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.
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.
Crepes Tea House is a cozy, sun-drenched eatery that offers homemade crepes, more than 100 varieties of tea, and Eastern European specialty dishes for every meal of the day. As customers sink into one of the cafe's big, plush couches, artisan chefs make savory crepes with beef, pork, and turkey, or sweet ones with fresh fruit, warm chocolate, or honey. Items such as zucchini, potato, or farm-cheese pancakes and Polish sausage are served at breakfast, while lunch sees plates of Siberian pelmeni dumplings packed with ground beef and stacked to form a wall that can be seen from space. At dinner, the restaurant's chefs glaze fresh salmon with honey and pan-fry whitefish and tuna cutlets until golden brown. Whether patrons carry a conversation at one of the eatery’s tables for a full meal, or settle at the sleek bar for a quick cup of tea or coffee, the teahouse’s vibrant orange walls and floor-to-ceiling windows make for a comfortable experience.
A minimalist space distinguished by its tables swathed in white linens, Marco's Restaurant joins Italian comfort food with a cozy neighborhood vibe. Marco's gourmet pizzas include chicken-pesto, buffalo-chicken, and Mediterranean pies; the Mediterranean comes loaded with kalamata olives, capers, and imported feta cheese. Plates overflowing with classic pastas?such as spaghetti marinara, fettuccine primavera, and baked lasagna?steam throughout the dining room, followed by desserts of new york cheesecake, lemon cake, or chocolate mousse.
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.