The chefs at Masala rain Indian and Nepali seasonings down upon succulent meats slow-cooked inside a tandoor clay oven and simmered veggies flooded with sauce. Divided into two, Masala’s menu features Indian favorites such as curries, skewered lamb cubes, and 13 types of Indian bread, including hand-stretched garlic naan, as well as Nepali dishes such as mo-mo cha steamed dumplings filled with veggies or chicken. Within the eatery’s yellow-hued walls, a full bar cohabitates with a daily lunch buffet, which arranges tasty eats in a row, like a police lineup of the California Raisins.
The folks at True Bistro love animals. That’s why the chefs abide by a 100% vegan philosophy, taking care to craft meals without animal-based products. But they care just as much about humans. Which is why they pay as much attention to the food they do serve as to the foods they forego. Thus, flavorful slabs of blackened seitan, platters of sweet potatoes wrapped in smoked portobello mushroom, and glasses of 100% vegan wines leave diners rubbing their bellies in satisfaction and leave animals free to roam their habitats and focus all their energies on fixing the falling sky problem.
True Bistro began when co-owners Michael and Linda Harrison lamented Boston’s lack of upscale vegan restaurants and decided to do something about it. When chef Stuart Reiter hopped on board, their vision turned into a reality. Stuart spent time traveling across the globe, doing stints in the Peace Corps in West Africa and on a farm outside of Vienna. During his travels, he learned many indigenous recipes that succeeded solely with plant-based ingredients. He brought his experiences, as well as more than a decade of professional cooking, to True Bistro’s kitchen. Together, The Harrisons and Chef Stuart have turned True Bistro into an upscale spot for diners of all dietary stripes––an accomplishment acknowledged by Boston Magazine when it declared that the vegan food and wine “will satisfy even your most staunchly carnivorous friends.”
The Dave behind Dave’s Fresh Pasta has spent more than 20 years perfecting the art of pasta making, so it’s no surprise that he doesn’t mind having an audience as he works. He and his staff cut fresh fettuccine, spaghetti, and handmade ravioli right in front of customers. From there, diners take their meal's conception into their own hands, choosing from any of Dave's fresh, house-made sauces––puttanesca, vodka cream, and basil pesto are just a few of the choices available on any given day. But despite the name, pasta isn’t the only draw at Dave's. The grocery store brings together a tantalizing spread of homemade items—croutons, crostini, pestos, dressings—with a curated selection of cheeses, chocolates, olives, cured meats, oils, vinegars, craft beers, and wines. Customers looking to try something new will find plenty of samples to enjoy as they browse, while grilled paninis, fresh soups, and ready-to-eat pasta dishes await anyone in desperate need of a quick meal or ammunition for an office food fight.
Named "Best of Boston" by Boston Magazine in 2006 and 2008, Greek Corner Restaurant can attribute it's success to one simple idea: authenticity. From the savory beef and lamb gyros shaved off of twirling spits to the homemade smoked sausages, everything here is as classically Mediterranean as the white and blue seascapes depicted in its vibrant wall murals. The Boretos brothers have been at it for more than 20 years, and their experience is underscored by their unbridled passion for quality. charcoal-grilled meats, swordfish kebabs, and vegetarian spinach pies. All deliver a satisfying payoff: Boston Magazine painted a broad stroke over the menu, hailing the “flavor-packed dishes,” that are “as generously portioned as they are scrumptious.” Even Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives_ host Guy Fieri paraded his camera crew through the doors to highlight the spit-roasted lamb as it twirled with all the grace persistence of a ballerina stuck in a time loop.
The menus at Barlow's combine traditional American recipes with a creative gourmet flare. Inaugurate your dinner with a helping of minted lamb skewers, served with sweet soy-and-almond pesto ($11). The fig and prosciutto pizza woos weary taste buds with its sweet saltiness, sealing the deal with added gorgonzola and arugula ($13) . Childhood nostalgia is deliciously evoked with thick slices of bacon-wrapped meatloaf saddled with mashed potatoes, garlic spinach, and mushroom gravy ($17). Hungry ears can feast on live jazz Tuesday nights, and pigskin buffs can catch up on NFL games throughout the season.
The mingled scents of coffee and fresh-baked donuts greet visitors at Verna's Coffee & Donut Shop, whose baked creations were named Best Donuts Around Boston by CBS Boston. Amid sage-green walls, visitors lean over a glass case that displays traditional glazed donuts and pert jelly donuts infused with cherry or strawberry filling. A pot of coffee stands at the ready to perk up tired eyes, much like a sentry who yells, "Wake up, there's a bear behind you!"