The couple behind Roxbury's longstanding Dominican powerhouse Merengue have doubled down on Caribbean cuisine (or maybe split their chips -- gambling references are difficult), overhauling the former Don Ricardo's into Vejigantes, a colorful haven of authentic Puerto Rican eats festively named for the clown-like, horned carnival masks popular in PR amongst everyone except terrified, night-terror-having children. So quickly, add this to My Thrillist in anticipation of Tuesday's opening, and then expect: A Festive Ambiance: Designed to evoke the feel of walking through Old San Juan, the mosaic-heavy 45-seater boasts a tiled Calle de San Sebastian street sign, and is anchored by two eye-catching walls. One features multiple arches that resemble the islands' signature homes, and the other reclaimed wood planks hung with those damn kid-scarring vejigantes masks. Choice Eats: Start with crab empanadas and shredded green plantain fritters, before digging into lobster in a Creole sauce w/ cassava fries, and red snapper/ shrimp with a Malanga puree that's cooked with “Mojo Isleño”, or "Islander sauce". Choicer Drinks: If you like not-water, you're in luck, as they've got bottles of Presidente, frozen guava daiquiris, four flavors of mojito, and signature 'tails like a coconut- & cream-blended Coquitini, and the Kahlua & milk Sombrero -- so remember to pace yourself, lest you end up on the street terrifying children yourself.
Authentic Puerto Rican vittles hit the South End