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Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area Lunch

Mantra Express Lunch

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Mantra Express Lunch

Arrabbiato | Nov 23, 2003 10:54 AM

WOW! Their express lunch is $15 and you choose a salad and an entre. Naan with a dipping sauce accompanies the meal.

I had the beet salad with red, golden, pink and striped beets in a light cumin vinagrette. The beets were perfectly sweet and solid and beautiful. The dressing was a light layer of flavor in the background.

I had squab for the main course and the skin was perfectly crisp and the meat juicy. (JUICY SQUAB! I wish I could do that.)Yellow lentils lightly spiced with cumin and chile hinted at curry and complemented the squab nicely.

The rosemary-chile Naan was amazing. Fresh off the oven, warm and aromatic. The cilantro-cashew puree was OK. It didn't stand up to the bread and a lot of the flavor was lost. I tried it on its own and I suspect that the cilantro was not the most robust that week. But, BIG DEAL!

We had such a great experience with lunch that we ordered desert. I had blueberry, pear, and mango sorbets. The texture of all three was perfect. The blueberry was a little too sweet, perhaps it was the liquour. Pear was amazing. It was like a perfectly ripe frozen pear. Finally, my experience with mango in restaurants is a strong, overt flavor. At mantra, the mango sorbet was subtle and sweet.

The service was attentive, unobtrusive, efficient, and pleasant. Expect about 45 minutes for lunch and order wine - that was my major mistake. A crisp chenin blanc would have complemented the meal.

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