Diva Indian Bistro, Davis Sq.
The presentation has been modernized, the thali (set meal) divided into courses. Food itself is satisfactory and there's pleny of it, from the first course of earthy mulligatawny soup with its distinctive grainy lentil texture, mildly spicy, to second of the ordinary potato heavy samosa.
Then the main, a big puff of poori with its blistery wheaty sensation on the tongue, pleasantly greasy as it sat atop a moldof basmati rice, to go with two choices of entrees (I picked the vegetarian Thali, and hence 2 vegetarian dishes). Shahi Paneer Korma, firm cheese cubes in tomatoey cream sauce, the tomato flavour stronger than usual, not as subtle, but still pleasant as a tangy balance to the creamy base. Shahi Navratan Korma, spices like cardamom rising more prominently in the cream sauce that coats a variety of vegetables. More nuts and raisins would have been better for me, but nothing fatal or unsatisfactory.
Kulfi makes for a lovely dessert. Marsala tea at the end is nice and frothy, if not as ginger and cardamom rich as I personally prefer. There's a slightly tannic bitter edge that might be indicative of oversteeping.
Turns out chef is Punjabi. Might have done better with some tandoori or more solidly punjabi stuff.
Owned by the same folks that own Bukhara, Kashmir, Mantra etc... Different chefs at different places though.
Tim's Tavern, South End
Beautiful grease-drippy patties in the thinner style (~2cm thick or so). Cooked exactly to specifications (mine was medium rare). The special of the day also included mushrooms and cheese, always a welcome addition to my burger (onions sauteed in grease would be even better). Plank fries are more than serviceable, especially if one lets them catch the drippings from the burger. Burger itself is as good as Bartley's, but less expensive, and many of the fixings are included in the special. I'd find it extremely hard not to go back, but I'm trying O'Sullivan's next.
Butcher Shop, South End
Stylish setting, great wine list. Good quality cold cuts (2 kinds of sopressata, mortedella, prosciutto di parma) pair well with the white bean antipasti and the sweet carmelized onions and peppers. Good lumps of parmegiano-reggiano, a large entourage of olive. A generous antipasti plate that's dominated by cured meats. It's a nice dish, but I wouldn't necessarily leave the north end for this $16 appetizer. I'd probably choose the charcuterie plate next time, as the pates in the refrigerator section looked good.
Pear en croute gave off a gentle, heartwarming waft of cinnamon. Breathtaking buttery pastry, good soft pear filling with a heavy dab of cream on the side.