruit, but one of our companions couldn’t understand it. She eventually conceded the dish was a winner, saying ” These duck medallions are, like, perfect, cherry or no cherry.”
Thankfully, there was no fruit in the other two winning dishes. Zac said each bite of the smoked beef short ribs tasted like a bowl of beef stew. The rich, robust wild boar bolognese was to die for, which is precisely what I might do if I ate it every night.
Although tasty, the sausage flatbread was a tad burnt in spots and dull compared to the entrees. We also should have skipped the brick chicken. I couldn’t get past the raisin and shallot au jus, which was too oniony for my taste, and Zac couldn’t figure out how adding corn niblets to mashed potatoes made any sense.
I want to befriend the pastry chef, Pongrapee Sukapat, so I can invite her to a dinner party at my house. When she asks what she can bring I’d pretend to think a bit before suggesting she supply dessert.
The desserts are clearly housemade. And if they are not housemade, well, I was fooled. The S’More cheesecake was light and not overly sweet, which I liked, especially since the accompanying chocolate sauce and toasted marshmallow had enough sugar to fuel a small village.
The inventive Industry cookie plate came with a chipwich, a mini milkshake, and a tiny chocolate fondue pot over a tiny candle. It also came with – you guessed it – fruit. In this case, in the form of a raisin cookie.
“Why does anyone put raisins in cookies?”, Zac asked. “No. Just, no.”
The Industry is located at 750 Adams St in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Hours are Monday through Wednesday, 5 pm to 1 am, Thursday and Friday, 3 pm to 1 am, and Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 1 am.