Drawing on the zesty flavors of Portugal and Spain, cooks at Sangria's Tapas and Wine Restaurant craft an eclectic selection of shareable small plates. Here, tapas range from peppadews filled with goat cheese and shrimp steamed in Old Bay seasoning to gluten-free helpings of pork belly piled atop grilled oranges. Entrees include dishes such as classic paella and braised rabbit simmering in white wine and bacon sauce.
To complement feasts, bartenders pour red and white wines from the U.S. and abroad, as well as mix plenty of classic cocktails and martinis. Then, of course, there are 10 blends of Sangria?s namesake made in-house every day, including the Portuguese Passion, a medley of riesling, champagne, and passionfruit vodka. Served amid intimate lighting and exposed brick, meals unfold as live musicians perform and flat-screen TVs broadcast the latest stateside sports and parliamentary rugby matches.
The McMahon clan doesn't just advocate family time; they live and breathe it every day at McMahon's Countryside Grille. Owned by Mom and Dad, the kids also chip in at the eatery, a fact applauded by Wicked Local. The menu's house-made comfort food, steak, and seafood dishes welcome clans coming together to break bread or draft the new family crest. The homemade meatloaf hails directly from the McMahon's own dinner table, and is a perfect precursor to the Bliss ice cream served at an outdoor window near picnic tables.
Indoors, weekly entertainment sets the restaurant abuzz, from live local musicians and comedians on the weekends to open-mic Thursdays, when amateur funnymen test their chops and skill for fending off flying tomatoes. Each Tuesday, contestants crowd into cozy maroon booths around wooden tables and answer quick-fire trivia questions.
There’s nothing old-fashioned about Asia Grill & Sushi’s dining room, with its curved bar area bathed in neon light and its ceiling speckled with orbicular chandeliers. Flat-screen TVs dominate patches of wall, allowing diners to catch up on the latest news or watch local sports. Fittingly, the restaurant’s specialty rolls are also quite modern and sports-themed. One of many team-named options on the roster, the Patriots roll is filled with lobster, cucumber, and avocado before being covered with two types of tuna, tobiko, sweet sauce, and spicy mayo. Meals also emerge from steamy woks, including sirloin steak that’s glazed with a flaming black-pepper wine sauce. Other entrees include crispy tender peking duck and lobster cooked with black-bean or tamarind sauce.
Head chef Casey D'Arconte, educated in the culinary arts by chefs in Holland, France, and the New England Culinary Institute, elevates morning fare to new heights with his distinctive take on diner classics. Start off with an ultimate breakfast platter, which arrives with three eggs, two pancakes, choice of sausage, ham, or bacon, and ending with potatoes and toast. Four renditions of the traditional eggs Benedict strut across tables, including the Florentine, which comes topped with sautéed fresh baby spinach. The Bananas Foster stuffed french toast is stuffed with cream cheese and topped with a banana brown sugar sauce and creates flavor explosions inside mouths at at all times of the day. The Breakfast place also offers a variety of gluten-free options that are all prepared on a separate grill.
Thanks to a $50 loan from his grandfather, Chef James Messinger was able to promote his small catering business in the local classifieds, kicking off the career he dreamt about as a student at the Culinary Institute of America. The unlikely success from this small ad helped The Crazy Chefs Caterers to flourish and allowed Messinger to finance a long-desired wine-tasting odyssey through Spain, where the local cuisine quickly captivated both his tongue and imagination. Upon arrival back home, he established Loco Tapas & Wine Bar with his wife, brandishing fresh, quality ingredients from local farms to construct traditional tapas influenced by Spain's Catalonia, Basque, and La Rioja regions. The highly praised seasonal menus flaunt a rotating arsenal of small plates and elegant entrees, including a saffron-rice paella with chicken, chorizo, and mussels that the Boston Globe declared as one of "40 fantastic dishes" in the Boston area.
Hovering above Loco Tapas & Wine Bar's fully stocked bar, a chalkboard announces a handwritten roster of Spanish wines by the glass. Elsewhere in the dining area, dangling chandeliers and flickering candles set the stage for shadow-puppet tours de force upon rich crimson walls. Striking black accents, tablecloths, and furniture punctuate the sleek color scheme.
Garbed in crisp white jackets, chefs in the Apna Punjab dart among pans of simmering curries and pots of bubbling biryani rice as nimbly as dancers, their faces aglow in the open flames. They fold fresh meats and seafood into a sweeping array of authentic North and South Indian dishes, from tender butter chicken to flavorful goat curry. In a fiery clay oven, the chefs bake lamb kebabs, tandoori shrimp, and naan breads stuffed with minced lamb and fresh green chilies. One of the most popular dishes—chicken tikka masala—was lauded by reporters from India New England as "distinct and rich."
To enjoy those dishes, customers perch on cushy green booths, clinking mugs of imported Indian beers. Others linger over last bites of sweet rice pudding, watching the sun set through lofty yellow-curtained windows. During lunch, 15 freshly made specialties pour forth steam at a lunch buffet, ideal for diners who need to rush back to work or hurry home to see if their long-lost childhood parakeet has at last returned.