The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 23, 2001


Restaurant Review: Atara Bistro & Wine Bar

1418 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton 1-617-566-5670,

We heard about Atara from my daughter. She recommended the food highly and this proved to be correct. If you want an evening out with imaginative food, Atara can fill the bill. It is located on the upper section of Commonwealth Avenue and the parking is pretty much non-existent, but they have an efficient valet service that solves this problem.

We have been there twice and each time the food was excellent, though the service the second time was uncertain due to a new waiter with no training. (I think a lot of restaurants now neglect this important part of their image, i.e., taking enough time to train staff).

Although a salad of iceberg lettuce would not be something to entice me, their recipe sounded quite innovative. It was a crisp iceberg wedge with Roquefort cheese, crispy smoked bacon and a sherry-shallot vinaigrette ($6.60). We shared a Tuscan chopped salad which was made with only peppers and onions and no tomatoes and was lightly dressed, with a wonderful flavor ($7.50).

Pastas included a linguine with little neck clams served in a sauce of Chardonnay, garlic and tiny tomatoes ($11), baked penne pasta with herb roasted chicken, goat cheese, caramelized onion and spinach, in a roasted tomato sauce ($13) and angel hair pasta and garlic roasted rock shrimp served in a sauce of arugula, oven-roasted tomato and basil butter ($15). I had this last pasta, and I would definitely recommend it.

Main courses included a pan-seared Atlantic salmon at $16.50. This came with chive dumplings, wild mushroom broth and pea tendrils. Alex, being a meatloaf fan, ordered the veal meatloaf ($14.50) with broccoli rabe with mashed potato with a Portobello­Madeira glaze.

We had a bottle of Bouchard La Vignee pinot noir at $21 with dinner.

For dessert we shared something called "coffee and doughnuts." This is a cappuccino semifreddo with cinnamon-sugar beignets at $7.50. It was unusual and quite delicious.

Reservations are suggested.

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito