Boston's most exciting restaurant is in...Brookline?
Tim Maslow, the chef at Ribelle (which, by the way, means "rebel" in Italian), explains why he chose the neighborhood, located just outside of Boston, last year: "No one expected Brookline; more Cambridge or Kendall Square. I'm more of a suburban guy anyway."
But suburban the restaurant most definitely is not: From its pink neon sign to the orb-like lights and long communal table, to esoteric drinks like the Grandpa's Whiskers (which incorporates caramelized onions and black tea), we found that Ribelle speaks the language of big-city dining.
Maslow's menu could be described as Italian-ish in that there are a handful of pastas. But he and his team stretch their boundaries far beyond the boot: giant roast carrots dusted with hazelnuts and mustard seeds; cheesy-gooey egg toast with shishitos, truffles and Fontina; duck liver mousse with sauce gribiche and chamomile.
Chef Tim Maslow's Pappardelle al Ragù (Photo: Alex Gagne Photography)
One of his biggest hits to date is a charred kale salad that lives up to its hype. The kale is paired with oyster crema and Anaheim peppers, but the whole dish was a happy accident. "I'd made a dish that was a total failure, and thought, 'Oh, crap. What am I going to do with all these marinated oysters?'"
Even his pastas have come together in unexpected ways. For velvety fresh pappardelle, he conjures an intense ragù from ground mortadella, veal, pork and a smoked ham-hock stock (see the recipe).
Feel free to substitute standard chicken stock for the smoky stuff. "No one will call you lazy...to your face," Maslow jokes.
He finishes the pasta with more of those gloriously charred kale leaves. At the restaurant, there are curls of crispy pork skin, too--but we'll let you decide how rebellious you want to be.
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