A visitor's perspective
- Josh Mittleman
My wife & I spent a week in Boston, and we had some nice meals and a few that weren't so nice. In no particular order:
Diva (Davis Square). Indian with a twist. I didn't make note of the particular dishes we ordered, more's the pity: A lamb dish, a mixed vegetable special, and a wonderful tandoori grilled whole sea bass, served with a green daal as a sauce. The place is noisy in a friendly way, but they managed to fit us in with a baby in a high chair without any trouble. The mixed bread basket is actually three full orders of bread: good but a lot of leftovers. The one problem was dessert: They added peanuts and coconut to the ras malai, which just isn't right and tasted all wrong. And the dish fascinatingly advertised as mango-cardamom creme brulee (which is a _great_ idea) was a really nasty-tasting fermented mango puree with a few bits of cinnamon on top.
Marino's (Mass Ave. a few blocks shy of Rt. 16). Described to us as "yuppy Italian", we tried it only because it was right across the street from where we were staying. Don't bother: It was overpriced and mediocre.
Greek Corner (Mass Ave., about halfway between Rt. 16 and Porter Square). Doesn't look like much, but they gave us really great take-out Greek (lamb kabobs and mixed meze) for under $20. I wish we had something like this in our area.
All Asia (Mass Ave., a few blocks from MIT). A new place, they serve a mixture of Asian cuisines. My wife had a Chinese duck dish, which she loved. I had very nice pad thai. Moderate prices. Very comfortable once we turned off the TV, but the service was slow.
Ristorante Toscano (Charles St. in Beacon Hill). Very authentic Tuscan food, with an emphasis on Florentine cuisine. We had a simply wonderful late lunch on a Friday, around 2:00. Their crostini al fegatine (chicken liver spread on bread) were perfect, and their prosciutto e melone was excellent. Tagliatelle with prosciutto in a sage cream sauce was marvelous. A special pan-seared branzino with lemon and capers was very nice, as was their chicken liver saute. For dessert, you can't do better than cantucci (Florentine biscotti) with vin santo. You dip the cookies in the wine and enjoy. Somewhat expensive, but worth the price.
We also made the obligatory pilgrimage to Legal Seafood down by the aquarium, and enjoyed it very much.
Three of us tried All Asia a couple weeks ago and were a little disappointed. Two tofu dishes were pretty rubbery. Not horrendous but not great. Service was nice tho. I think they'd have better luck turning down the lights, concentrating on drinks and appetizers and getting some of the Miracle of Science crowd across the street.