$53 for dining experience for two (up to $92 total value)
When Asia Mei bought the Franklin Southie in 2014 she gave herself a pretty tough act to follow. Boston magazine, the Globe, Eater, and countless others all reported on the closure of the beloved neighborhood spot—but none felt the need to eulogize it. Upon hearing that Mei—a former chef at Hamersley's Bistro, Whole Foods corporate, and even Franklin Southie itself—was taking the reins and rebranding as Moonshine 152, the culinary world's interest was piqued. "I was sad when I learned that Franklin Southie was closing, but I'm thrilled with what Asia has done over there," Clink/The Liberty Bar lead bartender Dave Miller later told Eater. "Her late-night menu rivals anyone else's in the city."
Yes, of course a bar called Moonshine 152 serves up a late-night menu. For Mei, it's a throwback to her days cooking 'til the wee hours at Franklin Southie. ("I felt like I was working by the light of the moon," she once told the Globe.) In fact, this is the only time of day Mei even serves one of her most lauded specialties: dirty fried rice with chinese sausage, pickles, egg, and duck liver—all the ingredients you need to prevent a hangover, especially that second liver to help process the booze.
Bright-eyed crowds can swing by much earlier on weekends, when Moonshine hosts a brunch with shrimp 'n' grits, mushroom-tofu burgers, and chicken quinoa with marcona-almond salad—a riff on one of Mei's most successful Whole Foods recipes. There's traditional dinner service, too, of course, with standouts including Mama Mei's pork-noodle soup. Quality food has made the restaurant the Improper Bostonian's 2015 best Food & Drink winner for South Boston.