It's Worth Getting Sloppy For This Grilled Cheese Taco
1. Bar Boulud776 Boylston St, Boston
2. Earls Kitchen + Bar698 Assembly Row, Somerville
3. Legal on the Mystic301 Great River Rd, Somerville
4. Legal Oysteria10 City Sq, Charlestown
5. Juniper13 Central St, Wellesley
6. Roost Bistro259 Newbury St, Boston
7. Wheelhouse63 Broad Street, Boston
8. BONAPITA49 Franklin St, Boston
9. Cafe Madeleine517 Columbus Ave, Boston
10. The Causeway226 Causeway St, Boston
11. El Centro Tres66 Leonard St, Boston
Following the success of Bar Boulud New York (and London), superstar Chef Daniel Boulud brings his traditional French bistro cuisine to Boston. Chef de Cuisine Aaron Chambers adds seasonal New England-inspired dishes to the already inspired menu with selections like Coq au Vin, jazzed up with bacon lardons, terrines & pates, and signature house made sausages. There’s also “The Frenchie”, an extravagant burger with pork belly confit and Morbier cheese on brioche.
This upscale casual eatery features Executive Chef Tim Pennington’s made-from-scratch fare of signature Earls dishes and special New England creations. He’s grilling up some mean Angus Peppercorn & Bourbon Mushroom Steaks and the Fenway Burger (stacked high with o-rings and red pepper relish), and then going global with the Jeera Chicken Curry and Crispy Tuna Sushi Cones. The cocktails are especially legit, and you should try the Earls Old Fashioned, elevated by root beer bitters, as well as the Bee’s Knees, a zippy concoction powered by Hendricks Gin and served in a glass honey bear.
This bar-centric concept from Boston’s fish kings gets casual with shared plates, pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and tacos. Indulge in the pancetta-and-arugula-bedazzled White Clam Pizza, zesty Mesquite BBQ Ribs & Shrimp, and Blackened Swordfish Tacos with avocado and chipotle mayo. LOTM also boasts 15 new cocktails, such as the El Camino, sassed with Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal and Xocolatl Mole Bitters, and the diabolical Chartreuse Smash.
In the old Olive’s spot, Italian flavors dominate, and you should partake in Charred Octopus with coriander vinaigrette, Ricotta Fritters with spicy honey, and Swordfish Salmoriglio over salt cod gnocchi. Then there’s the decadent Ligurian Fish Stew brimming with the whole ocean: monkfish, shrimp, squid, and clams. Pair that up with an Amaro Mule, a thirst-quencher with Nonino Amaro, fresh lime, and ginger beer.
Chef Dave Becker, of Sweet Basil in Needham fame, brings Eastern Mediterranean to Wellesley. There are many unique bites throughout the menu. For mezze and spreads, nosh some lamb tartare, baharat-spiced crispy oysters, and smoked eggplant baba ghanoush. Then stuff yourself with smoky lamb bolognese, bolstered by handmade saffron pappardelle, grilled baharat skirt steak topped by whipped feta yogurt, or roasted pork tenderloin doused with pomegranate barbecue sauce. Save room for dessert, because you need pecan pie baklava.
Roost Bistro’s classic-yet-refined American and European comfort food will keep you coming back like the swallows to Capistrano. Start off with the Flammekueche, an Alsatian-style pizza covered in caramelized onions, lardons, and fromage blanc. Now that you’re more comfortable, the lemon tagliatelle with fresh lobster, slow roasted 1/2 Long Island duck, or the bacon-wrapped cod with ratatouille and lemon-caper beurre blanc should put you over the edge. Be sure to stop by for Tiki Tuesdays featuring Sticky Honey-Soy Wings and the Roost Tiki Cocktail.
Wheelhouse keeps things simple yet tasty, offering breakfast and lunch sammies and savory burgers (regular, turkey, lamb, black bean). On your way to work, grab a Southern Belle all dressed up with peach glazed ham and pimento cheese. Head back for lunch and wake your taste buds with a spicy burger, ignited by garlicky jalapeño hot sauce. Other highlights include the inventive buffalo chicken sloppy joe and the chicken Caesar meatball sandwich.
Looking for something different/healthy at mid-day? Take a trip to the Mediterranean for BONAPITA's spice-infused goodness and fresh baked namesake pitas. Your four protein options are overnight-marinated Chicken a la Plancha, herbed Bonapita Meatballs, seared black bean & beets patties, or sautéed mushrooms, lentil, & thyme.
Restaurant veteran Frederic Robert rocks the South End with this little neighborhood patisserie. Pastries are made on-site daily, and you should luxuriate with chausson aux pommes (apple turnover) and the filled brioche masterpiece, candied orange tropezienne. Pop in for lunch and enjoy French specialties like Quiche Lorraine and Croque-Monsieurs.
Causeway smokes and sizzles an extensive array of bird, pork, and beef for your belly. They have Pulled Pork and Brisket Sandwiches, BBQ platters galore (and many, many sides), and various creative burgers when you need your soul food fix.
The original El Centro (South End) was recently named one of the best Mexican restaurants in America, and now Executive Chef/Owner Allan Rodriguez expands his south-of-the-border empire into Belmont. First up from grandma’s Hermosillo, Mexico kitchen is Guacamole Estilo El Centro Tres topped with chorizo. Follow that with Salmon al Molcajete en Salse Tatemada, made by immersing the salmon on a lava stone in roasted tomato sauce then crowned with melted cheese.