Where the Wild Things Grow
1. Tavern Road343 Congress St, Boston
2. Liquid Art House100 Arlington St, Boston
3. Belly Wine BarOne Kendall Square, Cambridge
4. Ashmont Grill555 Talbot Ave, Dorchester
5. Pizzeria Posto187 Elm St, Somerville
6. The Kirkland Tap & Trotter425 Washington St, Somerville
7. Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar1310 Boylston St, Boston
South Boston’s Tavern Road is a frenetic cacophony of diners enjoying New American cuisine in small plates, large plates, and, for larger parties, “Street Feasts,” an option for the indecisive who’d prefer the chef to structure their meal. Though the crowd favorites are the chickpea frites, the menu also encompasses tacos, vegetables, charcuterie, fish, meat, and oysters. The main attraction of the dining room is an accent mural in warm reds and burnt oranges, one that sums up the Tavern Road experience: loud, busy, and, above all, lovely.
This grand experiment is equal parts restaurant, gallery, showroom, lounge, and online platform. The food is just about as artistic as the pieces they're showing off on the walls: handmade dumplings with duck cracklings, Brussels sprouts, aged Gouda, and Asian pear; or Maple Planked Arctic Char with baby potatoes, quail eggs, dill pickles, sour cream, and roe.
Tucked inside the lower level of a 19th-century mill sporting wood-beamed ceilings and porcelain-tiled floors, Kendall Square's Belly Wine Bar is a gorgeous, Italian-inspired gem with a small but expertly curated wine list and a food menu that's as comforting as the space itself. Belly offers seasonally inspired plates including charcuterie, duck confit legs, and roasted chicken with polenta. Best of all, in colder months you can order s'mores for dessert and roast your marshmallows over an outdoor fire as snow falls gently onto the twinkle-lit patio. It's as romantic as it sounds.
This neighborhood grill joint boasts a sweet patio and fresh takes on American classics.
From a chef-turned-first-time owner eager to break the location's curse (four spots in five years), PP's a modern take on the "classic Italian wood-fire pizzeria and enoteca" plating a mélange of small bites, pastas, and pizzas in an airy high-ceiling'd "woodsy-meets-industrial" themed space replete with exposed brick/stone accents, floor-to-ceiling windows, a black/dark grey slate bar, an exposed wood fire oven, and a private dining room behind dual sliding doors.
Tony Maws' Somerville gastropub is more laid-back than its upscale sibling, Craigie on Main, but the food is just as good. Inspired by English neighborhood pubs, KT&T wants to be the kind of place you can go every night of the week, so it serves an American comfort menu that will have you begging for more. Both brunch and dinner are a meat-lover's paradise, and the kind of amazing grass-fed cheeseburger is available on both menus.
From the guys behind Tasty Burger/Franklin Cafe, this upscale neighborhood tavern's outfitted with vintage-esque black/grey damask print wallpaper, brown leather booths, exposed wood ceiling beams, and a 100-year-old fireplace.