Eater Your Heart Out: Rachel Leah Blumenthal On Where to Dine Right Now

rachel leah blumenthalClockwise from top left: asparagus from Juliet's spring tasting menu, octupus at Highland Kitchen, Tasty Mo:Mo:'s chili momo and La Brasa's late night pizza.

As the editor of Eater Boston, Rachel Leah Blumenthal knows a thing or two about food—and as a Somerville resident, there’s probably no one better versed on where to find the best bites in the city right now. We asked Rachel to single out some current must-try dishes, from takeout to tramezzini.

We’ll let her handle it from here…

rachel leah blumenthal

juliet

1. It’s hard to choose a favorite dish at Juliet, which has quickly become my local go-to at all times of day. They’ve got grab-and-go breakfast options, multi-course tasting menus for dinner and everything in between. This beautiful asparagus dish from the spring tasting menu is a great example of what makes Juliet so special. Several ingredients are used in multiple ways—like egg, which was poached as well as cured, then grated—resulting in a dish that highlights a few simple ingredients but is packed full of different textures and flavors.

la brasa

2. I’m still mourning the loss of A4 Pizza, but fortunately a new late-night Somerville pizza option sprung up a while back that fills the void. La Brasa, which is a fun spot all day long, serves up wood-fired pizza from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Expect big, puffy dough with a solid amount of char, just as it should be.

fat hen

3. Speaking of La Brasa, its new sibling and neighbor restaurant, Fat Hen, debuted in August and immediately became one of my new favorite spots. Highly recommended: spaghetti with Jonah crab, green tomato and bacon; rigatoni with rabbit sausage, fava beans and Caciocavallo cheese; and, pictured here, the tramezzini with prosciutto cotto, foglie di noce cheese and fig mostarda. Like grilled cheese, but so much better.

tasty momo

4. Tasty Mo:Mo: lives up to its name. Primarily a takeout joint, this tiny Magoun Square spot serves up a compact menu that features momo, which are Tibetan dumplings. The chilli momo (available with chicken, beef, pork or vegan filling) are coated in a sweet and spicy sauce that packs serious heat and brings a few happy, fiery tears to my eye every time.

man o salwa

5. Hidden inside a Union Square convenience store, S&S Market, Man-O-Salwa serves up the best chicken kebabs in town. Get naan on the side. There are a couple of tables inside, but it’s more of a takeout spot.

highland kitchen

6. Highland Kitchen never disappoints. It’s got one of the best burgers around, and the specials are always a delight. On a recent visit, I found a new favorite dish: the grilled baby octopus, served with a spicy Thai chili sauce and a green papaya and peanut salad. Pair it with a cocktail made with the spicy house-made ginger beer, like the HK Reviver or the Mark ‘n Stormy.

ebi sushi

7. Ebi Sushi’s menu is full of various combos that will satisfy your craving for sushi and more. It’s all great, but skip that and head straight to the sushi bar, where you should order anything on the daily specials list. Don’t want to decide? Opt for the chef’s choice, which comes with five or 10 perfect pieces.

tasting counter

8. While I’m waiting for the appropriate special occasion to finally get dinner at Tasting Counter, I like to go there for the late-night specials, served between 10:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. There are always a few options, such as outstanding lobster BLTs and dumplings, and they’re generally $5. On a recent visit, they were serving a $10 hamachi collar special, pictured here. Not your typical late-night snack by any means.

This story originally appeared in our September/October print edition, which is available for free at more than 150 drop spots throughout Somerville (and just beyond its borders) or by subscription

You can find Rachel’s picks for the best bites in Cambridge from our sister publication, Scout Cambridge

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