An overflow spot that can stand on its own
It seems like so many new restaurants that open up these days give off an aura of anticipation, from passing the final inspection to a soft opening for friends and family to a grand opening, which sometimes even has a ribbon cutting. Not all new dining spots are that way, however, as some forgo the endless press releases, the tweets and Facebook posts that give a countdown, and the reaching out to those of us who write about such things to say that opening day is soon arriving. As a result, some restaurants debut and immediately become a spot mainly just for the immediate neighborhood, since no one else ever gets to know about them. This seems to be the case with a relatively new place in Roslindale called 753 South, which is so far under the radar that it is basically invisible to most Bostonians, but based on initial impressions of the eating and drinking spot, we may be looking at something truly special here.
The restaurant sits across the street from the wonderful Delfino, an Italian spot whose team opened this place in the middle of 2017. Being that it is affiliated with Delfino—which rivals some of the best restaurants in the North End, by the way—753 South is in some ways an “overflow”spot where people can grab a drink while waiting for a table. But it’s really more of a standalone restaurant than an extension of its sibling, and much like Delfino, it has a somewhat elegant but unpretentious feel to it.
Inside you will find a gorgeous little bar to the right, another bar area front and center that looks out at an open kitchen, and plenty of high-top and low-top seating throughout along with a small patio out back for during the warmer months. In some ways, the window tables in the very front are the pick of the lot for seating (although both bar areas are great as well), but be forewarned that on particularly cold nights, the curtain that you walk through to get into the place doesn’t keep all of the frigid air out whenever the doors opens.
Inventive comfort food and new American fare are all the rage these days, and as mentioned here before, both terms are used way too much (it is particularly difficult for fish and chips to be inventive, for instance), but 753 South certainly has some interesting twists on comfort food items. One such example may just be one of the most unusual—and one of the most mind-blowingly delicious—items in the entire region, as the polenta goat cheese Twinkie is something that may initially make you say, “Huh?” but after one bite you won’t be saying much of anything until it’s all gone.
Looking almost exactly like a Twinkie but savory rather than sweet, the dense and mild-tasting exterior “cake” balances perfectly with the slight tanginess of the creamy goat cheese, and the marinara and, especially, the pesto served with the dish only add to the goodness. The Twinkie is so over-the-top special that ordering two (or three) and calling it a meal would certainly be acceptable, but a look around the rest of the menu shows some other impressive options, including roasted Brussels sprouts—an item on special that seems to be offered at more and more places, but this version is especially tasty with the addition of pancetta, which adds some salty goodness to the dish.
Chicken under a brick is another item that is everywhere these days, though not all of them are worth getting, but 753 South does a terrific job with this one, as the chicken is firm but not overly dry while the smashed potatoes that come with it seem almost like stuffing with a particularly lumpy texture and some herbs and spices added. The restaurant also offers sandwiches at dinnertime, which more places really should do in case people want a somewhat lighter meal or don’t have money to burn, and a highlight here is the Cuban, which includes delicious slow-roasted pork along with ham, Gruyere cheese, chipotle mayo, and pickles, all of which are stuffed into a delicious flatbread—and while nothing will ever compare to the Cuban sandwiches at the long-closed Chez Henri in Cambridge, this one actually comes pretty close.
Drink choices at 753 South include a limited but solid beer list (Jack’s Abby House Lager, Night Shift Whirlpool, and Maine Beer Peeper Ale are a few options), a decent wine list that focuses in part on West Coast options, and twists on such familiar cocktails as gimlets, daiquiris, and whiskey smashes. Prices for food and drink are plenty reasonable considering that this place has an upscale vibe to it, with small plates being on either side of $10, some of the main courses being under $20, and the beers being as low as $4.
Roslindale continues to be one of the most interesting sections of Boston for dining, but many of the restaurants here remain mostly little known, and in the case of 753 South, nearly completely unknown. Whether it’s the generic name (and please don’t ask for the address for the place), the very quiet opening back in 2017, or the overall lack of marketing, this is certainly no Giacomo’s or Eastern Standard when it comes to name recognition, but it definitely seems to be a restaurant worth seeking out no matter where in the Boston area you live.
753 SOUTH. 753 SOUTH ST., ROSLINDALE. 753SOUTH.COM