Boston Restaurants 2018

New restaurants, like new buildings, continue to come to the Boston area. With the notable help of several of our foodie friends, we discovered some new places to eat on our 2018 visit.

Yvonne’s

Yvonne’s is a hip, elegantly outfit remake of the venerable Locke Ober restaurant. Seven of us tried to make a mission of trying as many of the small plates on the menu as possible. While we were non-pulsed by the decibel level, which generally confined conversations to three, or perhaps four people at a time, we were all impressed by the food. These were:

  • Iberico ham croquettes with smoked tomato aiolo, Idizabal cheese and pine nuts;
  • Crispy duck confit with onions, fava beans and gruyere on pita;
  • Berbere carrots with burnt honey, pistachio fritters, pickled dates and pecorino;
  • Tuna crudo with jalapeno vinaigrette, pickled mango and black bean crema;
  • Seared halloumi cheese on charred eggplant with blossom honey and crisp chickpeas;
  • Charred lamb ribs with za’atar, Turkish BBQ sesame yoghurt and grape molasses;
  • Seared octopus with blood orange, chickpea falafel, coriander and green olive sauce; and the consensus favorite dish of the evening
  • Honey walnut rock shrimp with honey-walnut sauce, chili vinaigrette and shrimp chips.

Desserts consisted of two dishes:

  • La Bette Noir, which is black raspberry chip ice cream and chocolate pecan oatmeal cookie crumble; and
  • Maple pumpkin tart with brulee crackle, gingersnap crust, toffee-crunch ice cream, pecan caramel corn, pipita seeds and mulled cranberry.

And since every good meal requires a selection of wine, we had one white and one red:

  • 2016 St. Joseph Lyserus chardonnay; and
  • 2015 St. Joseph JL Chave Selection syrah.

All, but for the noise, we were very pleased.

Nahita

Nahita is billed as a Turkish-inspired restaurant, but it has far more Peruvian-style dishes than it does Turkish. But however, you characterize it, the recently opened hot spot has good food. Our party of four sampled a wide range of dishes from many different categories—from tiraditos (Peruvian crudos), ceviches, to tacos. Our dishes were:

  • Hamachi tiradito with dried miso and dashi-ponzu sauce;
  • Ceviche sampler which included fluke, bluefin tuna and our favorite, hamachi which came with corn, avocado and cucumber with aji Amarillo-leche de tigre sauce;
  • Halibut tempura taco with guacamole and fennel salsa;
  • Wild mushroom taco with water chestnut, tomatillo salsa and Humbold Fog cream;
  • Octopus anticucho with salsa criolla; and
  • Grilled meatballs with Turkish flatbread, blistered tomato and shishito peppers;

We finished with two desserts, Traditional flan (which had a much firmer texture than any flan that we have had), and a very intense Valrhona bitter chocolate ice cream.

While all were good, our favorites were the two hamachi dishes, the halibut tacos and the flan. We had one wine (two bottles, of course!) of a lovely, refreshing 2017 picpoul (whose vintner I unfortunately forgot to note and could not find on the restaurant’s web site).

Saltie Girl

Saltie Girl is a small, casual, perpetually filled seafood bar in the Back Bay. We shared a lobster roll (a liberally-buttered bun stuffed with whole lobster tails and claws), fried clams with tartar sauce. Both were good (although the clam bellies were not as big and juicy as we prefer). The service was good and the atmosphere pleasant. We were, however, taken back by the cost of the two “market price” dishes:a $38 lobster roll and a $28 basket of clams. And then the restaurant suggested a tip that started at 20 percent (and went up to 30 percent). To make matters worse, they calculated their suggested tip on the total cost of the food plus tax. With our ice teas (no wine), we paid over $100 for lunch.   We are used to high restaurant prices in San Francisco and New York. But this floored even us.

Row 34

Row 34 is a popular, casual, South Boston seafood restaurant and pub to which we had been on a previous trip. This time, we had one of our more healthy meals. After starting with shrimp sliders with aioli, lettuce and cucumber, we split orders of fried oysters (good, but not as large and juicy as we prefer) and onion rings (very good). While Joyce stuck with iced tea, Tom tried one of their drafts—a Fiddlehead IPA.

Mooncusser Fish House

Mooncusser Fish House is a recent seafood addition to Back Bay’s restaurant scene. We began our meal with nice, but not especially flavorful corn soup with scallop mousseline and herb cream. This was followed by two entrees, each of which we enjoyed: seared scallops on heirloom tomato gratin with mushrooms and basil, and grilled swordfish with green beans, new potatoes and smoked almonds. Our dessert of vacherin (like a pavlova) with peach, lavender, poppy and Chantilly cream, meanwhile, was a disappointment.

Our triumph of the evening, however, was in selecting a nice Premier Cru 2016 Domaine Sevrin Vaucoupin white burgundy.

You can read about some of the restaurants that we visited on other trips:

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