Dish Gal's guide to getting the most out of life, one meal at a time...

Metropolis Cafe

The South End is such a tease. On one hand, it's this amazing area of the city with these innovative restaurants springing up it seems every day, surrounded by beautiful brownstones and quaint coffee shops and boutiques. Sure, some residents lament the yuppie-fication of the area and claim it's now less desirable, less authentic, less "gritty." But whenever I am in the area, I get so excited because this neighborhood seems completely removed from Boston and almost feels like you're on vacation in an unfamiliar city.

I say it's a tease though, because getting there is such a royal pain in the butt! On one hand, there really is no public transportation. The whole silver line confuses me-I understand it in the Seaport District, but what is the deal with it in the Chinatown/South End area? To take a cab from Davis Square to the South End (or vice versa) costs more than the night out itself. And whenever I suggest driving and parking, people are appalled that I would even suggest that. "Parking in the South End!!?!?? Are you crazy!?"

So there's my problem. I long for brunch at Tremont 647, drinks and apps at Pho Republique, late night nibbles at Franklin Café, canoodling at the Beehive. . . and yet I get stuck in the same "let's go somewhere along the red line" trap every time.

But I digress. The point is, last Friday I had the rare treat to head into the South End with my parents. Chloe suggested a place she really enjoys, Metropolis Café, and since I trust her opinion greatly, that's where we headed. When we passed by the restaurant and saw that there was no valet, I thought we were doomed. However, like an angel from Heaven, a visitor's parking space was vacant right around the corner. It was a South End MIRACLE! A good indicator for the rest of the evening.

The restaurant is very small, and the décor is sort of French bistro meets ice cream parlor, with a large bar with leather stools. Since we were there early, we were lucky to get a booth. The menu is very reasonably priced, with entrees baaaarely breaking the $20 mark. Love that!

Our waiter was very friendly and helpful with the menu, offering his favorites. I started with the asparagus "tartar" ($9) which I had read was a signature dish of theirs. Similar in presentation to a tuna or beef tartar, this was much different in ingredients, with avocado, tomato, minced capers, aged balsamic, and fried leeks. While it was a fresh and interesting concept, I wasn't a huge fan of the asparagus mixed with the avocado.

Carrying on the veggies-pretending-to-be-meat themed appetizers, my mom ordered the warm roasted beet carpaccio with crumbled feta, toasted walnuts, and frisee ($8). This turned out to be a standard salad with a fancy name, but good nonetheless.

My favorite though was my dad's rigatoni with crumbled fennel sausage, veal glaze, sweet marsala and parmigiano reggiano ($16) which was a rich and spicy delight. Would be absolutely amazing on a cold winter night with a glass of cabernet, but was still delicious on a warm, summer one.

Mom got the veal scallopini ($20) that came with a delicious cauliflower gratin. I stayed in the appetizer arena and got gnocchi with duck confit ($9), a classic updated with brussel sprouts and a rosemary jus.

All in all, while it wasn't a mind-blowing meal that I'll remember forever, it was exactly what I've been craving: something off the beaten path, yummy, and reasonably priced. Damn you, South End, you've seduced me again!!

Metropolis Café on Urbanspoon


BFW (Tammy) said...

Hi there,

Great blog! Thanks for reading and posting on mine. I think I've seen your blog before. Have you ever gotten a spot on Universal Hub or I'm sure I've been directed here before.

Metropolis has always been one of my favorite places, though I haven't been in a few years. It's definitely a comfort food kind of place... filling, fattening, yet tasty meals.

And the South End is always one of my favorite dining locations. Venture down to SoWa -- Rocca and Gaslight have free parking!

mini said...

When i first moved to Boston, I thought the Silver Line was the T. Imagine how confused I was ...