Special to News Link Live from Pulse Magazine
Leominster — Leominster has a way of producing consistently exceptional dining; the short trip up Route 12 is always rewarded with a memorable meal. Our latest destination, Logan’s Table, is located around the corner from the stunning Bill Brady’s; site of our last Leominster restaurant excursion.
Logan’s Table makes full use of its small storefront space, with eight or ten tables plus seating at their L-shaped bar. In warmer weather windows facing the street roll up and additional dining will move outdoors to their extra-wide alley. Inside, the décor of homey knickknacks and a shelf of LP album covers is dominated by a huge dome-shaped pizza oven stoked with an inferno of white hot embers. This, in itself, should be a guarantee of superb pizza, anything less would be false advertising. In a short while I’d see for myself, but a scan of the dining room showed many tables with pans of pizza.
Their menu packs a lot of variety in a compact offering. With items such as their Detox Salad, Panini sandwiches, flatbreads and burgers, Logan’s Table is much more than pizza. Additionally, after six pm, a variety of entrées are offered. Plus their bar mixes up posh cocktails such as Maple Whiskey Coffee made with maple cream, cold brew coffee and whipped cream. But that will have to wait for another day, my friends weren’t drinking and I was intent on an IPA.
Although Logan’s Table has a few local brews on tap, their real focus is canned beers. It’s a huge and varied list. My choice, a 16-ounce can of ‘Lush’ poured deep murky amber. Every sip was Imperial IPA perfection straight from Vermont’s Frost Beer Works. Flavors of grapefruit, malt and pine kept it balance with a touch of sweetness. This is one of those vivacious IPA’s that remind me of why I was seduced by Tree House.
Whoever’s in charge of the menu is doing a great job. We soon realized there wasn’t a single option we wouldn’t be happy to order. Starting with appetizers; how about their Truffle Fried Brussel Sprouts? or Shrimp and Scallop Risotto Cakes? How could you go wrong with either?
We chose the Wood Fired Boneless Chicken Thighs. For ease-of use and meatiness, I actually prefer chicken thighs over wings; these were char crusted, drizzled with spicy Buffalo sauce and arranged in an arc around a slaw of celery and carrot dressed in blue cheese sauce. The order of six thighs was ideal for the three of us to share and was quickly devoured.
Authentic Neapolitan pizza ovens reach temperatures in excess of eight hundred degrees – at those temperatures you should get a nice singe-dappled crust in a couple minutes. So it was unsurprising when my Shrimp Scampi pizza was served before my friends’ entrées. On first sight, and then first bite, the truth was at hand: excellent!
LP’s pizza started with tasty bread dough; the anticipated hi-temp scorching added deep nutty flavor that contrasted with the fresh lemony garlic sauce tossed with a scattering of shredded grilled shrimp. A thin layer of cheesy topping was dappled golden brown with bits of diced tomato, strips of basil and shaved Romano cheese. The twelve-inch pie was big enough for sharing and bringing home.
Meanwhile, my friend was digging into his bowl of Jambalaya; chunks of chicken, large juicy shrimp and ovals of spicy Andouille sausage all nestled in Louisiana Creole rice based on the ‘holy trinity’ of onions, sweet peppers and celery. Midway in, he noted that the Andouille was doing all the heavy lifting in terms of providing spicy heat and wondered if he should have requested a bottle of Tabasco.
On his first visit to Logan’s David had tried their Tuscan Salmon. He enjoyed it so much that tonight he ordered Parmesan Encrusted Haddock, a broad thick filet served over creamy risotto with roasted tomato, and artichoke hearts. The parmesan crust was baked to the lightest golden brown, dusted with dill and topped with scattered shavings of Romano cheese.
When I snagged a sample, instead of haddock I mistakenly forked a chunk of artichoke, richly coated with risotto. Lucky error! It wasn’t out of a can; this artichoke tasted fresh and was drenched in their lemony caper butter sauce. We’ll run with his report, “the haddock is fresh, juicy and tender”.
Logan’s Table is worth the trip from anywhere in Central Massachusetts. Everything we ordered was delicious, the service was friendly and the entire experience was informal fun. And the pizza? Give me more!