Bold Venture From a Nightlife Group
MC Slim JB visits Explorateur in Downtown Boston for his latest Improper Bostonian review, and he finds “promising” cocktails, an adventurous dinner menu, and some “crowd-pleasing” desserts at this new restaurant from Big Night Entertainment Group, whose prior ventures include swanky nightlife spots (as the name suggests) like Red Lantern and Empire. Slim calls the frisée aux lardon “solid” with its “soft-boiled egg, copious chewy lardons and judicious vinaigrette,” and he writes that the onion soup gratiné hits its “canonical bistro marks.” He praises the crisp roasted veggie flatbread and recommends the spaghetti with tomatoes, which he dubs “simple yet sensational.” For dessert, the brown butter soufflé is the “most impressive,” he writes. But be careful to avoid the “risibly bad” Explorateur salad, the “mushy and dull” salmon crudo, and the “forgettable” halibut.
A Win for Fake Meat
Kara Baskin checks out the faux-meat hamburger served at Little Donkey in Cambridge for her latest in The Boston Globe. The so-called “Impossible Burger” non-meat, now on the menu at Little Donkey (and in a “meatball” sub at Clover), is made from plant ingredients. The burger is prepared with toppings of smoked tofu aioli, tomato jam, honey sambal mustard, Bibb lettuce, American cheese, and pickles, Baskin writes, noting that the “true victory begins when you bite into this thing: It’s good, even if the meat itself takes a backseat to the toppings.” Baskin praises the toppings and writes, “with these bells and whistles, really, who needs an actual burger?” The burger is cooked rare and served “juicy and rich,” she writes, “all the things a burger should be.” Just beware: “It lacks some of the structural heft of a traditional patty,” warns Baskin, who saw that some of it “oozed out of the bun and landed in a shapeless splotch atop [her] plate.”
Marc Hurwitz visits Tasty on the Hill for Dig Boston. He finds some influences from Portugal and digs into a francesinha, or a sandwich stuffed full of steak, bacon, ham, a hot dog, cheese, and a fried egg, all topped with a tomato-based sauce. Tasty on the Hill has multiple versions of this sandwich, in full and half sizes, which Hurwitz writes can both prompt the need for a long nap. There are also breakfast items like waffles, oatmeal, and pancakes, plus sandwiches and wraps, salads, burgers, flatbread pizzas, and grilled dishes. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch only, and Hurwitz writes that the highlights include steak and eggs with ham and a reuben panini.