The Press Box: Dumpling Daughter
“I want to carry on my family’s legacy,” Nadia Liu Spellman says of Dumpling Daughter, the 32-seat eatery she opened in 2014. Considering that her mother is Sally Ling, the famed restaurateur who essentially introduced upscale Chinese cuisine to Boston in the 1980s, that legacy is particularly vital. More casual than upscale, Dumpling Daughter specializes in authentic Chinese home-style fare–noodles, spring rolls, wonton soup–much of which comes from Nadia's esteemed mother’s kitchen. Read on to learn more about this quaint, modern restaurant:
“Dumpling Daughter, with its winning logo illustration of a dumpling dancing in high heels, combines some of the classic dishes that made Sally Ling’s famous. You order at a counter, but receive the food from a runner as it comes out — hot, fresh, and appealing across the board.” — Boston Globe
“A combination of beloved recipes from her mother’s restaurant, dishes reminiscent of her time traveling in China and Japan with her father, and foods prepared for her at home by her mother and grandmother make sure there is something for everyone. If you are looking for crab rangoon and General Gau’s Chicken, you are not going to find it at Dumpling Daughter.
But what you will find is *a glimpse into the broad and complex flavors of Asian cuisine."" — The Kitchen Scout
“Nadia Liu Spellman’s parents opened the iconic Sally Ling’s in the ’80s, but her Dumpling Daughter in Weston shows she can stand on her own. Her menu features “authentic Chinese home-style fare,” such as a glass noodle salad with beef and cilantro and dan dan mien noodles, while also honoring family history with vegetable spring rolls and wonton soup.” — [Boston Globe’s 62 of Boston’s best new restaurants
Treat yourself to a sugar rush at Dairy Joy, a delightful ice cream shop sure to tickle your taste buds.
Gather the whole family for a trip to this ice cream shop — everyone will find something to like (even the pickiest little eater) on the menu here.
Dairy Joy is a great location to host a group dinner.
Sunny day plus appetite equals the perfect time to head to Dairy Joy.
The dress code is strictly casual at Dairy Joy, so come as you are (and as you are comfortable).
No time to sit down? No worries! This ice cream shop offers a take out option so you can grab your food on the go.
Dairy Joy can also cater your next party; call today for details.
Both public transit and parking are readily available for Dairy Joy's diners.
Drivers can make use of the parking lots near Dairy Joy.
Commute by bike to Dairy Joy and find easy bike parking.
Tasty bites are priced fairly here, so you can have a delicious time out without breaking the bank.
At Dairy Joy, you will want to bring cash for your meal since it's a cash-only restaurant.
Dairy Joy serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by whenever is most convenient for you.
Be sure to save room for Dairy Joy's much celebrated dessert menu.
When you are craving a creamy treat, swing by Dairy Joy and scoop up some ice cream.
Riverbend Bar and Grill serves American-style cuisine in the middle of Newton's Auburndale district.
A night out deserves a drink to celebrate, and this restaurant has the perfect selection of beer and wine to go with your meal.
Worried about taking a big group out for a night on the town? Riverbend Bar and Grill has you covered with private rooms made for loud parties.
Create your own hotspot with Riverbend Bar and Grill's affordable wifi.
Call ahead for reservations to ensure your table is waiting for you when you arrive.
For those who prefer to dress down for dinner, Riverbend Bar and Grill's low-key style is the perfect match.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this restaurant.
Patrons have access to free parking in the neighboring lot.
The average check at Riverbend Bar and Grill will stay below $30 per person, so it's a relatively affordable option.
The breakfast menu receives the most rave reviews from patrons, but you can also stop in for lunch and dinner later in the day.
So when you need a tasty and satisfying meal, visit Riverbend Bar and Grill and munch on some American eats.
Ye Olde Cottage Restaurant is a relaxed restaurant with an elegant decor and classic American dishes.
The gluten-free and low-fat fare at Ye Olde Cottage Restaurant will leave you happy and full.
Be sure to show up for dinner a little early — Ye Olde Cottage Restaurant does not accept reservations.
The food's ready when you are. Come on in or carry out.
At Ye Olde Cottage Restaurant, you can park your car in seconds with the nearby street and lot parking options.
Ye Olde Cottage Restaurant knows how to put a smile on your face
the fairly-priced fare is easy on your taste buds as well as your wallet.
Your bill must be paid in cash, so be sure to stop by the bank beforehand.
The friendly staff at Ye Olde Cottage Restaurant are ready and waiting to cook and serve your favorite American meal.
So take your next meal to the next level and indulge in some great American eats at the highly-rated Ye Olde Cottage Restaurant.
Your next meal awaits at Theo's Pizzeria and Grill in Weston.
When the weather is nice, hurry to Theo's Pizzeria and Grill to grab a spot on the patio.
Get to the restaurant early to have your pick of tables — with its no-reservation policy, the place can fill up at busy times.
This restaurant offers convenient carryout and delivery, so diners aren't limited to the restaurant space.
Looking for something delicious to serve at your next party? Theo's Pizzeria and Grill also offers catering.
Parking spaces are available curbside near the restaurant.
If cycling is more your speed, you'll find plenty of space to stash your bike outside the restaurant.
Stop by for three square meals a day — Theo's Pizzeria and Grill serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Looking for a quick bite to eat? Head on over to West Boylston's Vivian's Market Style Cafe.
For fresh and healthy eats, head to Vivian's Market Style Cafe.
No need to splurge on a babysitter — tots will be right at home chowing down at this restaurant.
Surround yourself with the wonderful weather at your next night out at Vivian's Market Style Cafe.
Stay connected at no cost thanks to Vivian's Market Style Cafe's wifi.
You can also have Vivian's Market Style Cafe cater your next event.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this restaurant.
There is parking close to the restaurant.
Cyclists are in luck. Vivian's Market Style Cafe provides bike parking.
Major credit cards are accepted, so you can save yourself a trip to the ATM.
In Boston, a sunny day is not complete without a delicious meal or cocktail on the patio. Of course, man’s best friend loves the warm weather as well, but not every place allows pooches to hang out with the patrons. Here are three spots that have their welcome mats and doggie treats ready to go.
The Terrace at Tamo Bistro & Bar | 1 Seaport Ln.
All summer long, the Seaport Hotel’s Tamo Terrace welcomes furry friends for Cocktails and Canines, held on Wednesdays through August from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. They roll out the red carpet with plenty of fresh and organic dog treats, plus a delightful selection of human-only cocktails.
The Yard at the Liberty Hotel | 215 Charles St.
The Yard at the Liberty Hotel hosts Yappier Hour every Wednesday night from April through October. From 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., enjoy a cocktail from the full bar while your dog sips a pup-tini. A snack menu from Clink seals the deal, though the comfy couches certainly don’t hurt.
Flour Bakery + Cafe | 1595 Washington St.
Of course, it’s easy enough to create your own puppy picnic by taking advantage of the patio spaces all around Boston. Start the day off right with a latte and a sticky bun at the South End location of Flour, where dogs can sun out on the patio.
Still hungry? Check out Groupon’s latest deals on restaurants in Boston.
This article is part of Amanda Maguire’s Vegan Guide to Boston, which profiles Boston’s best vegan products and businesses.
One of the biggest concerns in going vegan is the prospect of having to give up your favorite comfort foods: the baked macaroni and cheese, the burgers with all the toppings, the old-fashioned milk shakes too thick to drink with a straw.
Fear not, because Veggie Galaxy Diner & Vegan Bakery (450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge) has you covered. Owned by Adam Penn, Veggie Galaxy serves up plant-based meals that will take you right back to your childhood. Well, assuming your childhood included delicious meals made from scratch, right down to the burger buns and ketchup. I paid a visit to Veggie Galaxy to chat with Penn about his epic diner food and what makes it so noteworthy.
GROUPON: What is Veggie Galaxy's best-selling menu item?
ADAM PENN: Our best-selling item since the beginning has been the Kendall Square Burger.
[Editor’s note: It’s a black-bean or mushroom-chickpea burger topped with beer-battered onion rings, roasted red pepper purée, roasted garlic mayo, and baby arugula.]
G: Could you tell us a little about the inspiration behind this dish and whether you initially expected it to be so popular?
AP: As a vegetarian/vegan diner, we knew from the beginning that there would always be some tension regarding … healthy food versus traditional comfort food. The Kendall Burger, topped with giant deep-fried onion rings, was our nod to the comfort food side of things, and it quickly became clear that that's what most of our customers are looking for. We still try to provide some healthy options as well, but most of our customers come to us because we're first and foremost a diner.
G: Are there any new menu additions you're particularly excited about? I noticed you offer Blue Plate Specials each week.
AP: Our most recent weekly Blue Plate Special is vegan chicken and waffles. It [was] a customer request a while back, and we finally got around to doing it. It's been more popular than we even imagined, so we extended it to a second week and are now planning to put it on our late-night menu. … We also recently added a Meatless Monday meatball sub, which is one of my personal favorites.
G: What makes Veggie Galaxy's food taste like home?
AP: Pretty much everything is prepared from scratch, including items that people at home would normally just buy from the grocery store, like our condiments, our seitan, and our burger buns. So, in our opinion, it's better than home.
G: Why did you opt to go plant-based with your menu and strictly vegan with your baked goods?
AP: The reasons for going vegetarian and vegan are pretty well known at this point, and it's not something we like to preach about. We're providing vegetarians and vegans the opportunity to enjoy classic diner foods without the meat. While we do have dairy and eggs on the menu, pretty much anything can be made vegan. We wanted to make sure vegans could enjoy our desserts, too, so we left the eggs and dairy out of those altogether.
G: What has been your best moment as a business owner at Veggie Galaxy?
AP: I don't know if I can point to one best moment. When we have a full dining room of happy customers, I can look back on all the effort that has been put in to get to this point and feel content in knowing that we're doing exactly what we set out to do.
G: When you're not making french toast stuffed with vanilla-nut vegan cream cheese, grilled corned-beef seitan reubens, and lemon meringue pie (my personal favorite), what are you cooking at home?
AP: Neither my wife nor I are really cooks. When we do cook, we keep it simple—herbed roasted vegetables over couscous is a favorite. I'm personally a big fan of pasta, so pasta and veggie meatballs are a favorite of mine. Though I have to admit that at home, as opposed to at the restaurant, we just buy the meatballs from the store.
Still hungry? Check out Groupon’s latest deals on vegetarian restaurants in Boston.
Photos: Aaron Scott
Though it had one of the quietest openings in recent history, Korean restaurant Seoul (156 Cambridge St.) is already making a name for itself. Its extensive menu of traditional Korean cuisine makes it a rarity for the area and a welcome addition to Beacon Hill.
Seoul has taken over the the space where Ma Soba used to be, and the owners obviously knew that major changes to the interior were just not needed. Still, the space somehow appears even larger than it did before, especially with floor-to-ceiling windows that push out to let in pleasant summer breezes. The decor is fresh and minimal, which keeps the spotlight on the food and its intricate flavors.
Seoul’s menu is divided into standard categories of appetizers and entrees, but it is written primarily in Korean with only the dish names translated into English. Luckily, the friendly, attentive servers are adept at guiding patrons through the menu and the different options available for each dish. To further customize each plate, banchan—a collection of small condiments—are delivered to each table and rotate for variety. My personal favorite was the kimchi, whose perfect blend of spice and tangy vinegar made it a great accompaniment to the already flavorful dishes.
To start, I had the scallion pancake, which was absolutely fantastic. Served on a cast-iron dish sizzling with heat, it was browned to perfection and chock-full of scallions for maximum flavor. The cake itself was light and not greasy despite its sizzle. The exterior was crunchy, while the insides were bursting with light onion flavor and gentle heat from the spicy kimchi that I elected to add. Personalization may be one of the best parts of this dish—you have the option to add different proteins or extra spice, if you so desire. I wanted to eat every single bite of this, and it’s enormous.
The japche quickly became another of my favorites here: vermicelli is stir-fried with lots of vegetables, soy sauce, and a bit of sweetness—and, in my case once again, some extra heat (though diners can also request it mild). As a spice lover, I thought it could have been a tad hotter, but it had a great kick that mingled with the umami and sweet flavors. The noodles were perfectly cooked and held the sauce well, whereas the vegetables and chicken (beef, tofu and seafood are also available) added textural contrasts to complete the dish.
With its large menu of traditional, customizable dishes, Seoul has been making its mark on the Boston restaurant scene as the new go-to spot for Korean food. Though it’s definitely still stretching its legs, I see great things for Seoul.
Fiona’s rating: 3.5/5 stars
Good for: date night, family dinner, lunch, spice lovers, adventurous eaters
Alcohol: beer and wine only
Outdoor seating: no
Photos by Fiona Coxe