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Last Minute in JP for 4: Zon's, Cafe D, ?? What Else?

  • c
  • Coast Apr 23, 2008 01:24 PM
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Help, for tonight.

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  1. Cafe D's fish tacos would be great on a night like tonight. It's small though, so don't know about popping in with a 4-top.

    What about JP seafood? Good sushi and other dishes, fun casual vibe.

    I clearly have fish on the brain.

    1 Reply
    1. re: yumyum

      You should have no trouble getting in to Cafe D.

      Vee Vee is another option.
      Tacos El Charro
      Wonder Spice - Don't they have a little outdoor patio?
      James Gate
      Check to see if Ten Tables had any cancellations for their Wed. eve. prix fixe? lol...unlikely.
      Alchemist - outdoor seating.

    2. hands down Bella Luna. definitely a favorite of my girlfriend and i. great food, excellent ambiance and atmosphere, superb food/quality/price. great all around spot. (i especially enjoy the plates you sit down to, they are like the ones kids make when they are really little). hope this helped, enjoy where ever you go.

      ama tutto, mangia tutti.

      11 Replies
      1. re: drinkwaj

        Love the vibe at Bella Luna, and the Milky Way (my friend's kids helped make those plates, they do it every year at the festival in JP) but I sadly have to say I don't think the food is very good. Full disclosure: a couple of my friends work there and they know how I feel about the food, it's a little awkward cuz they know I'm a hound.

        But maybe you've found something on the menu that is really good? <hope>

        1. re: yumyum

          I can't attest to the rest of the menu at Bella Luna, but I did like their pizza a fair bit.

          1. re: bachslunch

            i agree with bachslunch, i like their pizza. i'm surprised to hear you're down on the food at bella luna, yumyum, i've always thought it was pretty solid and reliable. it's not a destination spot, but everything i've had has been well-prepared and tasty.

            we recently ate at vee vee's for the first time, and i will reiterate what another poster said: oui oui to vee vee. i am a dyed-in-the-wool carnivore, but man i loved my meal there. i had the quinoa patties, which were nutty, hearty, perfect level of chewiness; another standout was the cheesecake-esque dessert. very much looking forward to going back.

            as far as the alchemist: stay far, far away. every time we go there, the drinks are terrible (way too strong, in my opinion) and the food is worse. it's really only sustained by the fact that it's a good hangout scene for the kids; really an anti-chow establishment, in my view.

            1. re: autopi

              Thanks for the second on this place, autopi.

              I used to do some bartending, and I have to say this is the first time I've heard anyone express the idea that too much booze in a drink is a bad thing. :-)

              In fact, the reverse is not unusual to hear, mainly because folks are used to the drinks they make at home, which are often poured with a heavy hand. And they seem to expect the same when they go out.

              1. re: bachslunch

                yeah, i know--but strange as it sounds, on our 2-3 times, the drinks were really overpowering, and not in a pleasant way! but maybe we're lightweights...

              2. re: autopi

                Glad you liked Vee Vee. it's become our neighborhood go-to place. I'm surprised at the negatives on Zon's, which i thought was pretty good the couple of times we've tried it. I've come to the conclusion that JP offers an assortment of good to very good without a real destination dining place (at any price point). I enjoy it as a neighborhood but it isn't really chowish. If it has a strength, it's the cheap eats Latin food (Yely's, Alex's chimis. El Orientale). BTW, where did the OP end up going and did they enjoy it?

                1. re: gourmaniac

                  i'm surprised you don't think ten tables is a destination spot; it's one of our favorites in the city. tho' on the whole, i agree with you--not a chowish neighborhood, which as we discussed earlier, is somewhat surprising given the demographics.

                  and while spouting forth on my own opinions, i quite like zon's and i find el oriental totally ok, except for their shakes and the $1 extra strength espresso, both of which are great.

                  1. re: autopi

                    I agree Ten Tables is a destination spot. Didn't offer it up to the OP because it's not a walk-in kinda place.

                    Had pupusas from La Guarnica (?) the other night and they are sooo good. Much better than Tacos Lupita and I like theirs a lot.

                    1. re: yumyum

                      I really like Ten Tables and view it as the best place in JP. What I meant is that at each price point, there are other places in the city that I prefer. At Ten Tables' price point, I prefer Grotto, or Lumiere. I don't mean to be harsh on JP. I really appreciate the diversity and quality it offers. I find myself traveling to neighboring communities for food fixes e.g. Roslindale (Pleasant cafe, Delfino) Mattapan (Poppa Bs, Ali's Roti, Pit Stop), West R oxbury (Himalayan Bistro).

                2. re: autopi

                  One of my pals is the pizza cook, so I'm glad you like it.

              3. re: yumyum

                I agree that Bella Luna is a mixed bag. The ambiance is fun. The staff is nice. And if you stick to the basics like pizza you seem to get good food that's affordable. But when I've been and ordered things like steak frites ($18) and sage gnocchi ($16) it's been only so-so food at too high a price.

            2. Stay far far away from Zon's. I went there once and the food was virtually inedible not to mention overpriced. Bella Luna is great, but my favorite place in JP is the Oriental de Cuba. The food is awesome and reasonably priced and you can always get a table if you don't mind the wait.

              1. I know this is too late for OP, but want to put in a good word for Bon Savor which is in the same block as Ten Tables. Went last weekend for the first time in more than a year. The menu has expanded from a mainly crepes focus, and they now offer wine. We split a salad of avocado, mandarin oranges and spinach in a tasty orange-mustard dressing. It was served with bread which had the texture of a scone. For the main, I had angel hair pasta with spinach, mushrooms and walnuts that was delicious. The serving was huge, but I couldn't help finishing every morsel. DC had a pasta puttanesca with shrimp which he said was excellent. Finished off with dessert: fried banana crepes drizzled with honey. They were yummy despite arriving without advertised whipped cream (who needed it anyway?) One complaint: dessert wines are only available by the bottle.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jpcat

                  Thanks for mentioning this place. My gf had some rather unexciting experiences there in the past, but it's still hanging in there, so perhaps there has been an improvement over time as you noted. Will definitely try to check it out some day soon.