If your old method of sampling everything on a restaurant's menu tends to make bewildered enemies of everyone else in the restaurant, today's Groupon will let you curtail the thievery while still treating the palate. For $15, you get $35 worth of small-plate Thai cuisine and drinks at Ronnarong Thai Tapas Bar in Somerville.
Ronnarong’s fusion of authentic Thai ingredients with the shareable portion sizes of Spanish tapas allows you to amass a meal bursting with variety. Particularly popular on the tapas menu is the aptly named paradise beef ($6.50), an ancient recipe of marinated, deep-fried delish. The handmade golden crowns ($6)—crispy, fried shells with flavorful ground chicken and shrimp in cucumber sauce—will pleasantly surprise the tongue, as will the spicy steamed mussels ($6) luxuriating in their tangy broth of lemongrass and lime leaf. A Groupon’s worth of these small plates will comfortably satisfy two people or thousands of gnats, though they tend to be impolite about staying in their bucket.
For those who fear the vague sensations of gigantism inspired by small plates, Ronnarong also cooks up tasty full-size versions of Thai favorites. Most stir-fries (basil fried rice, $9) and noodle dishes (pad thai, $10) have vegetarian options, and dishes like the drunken chicken can be modified to beef or pork ($12), duck or seafood ($13), or veggie or tofu ($11).
This diversity of flavors extends to Ronnarong’s winter drink menu, with taste-bud-tingling tipples such as the Sake Sunray ($9), a Japanese-infused concoction of sake, coconut, chili, sugar, lime, lemongrass, ginger, and soda. For something more Thai-inspired, try the Thai Sangria ($9), a traditional blend with a sake, ginger, and lemongrass twist. Recently remodeled from the well-liked Great Thai Chef restaurant with a hip, modern décor, Ronnarong’s makes a great stop for after-work drinks—though the world of flavors emanating from the kitchen may make it impossible to leave before dinner.
- Everything is delicious and creative, from drinks to desserts. But the tapas in the middle are the best. There are literally layers of flavor that unfold in your mouth with nearly every menu item. I highly recommend the curry cakes, which offer a nice heat in addition to fresh, unique flavors. – Emily Doutre, Not For Tourists
- Housemade sodas ($3) are fantastic: you can mix and match a variety of herb-infused syrups, like basil plus lemongrass or ginger plus chili. There's a good selection of Asian and American craft beers ($4–$7), sake ($18–$21/300ml), and sake-based cocktails ($7–$9). – MC SLIM JB, Boston Phoenix
- Muddled basil and pineapple make the sake based Thai Sangria a must-have-another accompaniment. The green curry was so good we went back for a reprise three nights later. – HenryP2306, Zagat