From alongside steaming ceramic coffee pots, gluten-free Ethiopian and Eritrean dishes at Abyssinian Ethiopian Restaurant radiate imported spices. In the golden glow of wall sconces, sautéed beef and chicken morsels marinate in butter, cardamom, and fresh ginger. Patrons sop up savory remnants with warm injera, an East African flatbread made from high-protein teff flour that lets fingers grab food, unlike trying to grab a frustratingly realistic painting of fruit. Meals flanked by complimentary portions of collards parade to tables, and caterers cruise past with brimming portions for meetings and shindigs.
Any veggie burger that makes it onto Boston Globe Magazine's list of the area's 25 Best Burgers is bound to be something special. But only an extra-special veggie burger could deserve to be called "an edible symbol of completeness." Yet that's exactly what the magazine dubbed Red Lentil's Zen burger, a flavor-packed vegan patty made from black beans, brown rice, corn, carrots, red peppers, garlic, and onions and served with housemade thousand island dressing. That chart-topping meatless masterpiece is just one way this vegetarian and vegan restaurant is helping diners painlessly part ways with their favorite animal proteins. The rotating menu features seasonal produce at its freshest, ensuring dishes such as moussaka pizza, butternut-squash polenta, and ginger miso soup never lack flavor. As an added bonus, Red Lentil also includes many raw, macrobiotic, or gluten-free dishes on its menu and is careful to differentiate between items that contain nuts and those made with legumes that are just a little eccentric sometimes.
Amid cheerful lime-green and exposed-brick walls, The Chopping Block’s stylists create precision haircuts, color tresses with Wella hair color, and tame frizzy locks with texturizing treatments. The salon features Paul Mitchell products, and also offers facial waxing to remove unwanted hair or add manly heft to the jaw of a waxwork Nicolas Cage.
Though the Jamaican heritage of the owners of Fire & Spice Vegan Restaurant might not directly influence their love of raw food, it certainly informs some of their vegan and vegetarian recipes. On their menu, vegan ital--a blend of spices, coconut milk, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins--gets blended into stews. An eastern-inspired red lentil dahl also appears alongside hearty tempeh burgers and delicately barbecued tofu.
Outside of the fire-kissed specialties, a portion of the menu is devoted to raw foods—from salads to mashed potatoes—cooked below 115 degrees. A number of gluten-free options are also available. Whether cooking raw or simply going meatless, the kitchen relies solely on local and organic ingredients, ensuring all produce is free of pesticides and hasn't been followed by hungry cattle. These same ingredients often make appearances in the chef's cooking classes, which unlock the secret to mastering at-home renditions of raw and vegan favorites.
Years ago, the building now occupied by O'Porto Restaurant built bicycles. Today, the converted factory still carries an industrial-themed appearance and echoes with the distant dings of ghost bikes. But the space now churns out traditional Portuguese cuisine—a service that earned O'Porto the honor of "Best Portuguese Restaurant" from CT.com for 2013. Executive chef Adelino de Sousa relies on many of the ingredients from Portugal's former colonies: rice from Asia, hot peppers from Africa, and cinnamon from India, just to name a few. He transforms those elements into artfully presented dishes, including seafood-based entrees, such as baked salmon stuffed with shrimp and crab and grilled filet of sole.
Before catching a thrilling blockbuster or whimsical cult classic at Spotlight Theatres, hungry moviegoers drop into Front Street Bistro—the sleek American eatery located in the theater’s lobby. Smartly dressed servers bustle about the cushy booths of the airy space, balancing trays of artisanal flatbreads, sizzling burgers, and Mediterranean-inspired specialties. Behind the bar, mixologists dole out glasses of specialty martinis, muddled cocktails, and drafts of craft beer. After dinner, the theater invites guests to bring drinks or a bottle of wine into the theater to sip on while watching a film.