Category Archives: Dining

Elephant Walk South End

elephant-walk-restaurantIt has been a while since I’ve included a restaurant review and I wanted to start this year by giving some love to those places that I most enjoy. I thought I’d start with The Elephant Walk. It is easily one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants and a place I consistently recommend and bring friends who visit.

Nataing is a delicious appetizer made with Ground pork simmered in coconut milk with garlic, peanuts and served with crispy rice

Nataing is a delicious appetizer made with ground pork simmered in coconut milk with garlic, peanuts and served with crispy rice cakes that add a lot of crunch to each bite.

The Elephant Walk is a neighborhood gem for several reasons.  First, the food is consistently good and the menu is always changing. The staff know most people have no idea what Cambodian cuisine is, and they do an excellent job explaining the menu. While I have successfully convinced even the least adventurous eaters I know to try Cambodian cuisine, nearly one third of the menu is also French so you can always order the steak frites if you can’t bring yourself to try Cambodian.

Khar Saiko is boneless beef short ribs braised in tamarind, ginger, chili pods and soy that are served with garlic fresh Shanghai noodles (it is like a garlicky linguine) and pickled cucumber

Khar Saiko is boneless beef short ribs braised in herbs that are so tender you can cut them with your fork; served w/ Shanghai noodles (which taste like a garlicky linguine).

Another reason I love this place is that the staff is quirky and friendly. They take their job seriously answering endless questions about the menu, ingredients and how everything is cooked so don’t be shy – ask away. I can guarantee you won’t be the first or the last person that day to ask whatever your question is about the food, its prep or what it tastes like.

Shown here is Loc Lac Salad (half portion) Beef tenderloin (8oz) caramelized in black pepper, garlic and mushroom soy, fresh lettuce, limegarlic dipping sauce

Shown above is a half portion of the Loc Lac Salad: beef tenderloin caramelized in black pepper, garlic and mushroom soy, fresh lettuce, lime garlic dipping sauce.

A third reason for the praise is the price is right. Few items on the menu are more than $25, making it one of the most affordable options in the neighborhood. Many dishes are even more affordable if you order their half portions (like the Loc Lac shown above) and their menu has more gluten free options than most restaurants in town, likely due in part to the Cambodian diet.

The Elephant Walk is a restaurant to put on your list to try or to return to if you’ve not visited them recently. The food is great but you don’t have to take my word – read the consistently excellent reviews they get on sites like Open Table and Yelp.  If you’ve not ventured to The Elephant Walk in the South End recently, add them to your list and make a reservation. You’ll have a great time and you’ll thank me for the suggestion.

Elephant Walk South End
1415 Washington Street
(617) 247-1500

Note: Photos were not my own and were taken from the Elephant Walk Facebook page.

Super Hunger Brunch to benefit Greater Boston Food Bank

The Greater boston food bankEnjoy brunch from one of the many restaurant partners on January 28 or 29, and every $1 you spend will provide 3 nutritious meals to those in need across Eastern Massachusetts.

January 28-29, 2017
Be sure to purchase the correct amount for the restaurant of your choice ($25, $35, or $50) and note which day they are participating.

Once purchased, your gift certificates will be mailed to you. So visit gbfb.org/superhungerbrunch today for details and restaurant contact information. The website also provides a list of participating restaurants.

Lions Tail: New craft cocktail restaurant and bar coming to Ink Block

lions-tail-ink-block-south-endEarlier this week the @InkBlockBoston twitter account announced that a “craft cocktail” and high end dining spot called Lions Tail will be opening.  A link for job opportunities as well as the restaurant’s facebook and twitter accounts are on the restaurant’s website, www.lionstailboston.com

No further information has been provided regarding a scheduled opening but check back for more updates and like their Facebook page, here.

Boston Magazine names the top 25 new restaurants

boston-25-best-new-restaurantsDo you enjoy dining out in Boston? This month’s Boston Magazine might be worth picking up as they feature what they are calling Boston’s “Top 25 New Restaurants”.  Despite the fact that I eat out more than most people, I’ve only been to 5 of the restaurants on the list. I find the article more interesting for the restaurants that didn’t make the list.  After spending the past year listening to hype about new restaurant openings nearly every month in the Seaport, I wasn’t surprised that not a single one made the list.

Kava Neo Taverna South End BostonOn a more positive note, I wanted to give a shout out to several restaurants in my neighborhood including 2. SRV – an equally beautiful and delicious Italian restaurant worth trying; 7. Bar Mezzana – also Italian in the Ink Block is on my list to try but I’ve yet to visit; 21. Gita at Wink & Nod is New England inspired cuisine; and 22. Kava Neo-Taverna is a delicious Greek restaurant in a cozy space on Union Park that I can’t rave enough about.

Eataly Boston grand opening set for Nov. 29th

eataly-bostonLast month (in case you missed it) The Boston Globe, EaterBoston and other news outlets reported that Eataly Boston would host their grand opening just in time for the holiday season on Tuesday, November 29th.

For those unfamiliar with Eataly, Boston is only the third city in the United States to have such a store but the chain has 31 locations worldwide. Eataly Boston will have 45, 000 square feet dedicated to all things Italian. The store will have three levels and be a mixture of full-service restaurants, fast-casual counters, and places to buy products to take home.

The Boston location includes three casual restaurant spaces that offer waiter service: La Pizza & La Pasta, La Piazza, and Il Pesce. While they’re all located within Eataly, they operate independently.

Area Four opens in the South End

area-four-dining-roomArea Four first opened as a casual restaurant in Kendall Square in Cambridge in May 2011. Since that time it has remained a popular neighborhood restaurant best known for their pizza and commitment to using locally harvested ingredients. On Friday, October 21st the owners opened a new location in the Troy in Boston’s South End.

I really like the look and layout of the space. The restaurant has a large bar in the back, open kitchen and soaring ceilings. I’m happy to say that the food and service was also very good. The menu is divided into three sections: 10″ PIZZAS which range in price from $13-$20; VEGETABLES (think of them as appetizers or sides) that range from $6-$13; and MEAT & FISH which I found the most confounding in part because these “dinner options” range so wildly in price from a Smoked Trout Salad for $13 to a Whole Fish & Chips for $40.

Area Four South End

Brussels Sprouts & Kale $12

I started dinner with the Brussels Sprouts & Kale Salad for $12 which included candied hazelnuts, red onion and shaved pecorino and lemon. The shredded vegetables along with the citrus and nuts was delicious and made me think of the summer, but will be a plate I continue to order well into the winter months.

Shown below are the traditional Magherita Pizza with tomato, mozzarella, pecorino and basil – this was light and flavorful; the Shitake Mushroom & Fontina Pizza which had a creamy / earthy taste and was my favorite; followed by the Wellfleet Clam & Bacon Pizza that tasted salty initially from the bacon but finished with a nice kick thanks to the hot peppers.

10" Area Four Margherita Pizza $13

10″ Margherita Pizza $13

A10″ Shitake Mushroom & Fontina Pizza $17

10" Wellfleet Clam & Bacon Pizza $18

10″ Wellfleet Clam & Bacon Pizza $18

I predict that Area Four is going to be a popular destination for pizza lovers who live in the neighborhood. The bar is large and inviting and the service on the main dining room floor on the night we were there was efficient and casual. Add this to your list of new restaurants to check out. They have a full bar with cocktails, wines by the bottle and glass as well as a solid beer selection.

Area Four is located at The Troy Boston at 264 East Berkeley Street, Boston and is open 7-days a week for dinner from 5 – 11pm (the bar is open until 2am). You can call ahead for reservations at (857) 317-4805.

The best cannolis in Boston

Modern Pastry BostonBoston Magazine’s 2017 Best of Boston Readers’ Poll is underway through the rest of the year and this month the magazine is asking their readers to rate the best Raw Bar and best place to get a cannoli in Boston.

With regards to raw bar I have my own personal opinion but the question about where one can get the best cannoli in town this blog answered with a resounding vote back in 2014 in my post, Mike’s Pastry vs. The Modern Pastry Shop.

The pastry shop that won the blind tasting (hands down) is shown in a recent photo I took of a visit there when I was in need of these delicious Italian pastries.