Brassica Kitchen, still killing it

A recent story on local news hub Universal Boston intimated that Brassica Kitchen might be taking over the old Doyle’s space. I love that restaurant, consider it one of my absolute favorites in the city: its food is absurdly inventive and eclectic and delicious. I have done their tasting menu (“The Ride”) a couple of times recently, and it is just gobsmacking, and a bargain to boot.

(I recommend the wine pairing with it, three giant, well-chosen pours, a steal. It also has a serious, clever cocktail program: you should start with one of their originals.)

On top of that, the staff is uncommonly charming and enthusiastic. It deserves a bigger space and wider acclaim. It is my current ideal of an indie restaurant in Boston: passion, technical precision, around-the-world inspiration, no pretension, attractive prices. Punk rock sensibility, but with serious chops.

I’ll highlight just a few recent dishes that floored me: charcoal-grilled nem nuong, pork belly skewers with lemongrass marshmallow, shrimp-toast inspired yam waffle, pomelo salad with dehydrated peanut powder, cured cod (salt cod like) with mango sauce.

But the one that most blew me away was koji risotto with peas, for which they grow koji on parmesan. “Umami bomb” doesn’t begin to describe the intense, complex flavor in that dish. Most restaurant risottos are bleh in my book: it’s hard to do them properly at scale. Chuck Draghi at the bygone Erbaluce did the only worthy one in the city, in my book. This one rates up there with Draghi’s in texture and deep flavor: just phenomenal, a rare dish I’ve thought about for days and days afterward. (Side note: Draghi has re-emerged as the new exec chef at Alcove in the West End. I liked that place before, but he is slowly adding old Erbaluce dishes to that menu, so I cannot help but start to adore it.)

Anyway, whether it moves to the old Doyle’s space or not, Brassica is one of my two or three top recs for fellow food geeks in Boston for a mid-priced restaurant meal. It twists and surprises – I want to go back and just make a meal of the skewers – and there isn’t a dud on the list. If you haven’t been, go.


Thanks so much for this post, MC-Slim. I’d love to try Brassica and I appreciate the reminder that Draghi is now at Alcove, which is much closer to me. I always regretted not getting to Erbaluce before it closed.

It’s so good to see you here on Hungry Onion. Please keep posting! I’ve really appreciated your reviews for many years now.