What's good and new on Tremont/South End
I haven't been to Boston for a year, and am looking forward to trying out new places on Tremont and more generally around the South End. What is new, good and perhaps "contemporary American"? And don't be shy about recommending old favourites if you figure they beat hands down the new kids on the block!
I've updated my old post to your similar request from a year ago:
The Franklin -- got a bit of a facelift, but remains a cool bar with great food in the upscale-comfort vein. Still no reservations or dessert, but the crowds that meant hour-plus waits most times seem to have been shrunken slightly by new competition in the neighborhood.
Addis Red Sea -- still offers good Ethiopian cuisine with cool atmosphere and is a relative value.
Tremont 647 -- still offers casual New American with a lot of wood-fire grilling; its chef/ower is around much more, having closed several outside ventures, so the food has gotten more consistent. The bartending remains strong.
Red Fez -- this place, which does a modern take on Middle Eastern and North African food, has gone sharply downhill; I now steer friends away from it.
Toro, an upscale tapas joint, is still excellent, and not as insanely crowded as in its early days. I prefer dining at the bar to the dining room.
Orinoco remains a great little (and I do mean little) neighborhood Venezuelan place; it has added a patio and a fine lunch.
Dining at the bar at Union (swank New American) remains a more reasonably priced alternative to their dining room, and their current $40 prix fixe is also a good deal.
Caffe Umbra, the French/Italian place, is gone and much missed. However, the venue that took its place, Sage, is an excellent upscale Italian place, and also has a budget-friendlier enoteca menu in its bar.
Metropolis remains a small, Med-flavored New American that is a decent value, though not exactly cheap.
28 Degrees is still a scene-y lounge-type of place; it too has settled down from its initial frenzy. The food is decent, not great.
New or new-ish since your last inquiry:
Pops -- excellent-value upscale comfort food place, very pretty for its price point.
Rocca -- Ligurian cuisine, cool bar, ugly modern dining room. I like much of the food, but it's a very specific style of Italian that doesn't appeal to all. Great patio.
Gaslight -- modestly-priced, great-looking, very loud French brasserie. Food is hit or miss, drinks are very good, some wines a bargain.
J.J. Foley's Cafe -- century-old tavern that just added a dining room with a pub-food menu. Quite good for the money.
Coda -- a small, sleek-looking neighborhood restaurant/bar serving very good upscale comfort food. Penalized unfairly for replacing a beloved dive that had superior burgers.
Myers+Chang -- upmarket pan-Asian food, pricey but very good, with kind of cool atmosphere.
Oishii Boston -- very expensive but excellent Japanese place.
The Beehive -- gorgeously cool bar/restaurant/jazz club whose food has been a major disappointment, and has apparently gotten even worse with the departure of its opening chef. A great place for a drink (it has an all-star bartending cast), unless you have to wait in the hour-plus line out front, which is a constant on most evenings, especially weekends.
Petit Robert Bistro -- excellent, authentic, value-priced French.
Mela -- fancy, pricey, merely decent Indian place.
South End Buttery -- corner takeout with a few seats and very good fancy sandwiches, good coffee, so-so pastries, breakfast/lunch only.
Also still worthwhile: Don Ricardo's (plain-looking place with terrific Peruvian, Brazilian, and Mexican food, a bargain), The Dish (pizza and New American, fine patio), Columbus Cafe (casual American with cool bar), Delux Cafe (tiny hipster bar with decent, cheap food), Picco (excellent pizza, very good ice cream, some worthy sandwiches), Anchovies (dumpy neighborhood bar with respectable, cheap Italian-American), Aquitaine (upscale French bistro), Hamersley's (very pricey New American bistro), Icarus (very pricey New American fine dining), Masa (Southwestern US, much improved by a new chef), Morse Fish (bare-bones seafood market with counter service, formica booths, and excellent fried and broiled seafood for cheap), Miami Cafe (Dominican counter-service place with good sandwiches, cheap), Uptown Espresso (very pretty cafe with excellent coffee, great outdoor deck).
re: MC Slim JB
re: MC Slim JB
Tried Coda last week and thought it was decent as well. Prices are around $20 or upper teens for each entree. It's sort of like eating in a bar with food, but in a nicer setting. The food is fancier than Deluxe and portions were good, although I found it odd that you could order side items.
I was there last night. The place was hopping though there was lots of turnover at the bar so it was easy to snag a couple seats. I like the atmopsphere and the burger was really good. The fries could have been crispier but they looked hand cut to me (I think someone in the last day or so asked about places that hand cut their fries).
In the last year, Rocca and Gaslight have opened on Harrison Ave. Gaslight is French, brasserie style. Rocca is Italian, a couple blocks from each other so you could check out both. Pops on Tremont St. is new where Perdix used to be, that's more contemporary American. As mentioned, Beehive is new. Have you been to B&G and Butcher Shop already? Unioni and Stella on Washington? Columbus Cafe is fairly new, more casual.