$ $10 OR LESS
$$ $11 TO $15
$$$ $16 TO $25
$$$$ $26 AND UP
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Pokeworks / $$ Pokeworks offers a aftertaste of Hawaii in a fast-casual ambience — raw, cubed apricot and adolescent served aloft rice, kale noodles, or greens, or in burrito form. You can get creative, with add-ons such as amoebic tofu and abashed kale. Try the blow bowls: tubs of amoebic amber or sushi rice topped with your best of ahi or albacore tuna, salmon, shrimp, scallops, chicken, or tofu. Add mix-ins — anticipate edamame, seaweed, and orange slices — and sauce, again top your conception with avocado, pickled ginger, wasabi, blooming onions, on and on. Not assured in your adeptness to customize? Choose from signature bowls, such as Ambrosial Ahi, with blooming and candied onions, or Candied Amber Chicken, topped with ambrosial amber sauce. 1440 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, 617-441-2999, pokeworks.com — Kara Baskin
Democracy Brewing / $$$ The worker-owned brewpub looks like a cantankerous amid a church, a alternation station, and a barroom, abounding with woodwork, decrepit glass, angled ceilings, and nooks for adolescent in. Chef Ben Waxler (The Haven) serves up beer cheese nachos and pretzels, pizza bagels, burgers, and duke pies. There are additionally entrees such as chorizo-stuffed craven and Portuguese angle stew. For dessert, pe rhaps a stout float or a deep-fried Fluffernutter. Beers accommodate the Suffragette Pale Ale, Fighting 54th Saison, Consummate Rioter IPA, and 1919 Strike Stout. 35 Temple Place, Boston, 857-263-8604, democracybrewing.com — Devra First
Little Dipper / $$$ The third in the Jamaica Plain restaurant afterlife that includes Tres Gatos and Casa Verde, Little Dipper is active with aqua acrylic and sparkly atramentous vinyl upholstery. Beneath a agile of added than 40 blithely brave rockets, JP brunchers constrict into poached eggs and sip mimosas. At brunch, Apollo acai bowls, “Saturn’s Bifold Stack” of ermilk pancakes, huevos rancheros, house-made doughnuts (a Centre Artery Bistro staple), and more. Breakfast appearance a agnate but hardly abate lineup. At lunch, you’re acceptable to acquisition galactic burgers, altered salads, a rice bowl, and the Courier flatbread, topped with chickpea patties, greens, herbed yogurt, and tomato-cucumber relish. 669 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, 617-524-9217, littledipperjp.com — D.F.
Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe / $-$$ For a quick midday meal, sandwiches are served apace and affably at Cardullo’s. Menus are printed on the wall. No amusing chalkboards or cutesy fonts, aloof aboveboard advice for the active worker: salads, vegetarian and hot sandwiches, wraps, and custom creations with nods to Harvard Square — Cardullo’s old adjacency — such as the Hearty Harvard (choice of meat with coleslaw and Thousand Island bathrobe on a baguette) or the Radcliffe (pate, fig spread, and Dijon alacrity on a baguette). They serve a aristocratic breakfast, too: Opt for atom and egg on a bagel or ham, brie, and apples on a croissant. Don’t see what you want? They’ll adapt. 99 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, 617-326-8655, cardullos.com — K.B.
Chickadee / $$$$ Friends run into one addition at the L-shaped bar and others accumulate at high-tops in a acquiescently lighted, accessible amplitude of black, white, and wood, the kitchen arresting at the back. The restaurant’s card is aggressive by the Mediterranean. At cafeteria that agency dips and salads, pita sandwiches and capital courses like craven meatballs with smoked almond, grape, jicama, and mint. At dinner, you ability acquisition acerb chrism and onion doughnuts with caviar and creme fraiche, spiced lamb tartare with kohlrabi tzatziki, bigoli with littleneck clams and blooming harissa, or dry-aged sirloin with fattoush, atramentous plum, halloumi, and tomatillo. Ambrosia brings blueberry trifle, tahini affogato, and more. 21 Dry Dock Avenue, Boston, 617-531-5591, chickadeerestaurant.com — D.F.
Dakzen / $ Adjustment at the counter, snag a stool, and absorb Bangkok-style artery aliment in Dakzen, a apart adaptation of the Thai byword to “chow down.” Adjustment bowls, abounding with brainstorm or rice dishes, mostly the owner’s grandfather’s recipes. Boat noodles are a specialty in this Davis Square spot. Choose amid rice, egg, or collapsed noodles in a acid agitate of meatballs, pork rinds, bean sprouts, baptize appearance (known as morning glory), and beef or pork, topped with cilantro or scallions. Pad kee mow, ambrosial stir-fried collapsed noodles alloyed with babyish blah and red pepper, is acicular with bundles of peppercorns — chaw into one, and your aperture will be aloof for hours. 195 Elm Street, Somerville, 617-718-1759, dakzen.com — K.B.
Bar Mezzana / $$$$ The “coastal Italian” restaurant specializes in raw-fish dishes forth with handmade pasta. There’s a abstracted crudo menu, and all the way at the basal is a $30 crudo tasting featuring the chef’s best of six altered fish. (Crudo selections change from night to night.) First came yellowtail with grapefruit oil and Fresno chile, again affluent apricot with a counterpoint of salsa verde. And lubina, a European sea bass, with shiso and avocado. The aing basin brought atom prawn with horseradish and celery. Aing striped bass with “flavors of ceviche.” And finally, a coda: hiramasa with grapefruit, chile, and a coil of radish and shiso. 360 Harrison Avenue, Boston, 617-530-1770, barmezzana.com — D.F.
Fusilli’s Cucina / $$$ The accidental Italian y is a acceptable throwback. Enter through draped curtains and you’ll acquisition a dining allowance of aphotic copse and comfortable aphotic red booths. A basin of marinara booze — fabricated from buyer Michael Palmer’s grandmother’s compound — arrives at the table with bendable scali aliment (local from Colarusso’s Bakery) and er. Fruita d’mare was an absorbing basin of beginning blue scallops, shrimp, calamari, clams, and mussels bathed in a adventurous fra diavolo booze over al dente spaghetti. 107 Capital Artery (Route 28), Reading, 781-944-7267, fusilliscucina.com — Naomi Kooker
The Stones Common House & Kitchen / $$$ Open, airy, bright, and avant-garde best describes the 120-seat restaurant. The card changes frequently, but you will consistently acquisition the accepted army pleasers — hamburgers, veggie burgers, anesthetized craven wings, absurd calamari, and broiled angle tacos, added a continued account of beer and wine. However, the chef additionally orrates dishes from locally sourced food, such as a pork attic appetizer, broiled allotment salad, and bootleg ricotta annoy gnocchi. 380 Capital Street, Stoneham, 781-435-1344, thestonescommonhouse.com — Kathy Shiels Tully
The Broiled Granola Cafe/ $ At this Arlington Heights cafe, the aliment will accomplish you creep with advantage and vitality. Yogurt bowls, granola, and broiled appurtenances are served central the affably collection Art Lounge, a drop-in studio. By day, crumb granola; by night, acrylic seascapes and vases of lilies. The “Classic Creation” — a basin of blueberry, raspberry, and arctic assistant borsch alloyed with dates and almond milk — is topped with granola, honey, Technicolor-blue berries, and bananas broken like miniature suns. Those of us with beneath discipline can crumb house-baked blueberry muffins or apricot bars. 1346 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, 339-223-0062, roastedgranola.com — K.B.
El Sarape / $$$ Whenever I’ve asked for the cilantro booze compound at El Sarape’s, all I’ve gotten is a smile. Co-owner Javier Adame abstruse it from his mother growing up in Saltillo, Mexico. The kitchen is acceptable at all the standards you’d apprehend — tacos, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas — but additionally turns out different dishes. The carnitas appetizer is a basin of breakable pork bites marinated in a rich, begrimed orange chipotle booze that can bifold as an added dip, and the pollo y arroz (chicken and rice soup) has a lovely, ablaze broth. I’m about consistently afterwards the pescado cilantro — a filet of white angle dank with the above cilantro sauce. 5 Commercial Street, Braintree, 781-843-8005, elsarape.com — Joan Wilder
The Oysterman / $$$ Outfitted in reclaimed wood, a marble bar, atramentous covering banquettes, automated metal chairs, and a stainless animate raw bar, The Oysterman is big on abundance foods. But back you appetite to be good, its raw bar, hummus, salads, and broiled angle are nice options. The Oysterman’s angle and chips do its Irish buyer appreciative and the accepted Buffalo cauliflower adapted my cauliflower-hating friend, with its florets deep-fried in a Buffalo-seasoned batter. As I chaw into a absurd oyster, my affection lifts. The basin of cornmeal-coated oysters set aloft blush pickled onions, blooming lettuce, adhesive wedges, and dots of an orange aioli sends a message: Someone cares in the kitchen. 30 Railroad Avenue, Duxbury, 781-934-2900, anchorandoysterman.com — J.W.
Towneship / $$$$ The space, carved out of a above Swedish church, is advanced accessible yet intimate, with basilica ceilings and balustrade basement overlooking the capital dining area. The card is baby but diverse, and changes with the seasons. Charred turkey wings are calmly the best wings we’ve anytime had no amount the bird. If you adulation chowder, the seafood borsch aloof ability accomplish you balloon any other. Monkfish loin, a capital dish, has ample, blubbery chunks of breakable monkfish, kale, white beans, little close clams, and chorizo broth, the closing caked into the bowl as you are served. 140 Capital Street, North Easton, 508-894-2700, towneshipne.com — Paul E. Kandarian
Ani Catering & Bistro / $$ Aliment is fabricated beginning circadian at Ani, which specializes in Armenian and Middle Eastern food. The craven in the spit-roasted craven shawarma is formed in a house-made aroma admixture created by buyer John Janessian: cumin, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon. This is not your late-night academy gyro. The meat doesn’t charge any accompaniments, but I accept a beat of hummus, appropriate by Janessian’s son. I douse my craven into it, and although I’ve consistently abhorred hummus, I’m in love. The restaurant caters, and visiting in being still feels like a secret. It shouldn’t be. Bring banknote (they adopt it). 687 Belmont Street, Belmont, 617-484-6161, anicateringandcafe.com — K.B.
El Rincon de Moody’s / $$ The tacqueria, an adjunct of Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions in Waltham, serves a bound card of tacos and barbecue. You can adjustment a abode margarita, abundantly lime-y, or a Continued Distance Runner, with Lillet, chicken Chartreuse, lime, and grapefruit soda. Carnitas, with Berkshire pork accept and tomatilla sauce, are deliciously smoky. Barbacoa begins with shanks that are so massive, they booty 16 hours to apathetic baker over blaze and in an oven. This is meat bonbon with a begrimed chile sauce, radishes, lime, and cilantro. A drippy, three-bite wonder. On the barbecue menu, broiled beans accept the adorable aftertaste of smoked pork in the pot, and coleslaw is bathed in a ery dressing. 456 Moody Street, Waltham, 781-693-9191, elrincondemoodys.com — Sheryl Julian
Saltbox Kitchen / $$$ Located 6 afar from Saltbox Farm, the restaurant, area able foods are awash by the pound, is busy, but cooks are replenishing platters with aliment fabricated on the bounds throughout cafeteria so you never feel like you’re accepting the dregs. Or, adjustment a sandwich like a Reuben with alacrity slaw or deviled eggs from the farm’s flock. At dinner, the card ability action scallops with braised greens, steak with amazon escabeche, or zucchini pasta with sunflower-seed pesto. Broiled cauliflower in a sherry vinaigrette with raisins is brindle with chopped kale, and broiled eggplant is busy with pickled red onion and an awfully ery dupe cheese. 84 Commonwealth Avenue, Concord, 978-610-6020, saltboxkitchen.com — S.J.
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