By Priya Srivats ‘13 Contributing Writer
Since I’ve been back in Claremont, everyone and their mother has had something to say about the Village’s newest addition, Union on Yale. Owned by the same people as the ever-popular Back Abbey, Union on Yale brings a young, modern vibe to the village with the inclusion of fire pits, delicious cocktails and even a bocce ball court! I headed over with two friends, where we were greeted with a packed restaurant. We waited by the fire pit and attempted to flag down a drinks menu. My Rosemary Lemon Drop was delicious and lethal—I was definitely feeling it halfway through![gallery link="file" orderby="title"] Once seated we went with the restaurant's small plate theme and ordered several items to share. Union on Yale has quickly gained a reputation for amazing pizza, so we ordered two. The Bianca Pizza boasted black truffle cheese but was too rich for me and needed something fresh like spinach to temper the flavors. The Forest Floor pizza, which is pretty much my dream due to all of the wild mushrooms, could have been incredible, but the mushrooms were charred to a crisp! Definitely disappointing, as it probably would have been the winner without being burnt. Nevertheless, the pizza crusts were perfectly thin and definitely have the most potential out of any pizzas around. Roasted Winter Vegetables with Provencal Aioli were perfectly cooked and spiced, though the accompanying aioli was simply too strong; the mustardy flavors completely overpowered the vegetables. We found its flavor improved with the addition of a bit of olive oil.
Chicken and fish are the only meats I eat, so I did not try the rabbit, pork and beef-stuffed agnolotti (a pasta similar to ravioli). But neither of my dinner partners were impressed with this dish.
I really enjoyed the special, however: black cod with tomato salsa. Cod is becoming one of my favorite types of fish. This dish was moist and flaky, and the accompaniments were well suited.
Bottom line: Union on Yale did not live up to the hype for me, but it was still very good. The overpowering aioli and burnt pizza were signaled that the staff are still trying to work out the kinks, which is understandable for a new restaurant. I’ll definitely be back to give Union on Yale a second chance. I will be sure to fit in a round of bocce!
For more food writing by Priya, check out her blog Boy Meets Girl Meets Food at http://boymeetsgirlmeetsfood.wordpress.com/
Photos by Priya