Can’t say that I thought it would be a good idea to put a beer garden in a parking lot near commuter rail and the bustle of the Fresh Pond Parkway. But the newly opened Fresh Pond Beer Garden makes for a pleasant urban oasis with food from nearby Ma Magoo’s in addition to its drinks.
Gone is the grungy, ’90s industrial steampunk vibe at Diesel Cafe in Somerville’s Davis Square, replaced by a more spacious and open feel, with inviting, communal spaces. The limited menu (with limited hours) includes a full slate of coffee beverages, bakery good, additions such as an ice cream bar and smoothies, and breakfast fare.
The old Grafton was a high-ceilinged, open space with large-screen TVs over the bar; the new one has a cozy, library-like ambiance that says scotch, cigars and informed academic discourse – vintage Harvard, if you will – but a solid menu with small plates that will delight, especially when it comes to shellfish.
The main item Shy Bird offers is half and whole roasted birds (you see them slow roasting as you get your waitlist number at the host stand) as well as a ranch-fried chicken sandwich that looks juicy and sinful. In its Umami Bowl, fried or roasted chicken is listed as an extra … but you should consider it mandatory.