Tag Archives: Dining

Restaurant review: 111 East

boston restaurant, boston dining111 East is located in the Seaport and opened earlier this summer. Although you may not be familiar this Asian hot pot / street food inspired bistro, you’ve probably heard of its sister restaurant Lola 42, which is easily my favorite dining option in the Seaport.

Unlike many restaurants in the Seaport, the restaurant doesn’t feel cavernous and for those who have a modern design aesthetic – the interior will appeal. According to the website, the interior juxtaposes more traditional Asian design with an urban edge. Below are images of the bar and the main dining room.Boston dining

111 East menu is affordable with starters and sandwiches ranging from just a few dollars to $15; build your own noodle and rice bowls ranging from the teens to low $20s; Entrees from teens to $52 (only a couple options are at the top of this price range); and of course their Hot Pot menu which starts in the low $20s but can increase based on your taste and extravagance.

We started our dinner with Steamed Buns – Pork Belly and Fried Chicken. Although both were delicious, I was partial to the Pork Belly (shown below) that came with hoisin sauce and crsipy shallots.  The Fried Chicken was good but I prefer the soft buns with the sweet pork belly  and encourage you to try it.

Although 111 East is the Seaport’s only hotpot restaurant, it was too warm for us to contemplate ordering it so I chose the Flank Steak with garlic broccoli and waterchestnut in a spicy mango sauce that wasn’t really all that hot but was very flavorful. The greatest challenge I faced eating the steak was trying to cut it with a chopstick and knife until our attentive waiter brought me a fork. The steak (shown below) was really excellent – I would definitely recommend.

Since we skipped the hotpot, we decided to try a build your own rice bowl. We both love curry so Sergio selected a chicken bowl with steamed rice, yellow curry and an assortment of vegetables. Sadly, this was the one disappointing plate we ordered. The curry had little flavor and was quite bland. It was as if what little flavor the curry had seemed to dissipate the minute you consumed it.

Despite the disappointing curry, everything else was really quite excellent. The space has a cool vibe, the service was attentive without being obtrusive and the menu was appealing. If you’re looking for a place to try out for a date or with friends, I would recommend trying 111 East and after dinner enjoy a nice walk along the waterfront just one block away or grab a nightcap at their bar.

BosGuy Rating: 3 out of 5 stars, Good.

111 East
11 Fan Pier ||  (617) 443-4111
111eastseaport.com

Kiko from Boston Chops featured by The Boston Globe

gay boston,

Photo credit: The Boston Globe

Anyone who knows Sergio or me, know that we regularly frequent Boston Chops South End on Washington Street.  A big reason is because of the staff who are a tight-knit group of fun professionals who make their bar is one of the best places to meet up with friends for a drink in the neighborhood.

One of my favorite bartenders in Boston is Kiko. His flamboyance, wit and charm is a draw.  While Boston Chops is not a gay bar – it is a place where the 30-something and 40-something gay men of Boston can often be found meeting for cocktails or grabbing a dinner, which only adds to the appeal when Kiko is holding court (a.k.a. tending bar).

Next time you go into Boston Chops congratulate Kiko for the feature in The Boston Globe and take a moment to read the full article, Getting Salty with Frank ‘Kiko’ Dutra of  Boston Chops

P.S. Kiko – I agree with you. To this day I still miss Pho Republique and I love the colorful regulars like Judy who frequent Boston Chops SE.

Black Lamb Boston in South End opening soon

south end dining, Heather Lynch, Colin Lynch

Heather and Colin Lynch of Bar Mezzana, Shore Leave, No Relation, and the soon-to-open Black Lamb brasserie

Black Lamb announced yesterday on their Instagram account that they are now open. You can see it here

Yesterday, the Bar Mezzana team behind the new American Brasserie called Black Lamb, took to Instagram to announce their pending opening in the space that was formerly Stephi’s on Tremont Street.

According to the post above we can expect to see the restaurant open their doors to the public some time next week.  Chef Colin Lynch, partners Heather Lynch and Jefferson Macklin, and beverage director Ryan Lotz are opening Black Lamb along with a fifth managing partner, Ben Kaplan was director of operations for the Barbara Lynch Gruppo from 2014-2017, and is a former general manager of Scarpetta in New York City. The executive chef will be Boston kitchen veteran, Chris Drown who helped open Hojoko as executive sous chef and has worked at O Ya. Black Lamb will be open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.

Black Lamb
571 Tremont Stret
(617) 982-6330
blacklambsouthend.com

Boston restaurant patios now open for patrons

Lately, it seems that we’ve had more than our share of overcast and rainy days, but as the saying goes, April showers – brings May flowers. However, there are a few sunny days expected in the coming week so I thought I should share a great blog post that the folks over at EaterBoston published last month and which they will continue to update that shares restaurants that have opened their patios.

If you’re like me, you love eating and drinking outside but unless you’ve traveled it has probably been several months since you’ve last enjoyed dining al fresco. Check out which restaurant patios are currently open by visiting here.

Chilacates brings Mexican street food to the South End

Source: Chilacates Instagram

Have you heard? Last week Chilacates opened their fifth location here in the South End at 275 Shawmut Avenue, in the space formerly occupied by the Wholy Grain Cafe. The local chain which first opened in 2015 in Jamaica Plain has quickly expanded to Chestnut Hill, Mission Hill and now here in the South End.

I’ve now visited three times and the food is fresh, flavorful and affordable. Chilacates has completely transformed the space. The back patio is now gone but some space is available for informal dining and in nicer weather their front patio will be popular but the bulk of their customers are ordering take out.

The family owned business is a welcome addition to the South End and joins a growing number of fast casual dining restaurants that have opened south of Tremont Street over the past year. Chilacates South End is  open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Starting at 9 a.m. this weekend the South End location will serve brunch.

Chilacates
275 Shawmut Avenue
857-350-3292
chilacates.mx

Union Park Pizza opens in South End

Union Park Pizza is now open seven days a week after a ‘soft opening’ that lasted a couple of weeks with limited hours and menu. The husband and wife couple who opened the new pizzeria in the space formerly occupied by Harry O’s received a nice write up in Eater Boston, announcing their soft opening.

Effective this week, Union Park Pizza is open until 10PM Monday – Saturday and until 8PM on Sunday. The sparsely decorated pizzeria is a bit sterile looking at the moment. Fortunately, the thin crust pizza is quite good and the restaurant is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Union Park Pizza

Above is a photo of a large pizza, half Neighborhood (on the left) and half Veggie Supreme (on the right). I was partial to The Neighborhood but I’m curious to hear what you think – give them a try and let me know. 

Union Park Pizza Specials

The Standard: Garlic-infused olive oil, Fior di Latte, aged Parmesan, aged mozzarella and fresh chopped herbs $3 slice / $16 pizza

Pepperoni: The Standard with Moddy’s deli pepperoni $3.50 slice / $18 pizza

The Neighborhood: The Standard topped with organic caramelized onions, and Mycotera mushroom blend $3.50 slice / $18

The Sausage: The Standard topped with creamy ricotta, organic caramelized onions, Mycotera mushroom blend and Moddy’s deli cured sausage $4 slice / $20 pizza

Veggie Supreme: The Standard topped with Mycotera mushroom blend, sliced red onions, green peppers, sliced olives  and baby spinach $4 slice / $20 pizza

The Mags Supreme: Maggie’s favorite – a veggie supreme with Moody’s deli pepperoni and cured sausage $4 slice / $22 pizza

BosGuy Rating: 3 out of 5 stars, Good.

Union Park Pizza
1405 Washington Street (near Foodies)
617-855-1100

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.