560 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02118
Gaslight Brasserie is located on Harrison Ave in the far reaches of the South End. The restaurant is located in a space that is slightly below street level in the same building that houses an outpost of the Boston Sports Club. Once inside you’ll find the air abuzz with conversation and a crowd gathered around the long zinc bar. The walls are covered with black and white subway tiles. All of this helps lend to the cozy yet elegant atmosphere.
Once we ordered our meal, they brought out a freshly baked mini-baguette. The bread was fresh and delicious. We started off our meal with the steak tartar ($9.95), which came topped with a fried egg and aioli. The steak was perfectly seasoned and we loved the touch of the fried egg on top.
For my entree, I order the sauteed skate ($18.75) with haricot verts and caper beurre noisette. The skate was lightly crispy on the outside and had a perfectly flakey texture. I know, skate wing is not the most “friend of the planet and animal” thing to order, but I did just this once and am glad that I did. Now that I have skate-eating out of my system, I can go back to being “green”.
Mr. Mango opted for the bar steak with caramelized shallots, mustard cream sauce, and frites. ($19.25). This skirt steak was perfectly cooked and served with a pile of golden frites.
For the dessert course, we ordered the molten chocolate cake and the citron tart (6.95 each). The tart had a bright citrus flavor and a buttery shortbread crust. The molten chocolate cake revealed an inner layer of gooey chocolate as expected, and while it was good it was not the best molten chocolate cake we’ve ever had.
During dinner hours there is free parking in the lot immediately adjacent to Gaslight, which is a rare find for dining out in the city. We will definitely be back! I want to try their brunch someday soon as well.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 mangoes
Flour Bakery & Cafe
1595 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118
One of our favorite breakfast guilty pleasures is Flour Bakery in the South End. On Sunday mornings, the bakery is abuzz with folks lined up to pick out their breakfast treats from those displayed in the various platters and baskets arranged on the countertop.
We ordered several items to go and took them home to enjoy as we began decorating for the holidays. The berry bread pudding is moist and topped with blueberries and raspberries. My husband is incapable of going to Flour Bakery and NOT getting this bread pudding.
For me, one of the true treats of Flour Bakery are the cream-filled donuts. These donuts are only available on Sundays and are filled with smooth, soft sweet cream. These are not the overly sweet vanilla frosting filled donuts from Dunking Donuts. Flour’s donuts are puffy and light (for a donut) and coated with fine sugar.
The sticky buns at Flour Bakery are well-known for beating Bobby Flay’s sticky buns on the Food Network’s Throwdown. These sticky buns are pretty close to sticky bun nirvana. The sticky glaze has just the right amount of caramel-y sweetness and the top has a smattering of pecans.
They also have a good egg sandwich that I usually order without the bacon. It is served on a fresh crusty roll with Dijon mustard and lettuce. Sooo good!
I haven’t tried lunch at Flour Bakery but I’ve heard good things about their sandwiches and will hopefully get to lunch there soon.
Be warned: the lines can often go out the door on weekend mornings. The seating can be rather limited, but at least in the summer they offer a few additional tables outside on the sidewalk.
1375 Washington Street Boston, MA 02118
We decided to go out for a celebratory dinner to celebrate my recent raise and his new car. (errrrm toy, its really HIS new toy… he says that I can drive it sometimes, but we’ll see how often that happens!). I selected BanQ. Its currenlty on the Hot Spots list at OpenTable.com. BanQ in a former Penny Savings Bank space in the South End. It has a vibe quite unlike other places in Boston…a casual, exotic, modern elegance. The front portion of the restaurant is the bar area with several pub eight tables and cafe doors that open onto Washington Street. The dining room is in the back and has high-walled booths lining 2 of the walls and bamboo tables and low-backed chairs throughout the rest of the space. There is a floor to ceiling curtain at the back of the room creating a more private dining space for special events. The ceiling of the entire restaurant is covered in layers of curved birch panels that are oddly remniscent of those wooden dinosaur skeletons that they sell in fancy toy stores.
BanQ serves French food with an Asian twist. The menu features appitizers, and entrees divided into two areas: Cosmopolitan Taste and Spice Menu. We ordered our meal and then were were brought some complimentary mini naans with a sun-dried tomato raita. These just might be enough to get me to come back and eat a meal or 2 at the bar.
Mini naans with dipping raita