After ten hours of slow-cooking, the barbecue ribs at Joe’s American Bar & Grill land on tables tender and ready to fall of the bone. Served with fresh-made coleslaw, these ribs are the centerpiece of a menu overflowing with upscale comfort food. Chefs cut potatoes by hand to accompany bacon cheeseburgers topped with aged cheddar and bread-and-butter pickles made in-house rather than flown in by a talking stork. Grilled pizzas are made fresh to order and never frozen, and hefty sandwiches and hand-cut steaks stack plates with sustenance. On the weekends, brunch dishes come out of hibernation to sate guests with made-to-order omelets and specialties such as eggs benedict and prime-rib hash. Diners enjoy the fresh air on the outdoor patio or cluster around the bar to keep track of sports scores or find out who really got married on Days of Our Lives.
As you breathe in the aromas of sizzling meats and Mediterranean spices that drift among baroque wooden embellishments and Spanish-style lanterns, you might feel as though you've been whisked away to a foreign land. But if you were to trace these scents back to their source, you'd wind up at the open kitchen of Unums. Here, chefs dart to and fro, transforming fresh and locally sourced ingredients into meals inspired from cuisine around the globe. Angus steaks are charbroiled, grilled salmon brushed with sun-dried-tomato-dijon mustard, and fried eggplant arancini set atop pools of roasted corn bisque. Though the dishes are carefully composed, many can be altered to accommodate vegetarians, guests with gluten allergies, and those who just want everything mashed into one big bowl. All are safely conveyed to tables by Unums' attentive staff, who travel among low-lit corners and a serpentine marble-topped bar with ease. With its unique atmosphere and exotic cuisine, it's no wonder the eatery has received such recognitions as an OpenTable Diner's Choice Award for Neighborhood Gem in 2011.
Ornate lanterns bask the dining room of India Palace Restaurant in a warm glow, illuminating the classical Indian portraits and dark wood pillars surrounding the tables. Among these authentic confines—India Palace's second location, after spending 22 years at the original locale—the friendly staff helps guests choose the right dishes from a vibrant menu of fine Indian cuisine. Manning a clay oven fired by charcoal, visible to diners, chefs bake fresh bread, ground-lamb seekh kebabs, salmon tikka, and marinated tandoori chicken. A selection of 18 vegetarian specialties sates the hunger of plant hunters, whereas a variety of curries gives all diners the ability to roar cartoon flames. Indulgent beverages, such as an Indian chai latte or a mango milk shake, can be paired with any dish to sweeten palates.
Executive chef Erick Jones incorporates the characteristic mesquite flavors of a wood-fired grill into the fresh seafood, meat, and breakfast dishes that earned the Timber Wood Fired Grill’s three from-scratch menus OpenTable's Diners' Choice award in 2011. Rustic wood-grain décor cultivates a comfortable atmosphere and distracts interloping beavers from the tasty menu of wood-grilled entrees, such as a garlic-marinated rib eye or braised fennel and shrimp pasta. On Sunday mornings, the cooks take inventive turns whipping up brunch provisions with ingredients ranging from caramelized peach toppings to a cool smoked salmon. Handmade desserts including crème brûlée and orange-infused cheesecake wait at the conclusion of every meal with the best challenge to ambitious appetites since the invention of the word bottomless.
Tuscan–style archway murals surround the tables at Cucina Toscana, where authentic Italian seafood, pasta, and steak dishes showcase the delicate flavors of scratch-made sauces. Chefs craft sausages and meatballs in-house before tempting eyes and noses with herbs artfully sprinkled atop into stunning portraits of Rembrandt. Each dish is carefully prepared and chefs are flexible with substitutions involving orders, displaying the freshness of ingredients such as prosciutto, stuffed clams, buffalo mozzarella, and garden veggies. Cucina Toscana also caters platters to feed hungry partiers and provide posters of donkeys with edible pasta tails to be pinned.
Cooks at Gourmet India sling health-conscious, regional Indian recipes that have garnered praise from the Boston Globe. The casual eatery packs its menu with North Indian fare and serves South Indian specials on weekends, representing the subcontinent better than one grain of rice from each state. Each combo meal rounds up two to three servings from a rotating list of entrees, flanking the savory morsels with basmati rice or naan. Combo meals always include at least one vegetarian entree so diners can pick between vegetable-based gobhi aloo, a dish of cauliflower cooked with ginger; the palak paneer, a blend of spinach and homemade cheese; or a platter of cumin seeds arranged into a pleasing, vegetable shape. Meatier fare includes chicken tikka masala, tender poultry cooked in a tomato-cream sauce, and lamb korma with cashews and raisins. Dishes emerge steaming from the kitchen with fresh-cooked flavor, unlike entrees at other eateries that import their fare from India so it typically arrives cold. Combo meal 2 includes one appetizer, which could include either potato-filled samosas or aromatic onion bhaju.