Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar, South Boston
I think it's safe to say I'm obsessed with this place, and have spent my fair share of time there since discovering it a few months ago. South Boston isn't an area of the city that I'm generally too familiar with, but this place makes making the trek there 100% worth it. I think my love affair with Loco has a lot do do with the ambiance, which feels much like a fiesta being held inside a barn, but also the grub. Mexican and seafood are my favorite two genres of food, so when you combine them in a space that is exactly how I would design a restaurant (complete with brick walls, barnwood booths, farm tables, a tin-coated bar, and a canopy of string lights), it feels pretty much like the restaurant was created for me. If I had to pick my favorite menu items, I would choose the street corn (omg good) and the fried oyster tacos, accompanied by one (or two) of the many lovely margaritas on the menu. See you again soon, Loco.
Boston Chops, South End
I've been here both with a large group from work and also on a date night with josh, and WOW, the steak is good. I never order steak when going out to eat, but when you look a this menu, it just feels wrong not to get steak. The presentation is impeccable - popovers are served in metal measuring cups to each table in lieu of bread, napkins are wrapped in stamped leather cuffs, and all-you-can-eat "frites" are delivered to your table in a huge hammered copper bowl. The frites, of course, only arrive if you order the steak frites, which I would highly recommend. With this option, you choose your cut of meat and a sauce from a lengthy list, and then your steak is accompanied by a salad and fries. The side dishes are perfect for sharing, with my favorites being the pork belly mac & cheese, charred brussels sprouts, and sauteed baby bok choy.
Wink + Nod, South End
This place is the coziest! Nestled underground off Appleton street in the South End, this is one of my favorite places to meet up with friends after work for dinner or drinks in the winter. They are known for their libations, but the restaurant's resident chefs are constantly changing so I love that the menu is always different. Last time I visited the restaurant was occupied by Akinto (who's pad thai was the best I've ever had), but I'm excited to stop by again soon to try the new Pelakasis menu, which is primarily Greek-inspired. And if your a Scotch lover, you'll be excited to learn that they host a Scotch club, where you can sample hand-picked varieties every Tuesday night.
Named Boston's most Instagrammed new restaurant, Yvonnes is definitely the place to see and be seen. With multiple fireplaces, tons of lounge seating, and old world details like textured wallpaper, tufted chairs, bookcases, and an array of chandeliers, the interior just begs to be photographed. What I love most about it is that my parents used to hang out there all the time back when the space was Lock-Obers, and now my friends and I (including several with parents that also frequented the restaurant) are also regulars. Started by the same owner Back Bay's "Lolita" as a "modern supper club," the food is just as cool as the scene at Yvonnes. I've tried almost every item on the menu at this point, which are all meant to be shared socially, and every dish is better than the next. Plus, their spicy cucumber margarita "Grande Dame" might beat mine, which is hard for me to admit. If you haven't been here, you must go! But don't try to get in without a reservation - Yvonnes is a speakeasy that prides itself on being exclusive, so make sure to call in advance.
When dining at liquid art house, you almost feel like you are more so in an art gallery than a restaurant. Whether it's their food or their walls, which are decked out in abstract artwork from local artists, Liquid Art House definitely doesn't play it safe. Their menu is small and extremely experimental, but what the menu lacks in size it makes up for in flavor. Their seasonal dumplings, which are more like gnocchi, are delicious and their "young green" salad is one of the best I've ever had. The whole vibe just feels really hip, and I think the Boston Globe says it perfectly when it describes the space as a "mix between Boston and underground Berlin." I have only been there for drinks/dinner, but have heard that their brunch is also incredible!
Have you been to all five of these Boston spots? Do you have any new restaurants you've enjoyed? I would love to hear!
Happy Friday. xx