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January 01, 2015 |  382 Views
Neighborhood Round Up: South End
By Karyn Polewaczyk

Location: Nestled cozily between the Back Bay, South Boston and Roxbury
Average rent (1 bedroom apartment): $1,700
Average home value (1 bedroom condominium): $600,000


You’ll know you’re in the ‘hood when: Gone are the Nantucket Reds that permeate the landscape of Back Bay; you’re in Tom Ford territory now.


The scoop: Formerly known as an extension of Roxbury, the South End underwent a virtual revolution in the late 1990s, transforming it from one of the city’s toughest neighborhoods to one of its most eloquent (and expensive). Tourists and natives alike will marvel at its 19th century architecture, comprised mostly of brick rowhouses in varying styles, punctuated by the greenery of the neighborhood’s 11 public parks. The South End is home to some of Boston’s best dining, shopping and nightlife destinations, and maintains a true community feel amidst its caviar taste. It’s also home to the city’s annual Boston Pride celebrations and the historic jazz club Wally’s, making it one of the Bean’s most diverse neighborhoods. 


Gentlemen, start your appetites


If you’re in the mood for: Dynamic tapas and the most hypnotic sangria in town


Then try: Toro (1704 Washington Street), the wunderkind in proprietor Ken Oringer’s growing culinary lineup. Get there early; the wait starts once the clock hits 4 and lasts essentially until the kitchen closes. If you listen closely amidst the buzz of happy patrons, you’ll hear whispers about “the corn,” creamy ears on the cob smothered with artisan cheeses and lime. Pardon the pun, but it’s truly love at first bite. (Be sure to scope out chef Jamie Bissonnette’s curation of daily specials, too.)


If you’re craving: A selection of fresh, local seafood that will literally blow your mind, plus a wine menu devised by sommelier extraordinaire, Cat Silirie


Run, don’t walk, to: B&G Oysters (550 Tremont Street), where the namesake bivalves rotate on the half shell daily (and come fried, if you prefer them cooked). Craving time on your couch with your meal after a long day of strolling city sidewalks? Fear not: B&G offers select items on its takeout menu. The lobster roll, served simply with fries and butter pickles, is available all day and worth every cent of its $26 price tag. 


If Saturday night lasted until the wee hours of Sunday morning: (But a greasy spoon won’t suffice) Pop on a pair of Marc Jacobs shades and slink on over to: Gaslight Brasserie (560 Harrison Avenue), where its heady cocktail selection can deter an incoming hangover and guests can choose from prix fixe ($9.95) or traditional brunch menus. Tell your mimosa to take a hike—the Madame Lillet is topped with a champagne float—and divulge your sweet tooth with vanilla French toast.


If you’re reminiscing for: A taste of Paris

Celebrate joie de vivre at: Aquitaine (569 Tremont Street), sister restaurant of the Gaslight, where Francophiles will delight in traditional Parisian fare. Indulge in creme-fraiche topped moules frites or veal carpaccio ($19.95 each), or start with Aquitaine’s daily selection of cheeses and see where the cask takes you.


If you want & gotta have: Asian fusion that moves beyond the eggroll. Be prepared to become a regular at: Myers + Chang (1145 Washington Street), where your tastebuds will be treated to a flavorful red carpet experience. The restaurant is run by power chefs/power couple Jonathan Myers and Joanne Chang, and the menus cater to every dietary whim and fancy, including nut-, gluten- and shellfish-free options. Also worth scoping: their dim sum and sake menus, respectively.


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