Heat Blast and Tiki Cocktails
This week, MC Slim JB visits Blossom Bar — the revamped Sichuan Garden — in Brookline Village for his latest Improper Bostonian review. Under the auspices of cocktail wizard Ran Duan, the restaurant offers “elegant, exotic drinks and traditional Sichuan fare,” Slim writes. Up first: cocktails. Duan’s take on Tiki includes a beverage called the Girl From Ipanema, which is made with cachaça, crème de menthe, vanilla, passionfruit puree, lemon, and egg white, for a combination that Slim calls “a fruity Brazilian riff on a pisco sour.” Other highlights include the Broken Spanish with tequila, avocado, coconut, lime, and Thai basil, and the Big Sur with vodka that’s a “complex, sweetish fascinator.”
On the food side of things, the Blossom Bar menu “distills the greatest hits of the original Sichuan Garden’s traditional Sichuan fare and adds a few American-Chinese cliches for the less adventurous,” Slim writes. Among the standouts: dan dan noodles with minced pork and spinach, julienned cucumbers in garlic sauce, and a Chengdu duck stew with a “luscious mahogany broth.” For a “pounding mala blast,” try the dry hot chicken, which “yields fried-chicken crunchiness without a lot of batter.” Overall, Slim writes, the restaurant “winningly combines ancient immigrant traditions and fresh local ideas into memorably insistent flavors.”
Jason Pramas of Dig Boston looks into Caramel French Patisserie, a Salem export that recently opened an outpost in Somerville’s Davis Square. “Their baked goods and pastries blow every similar place in [the] region completely out of the water,” he writes, calling out the namesake caramel the shop serves. “It’s one of those creations that sounds simple enough when you read the ingredients but has clearly taken real mastery to perfect,” Pramas writes. He also praises the “delicate” caramel mousse around poached pear slices, where the chill of the fruit cuts the sweetness of the mousse. “It’s a must try,” he adds.