Comedor, Newton Center, MA

Had a fantastic dinner at Comedor last night. For those who don’t know, this is newish place on Union St that serves elevated Chilean-inspired small plates. Nearly everything we ordered (including the cocktails) was popping with flavor and really nicely cooked. Particular hits were:

Particular hits were:
Orange-Habanero Margarita
Rainbow Beet Salad (shallots, pistachois, tarragon vinaigrette)
Charred Veggie Salad (broccoli, chantenay carrots + quinoa, tangerine vin)
Papas Fritas (scallion salso, cotija cheese, mereken)
Crispay Piparras (bourbon molasses, aioli, farm greens)
Latin Spiced Shrimp (smoked tomato crema, pickled veggies, basil)
Half A Pint of Pickles (mustard + brunchy baguette)
Octopus + Shishito Bruschetta (baby spinach, vidalias, peanuts, meyer lemon vinaigrette)

We also had the Burger, Chicken Meatballs, and Short Rib Tostadas. The burger we were not thrilled with, but had ordered mostly for the kids, with the toppings on the side, so I’m not sure it was a fair try. The other two came late when everyone was stuffed, so were hardly touched.

We had 6 people (4 adults, 2 adventurous kids). Bill was $175, which included two cocktails, a beer, and a glass of wine. We probably over-ordered by three dishes, so it could have been cheaper. Plates range from $5 to $14.

Really, this was one of the better meals I have had lately, check this place out if you haven’t been.

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Sounds like a terrific meal. Thanks for taking the time to write it up, the place had not been on my radar.

Thanks for sharing the meal- it sounds like a very interesting and varied menu.

Was the octopus grilled, same q for shishito- charred? Somewhat curious about the peanuts- is it supposed to be for the texture?

Did they fry the piparras?

I am not familiar with Chilean small plates. What are some of the things that are similar to the Spanish equivalent and things that set them apart?

Thanks.

Despite having been to Chile, I’m not entirely sure that small plates is actually a thing there, like tapas is in Spain. I remember the food in general being very simple there. My sense is that Comedor takes ingredients and flavors native to Chile, and does their own thing with them, combining them with local ingredients in a small plate format. I had two little kids at dinner, and wasn’t paying a huge amount of attention to details, so take these memories with a grain of salt:

  • I think the octopus was citrus marinated, cooked, but not necessarily grilled. Very nice texture, not at all chewy. The shishitos were charred and chopped, and the peanuts were chopped as well, contributing texture as well as flavor.
  • The piparras were definitely fried, in a bit of something like tempura batter. They were outstanding.

I’d say there was definitely less oil and garlic than you might find in at tapas places (around here, at least). And more use of chili peppers. They do a lot of vinaigrettes and other kinds of tang, and pair it will with spice, salt, and herbs. It’s really kind of unclassifiable at some level, just good cooking,

Thank you for the reminder. I went last summer and really enjoyed my meal. I must return.

Interesting!

The best tempuras are light as a feather with a greaseless crust. If theirs were like that, sounds like they borrowed techniques from not just the Spanish as well!

Chopped peanuts- got it. Originally I was thinking whole peanuts and couldn’t quite figure how they made it work. But chopped makes sense.

And kudos to the two little kids for being adventurous and try these creative foods too.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold