Tag Archives: Dining

Best places to eat in Boston’s South End

Sergio and I love the Mousaka at Kava Neo Taverna

Recently I was reading a post on Eater Boston that provided a host of suggestions on where to eat if you were visiting Boston and it got me to thinking about some of my favorite places to go out in the South End. Below are my suggestions on places to try. I’d be curious to get your thoughts and opinions on my picks and which places you might suggest.

Best South End Brunch: Boston Chops
There are so many options for places to enjoy a Sunday brunch in the South End, but in my mind, nowhere is better than Boston Chops. They easily make the best Bloody Mary in the neighborhood and the menu will appeal to everyone.

Best South End Cheap Eats: Anoush’ella
This Lebanese / Armenian restaurant is such a welcome addition to the neighborhood. They have proven you can have a thriving restaurant business in the South End and not need to charge $20 and $30 plates. Anoush’ella is easily one of my favorite go-to, casual dining options in the South End.

Best South End Coffee Shop: SE Buttery
In my opinion, the Equator coffee that the Buttery serves is the best in the neighborhood. Combine the excellent coffee with tasty treats and cozy setting and you have the perfect coffee shop for grabbing a cup of joe on the go or to meet with friends to catch up.

Best South End “Date Night” Restaurant: Kava Neo Taverna 
The food that comes out of the Greek restaurant Kava is consistently excellent. Take advantage of their sidewalk patio when it is open.  I love their grilled octopus and Sergio is addicted to the Mousaka.

Best South End Fine Dining: Mistral
There is no other restaurant I am more comfortable suggesting when people say they want to go out and splurge or celebrate than Mistral. The restaurant’s service and food is incredibly consistent. If money is tight but you want to treat yourself grab a seat at their bar, order a glass of wine and flatbread.

Best South End Friends Night Out: Beehive
The Beehive has a little bit of everything to offer; al fresco dining on their patio in good weather; a fun bar; and live entertainment. The funky vibe of the place and good food makes it a great place to connect with friends. Do yourself a favor and order a plate of their addictive fall off the bone baby back pork ribs.

Best South End Lunch: Orinoco and Mela
Both Orinoco and Mela are two of my favorite places to grab lunch in the South End. The Venezuelan restaurant, Orinoco, lunch menu is unique to the neighborhood and is a standout. Definitely order the Pepito de Costillita – the ribs will melt in your mouth. And let’s face it the Indian buffet at Mela is so good you’re going to overeat and there is nothing you’ll be able to do about it so make plans to get to the gym later in the day.

Most Underrated Restaurant in the South End: Elephant Walk
Elephant Walk is one of my favorite places to eat – full stop. The menu is unique to the neighborhood; evenly divided between Cambodian, French and a fusion of the two cuisines. When you go, definitely try the Nataing (appetizer) and Khar Saiko (dinner) – trust me.

Best South End Newcomer: Burro Bar South End
Few places have made me happier to visit than the Burro Bar which opened earlier this year. I love everything about this place from the layout which includes a large bar and lounge space with comfy couches to their Monday night fajita specials (which you should definitely try).

Best South End Small Plates: Toro and Myers + Chang
The South End has so many small plate restaurants it was difficult to narrow this down to just two options but both these restaurants continue to impress, which is obvious from the crowds who flock to Toro (a delicious Spanish tapas restaurant) and Myers + Chang (a pan-Asian small plates), seven days a week.

Best South End Treats & Sweets: Flour and Blackbird Doughnuts
The original Flour bakery opened on Washington Street and now has seven locations. After Chef Joanne Chang beat Chef Bobby Flay on national TV, Flour’s sticky buns took on legendary status but my favorite item is their coconut cream pie. Additionally, Blackbird Doughnuts which opened a few years ago has proven to be so successful that they now have three locations; my favorite is the chocolate old fashioned – give it a try and tell me what you think.

What do you think? I’d love to hear what are your “go to” restaurants in the South End. Share your favorite places – all are welcome to comment.

Bar Lyon opens in the South End

columbus hospitality group

Bar Lyon Bar Lyon/Facebook

The long awaited and highly anticipated opening of Bar Lyon happened this weekend. Bar Lyon is part of the Columbus Hospitality Group which includes such venerable establishments like Mistral, Ostra and Sorellina.

This may be the Columbus Hospitality Group’s tiniest restaurant with only 48 seats in the dining room and an additional 12 seats at the bar, but it has been eagerly anticipated for months. Chef and owner Jamie Mammano and executive chef Cameron Cieslak have crafted a dinner menu that includes soft-cooked omelets, roasted chicken, poached monkfish with Maine lobster and clams, salmon tartare, and steamed mussels as well as a few items dubbed “Lyon classiques”. One also expects that they will have an excellent wine list in keeping with Columbus Hospitality Group’s other restaurants.

Bar Lyon
1750 Washington Street
barlyon.com

Dine Out Boston

Dine Out Boston formerly known as Restaurant Week Boston starts today and runs through Friday, August 10th and then again from August 12 – 17th.

Lunch $15/$20/$25  |  Dinner $28/$33/$38

Participating restaurants offer prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner at one of the three price options (shown above). While one can choose from personal favorites to the newest dining spots, I encourage people to try more expensive dining options from restaurants you’ve never been before. Dine Out gives one a chance to enjoy these restaurants without breaking the bank (provided you stick to the prix fixe menu – something I never can seem to do).  Hurry up and be sure to make a dinner reservation.

Dine Out Boston 2018

Summer specials: $1 oysters

$1 oysters, dollar oysters, Earlier this spring EaterBoston published their Ultimate $1 Oyster Guide. By clicking on the link you can read through the nearly 60 restaurants and bars that provide dollar oyster deals throughout Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville.  Here are a few of my favorite places from that list.

Ashmont Grill every Thursday, starting at 5PM and available while they last.

Bar Boulud Available Monday thru Friday from 4:30-6:30PM this is part of a larger happy hour which also includes other bar bites, selection of local beers, cocktails, including frosé.

Bastille Kitchen from 4:30PM – 7PM Monday thru Saturday dollar oysters are available which you can pair with their monthly wine specials featuring a specific glass of wine for just $5.

Boston Chops on Sundays only from 3-5PM available at the bar and patio only.

Boston Public Market offers this deal the first Sunday of every month, from 11AM – 7PM (or while supplies last).

Les Zygomates offers up dollar East Coast oysters Monday thru Friday from 3-7PM in the bar area only.

Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar in Southie is every Monday from 5PM – 1AM.

Marliave offers this deal from 4-6PM and from 9-10PM seven days a week.

Oak Long Bar + Kitchen available from the patio menu only, this daily special runs from 4-5PM.

Thank god for Delux in the South End

South End cheap eats in the South End, Cheap Eats in BostonEarlier this year Eater Boston published Delux Cafe Has Defied – and Nourished – Its Neighborhood but they should have used my headline, Thank god for Delux. To quote the article in Eater Boston, “If you’ve ever set foot in Delux, you’ll have noticed that it’s always decorated for Christmas…, and that the walls are lined with vintage albums. Delux’s former owner, Kevin Sheehan — with whom Hafner and Yanney are friends — defined the current look of Delux in the early-to-mid 1990s.” It might be the only restaurant in the neighborhood that has neither a website or a facebook page and still has excellent name recognition.

For more than fifty years this space has been a neighborhood staple, first as Higgins Pub, then the Elbow Room and finally Chez Joie before Delux opened. All provided a safe harbor for unpretentious dining (and drinking). In a neighborhood where $100 a night per couple is the norm, Delux reminds me of a far different South End that existed before the seismic gentrification changes; it is a miracle that the South End still has a treasure like Delux so be sure to show them some love.

Delux is a South End gem

Paying Delux a visit is like taking a trip back in time, giving you a feel for what this neighborhood was like 20+ years ago. Delux has lasted longer than a lot of neighborhood gems from the same time like: Claremont Cafe, Geoffrey’s, Le Gamin, On The Park, Pho Republique and now added to the list, Tremont 647.

Burro Bar South End is hiring

Mexican restaurant in the South End, South End restaurant, south end diningThe Burro Bar, which is opening a new location in space formerly occupied by the Aquitaine Group’s La Motta Ristorante, has posted notices on its windows along Washington Street, indicating that they are now hiring  for: Manager, Sous Chef, Line Cooks, Dishwashers, Hosts, Backservers, Barbacks, Servers and Bartenders in their soon to open South End location.

The Burro Bar South End website describes itself as a neighborhood Mexican kitchen and tequila bar and the newest sibling of The Painted Burro in Somerville and Burro Bar Brookline. Chef Joe Cassinelli’s menu will be a welcome addition to the South End which has very few Mexican options. No word on when the restaurant may open but work continues at a brisk pace.

south end restaurant

burrobarsouthend.com

Boston ranks least friendly city in America for food trucks

According to a recent ranking by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Mayor Walsh and the city of Boston are the worst city for an entrepreneur to open and run a food truck.

The Food Truck Index  – an industry that contributes more than $2b nationally – finds that Boston is prohibitively expensive and is overly bureaucratic. The index, reviewed regulations in twenty of America’s largest cities. They focused on the permitting processes and licensing, complying with restrictions and operating a food truck. The findings were based on on fees, trips to government agencies and the number and level of government procedures from nearly 300 food truck operators in the twenty cities.

While I don’t expect (or want) to live in a city where there is no oversight, it seems like Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston are openly hostile to the food trucks.  For example, in Denver, food truck operators need to make 8 trips to licensing agencies, follow 10 procedures, and pay an average $811 to get their trucks up and running. In Boston, the average cost in fees is $17,066, and to add insult to injury they must make nearly 3X as many trips (22 trips) to government agencies to ensure they are in compliance with more than 30 procedures.

When you compare the out-of-pocket cost for obtaining permits and licenses for a new food truck in Boston it is so incredibly out-of-step to other cities. Even Seattle which ranked 19 out of 20 cities only costs $6,211 (almost 3x less). If you remove both Boston and Seattle from this list, the average cost  in fees for the remaining 18 cities is $1,622; Boston’s fees are roughly 10X that amount.

The astronomical cost associated with permitting and licensing doesn’t stop there either because operating a food truck in Boston is estimated to cost nearly $38,000 in Boston (also ranking us last). Realizing that the cost of operating a food truck in a city like Boston is going to be more expensive than many places in the U.S., the least the city could do is make the licensing and permitting process more affordable and less onerous.

Mayor Walsh – Boston can do better than this.