Moody’s Backroom in Waltham

"Never the same wagyu meatballs"
“Never the same wagyu meatballs”

For a long time after Doug and I started dating, I avoided Moody Street in Waltham like the plague (really just because I got sick of the bars). But nowadays, it’s really hard not to visit because of the food scene explosion—and one of those newer spots is The (Moody’s) Backroom.

I had visited Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions in the past and became obsessed with their cured meats and true deli atmosphere (which I have been missing a lot lately from my younger New York days). So when they opened up The Backroom, which is essentially the restaurant/bar leg of their operation, I knew Doug and I needed to make the trek.

So there we were on a rainy Thursday night. You enter through the main deli, but then you’re brought into the backroom—one of the coolest spaces I’ve seen in quite a while. The décor is hard to describe: There’s a mix of modern and rustic, from the super sleek bar to the exposed brick and wooden pillars. But just in case you forget you’re in the restaurant part of a deli, just take a look at the hanging meats directly next to the bar when you enter. Warning: If you sit next to the wall, you may find yourself very close to your dangling neighbor.

Charcuterie and cheese board
Charcuterie and cheese board

Now back to the real reason for The Backroom—the food. We asked our awesome waiter what he suggested and after basically rattling off the entire menu, we decided to share a few plates. We started with a charcuterie and cheese board. At this point, our waiter proved his knowledge, so we trusted him to choose the best options for the board. He came back with the coppa, sweet soppressata, and three-year-aged gouda. If you find yourself there, you must get the charcuterie. Seriously, you’re at a deli known for its cured meat. Trust me. It is delicious!

Then we moved onto the “never the same wagyu meatballs,” which is a mixture of their best cut of meats, herbs, and lots of cheese. What I loved about these not-so-little guys was that they’re serious about the name: Every night the meatballs are essentially different because they’re always changing the meats. And I understand why our waiter told us they were one of the most popular starters. They are well worth the calories. Not too watery … not too dry. Just perfect. And make sure you slather the marinara sauce all over these bad boys.

Cassoulet with confit duck and smoked port belly
Cassoulet with confit duck and smoked pork belly

Rather than get two entrees, Doug and I decided to split an entrée and a side (which the waiter suggested because of the large portions). We decided on the cassoulet—confit duck, smoked pork belly, saucisson a l’ail, and heritage beans and a side of the spätzle mac and cheese. This cassoulet was truly amazing. I’ve had quite a few in my day, and this one was definitely a stand out. It came in a large cast iron dish and was swimming with duck and pork. It was rich, hearty, and the best comfort food for the rainy evening .The spätzle mac and cheese was a nice take on the original, but Doug and I both agreed we would have liked it a little cheesier.

Although I was stuffed at that point, the waiter put on his charm and let me know they had ice creams of the day (honestly, it’s like he knew everything I loved and played to that)—so obviously we had to have a few scoops. It truly was the perfect ending to the meal.

I highly recommend The Backroom. The drinks are great. The atmosphere is fun. And the food is divine. And I guess the best compliment of all is the fact that it changed my mind on visiting Moody Street more often.

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