Ribelle

(credit: Eater Boston)

(credit: Eater Boston)

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Spork Rating: 2

 

The Details:

  • Neighborhood: Brookline/Washington Square
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Price: Affordable to Splurge
  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 5pm-10pm; Friday-Saturday 5pm-1am; Sunday 5pm-10pm (Closed Tuesdays)
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Recommended For Dining With: Kids

HiChair_3p Stroller_36pt PubTrans_3p

Overview:

Food critics, culinarians and industry insiders are swooning over Tim Maslow’s solo venture, Ribelle in Brookline’s Washington Square. From the highly creative and ambitious menu, to the unapologetic wine list or the sleek interior, its no wonder Ribelle has been dubbed one of the best restaurants in Boston. Ribelle’s location would normally draw families from nearby Brookline neighborhoods through its nondescript door. But are young gourmands welcomed? Yes, but with reservations.

Yes, Maslow and his staff will cater to families given their location. But with its high-test menu, trendy ambiance, and young waitstaff, we consider Ribelle to be one of the best date night restaurants in Boston.

KidTude:

Okay. Staff will greet kids with a smile and will get a highchair if needed. It is strongly encouraged families with young children make reservations – and make them on the early side (between 5-6pm).  Do not expect any amenities such as crayons or a kid’s menu (staff gave dinner, drink and wine list to our kids without blinking). As one of the best restaurants in Boston, diners are here for the inventive food and the staff is 100% focused on delivering just that.

family-friendly restaurant tipAvoid the communal table and ask to be seated by the bistro window. Kids can keep busy watching the trains rumble by.

family-friendly restaurant tipThe high ceilings, communal seating and open kitchen bring the noise level way, way up. Welcomed for some families with more vocal tots.

Main Menu:

Parpadelle Bolognese

Parpadelle Bolognese

Ribelle’s Italian-inspired menu is categorized by Bread, Vegetables, Seafood, Meat, and Dessert. But expect a lot of cross-over, with fresh pasta making an appearance throughout. The menu changes almost regularly, but you can expect dishes and flavor profiles never imagined before. For example, green beans with veal tongue, garlic confit, and squid-ink crumbs will have your taste buds reeling. And the now-famous Olive Oil Ice Cream with Chocolate coating will have you licking the dish clean. Dishes range from $7-$28, with some pasta dishes available as half or full plates.

Favorites include:

  • Garlic knots brushed with duck fat with a marina sauce
  • Lamb Tartare with sunchoke, egg, sunflower seeds
  • Parpadelle Bolognese with kale and crispy pork rinds
  • Rigatoni with octopus, fennel and smoked tomato

family-friendly restaurant tipPortion sizes are smaller than the typical Italian fare. But dishes are so rich and complex, its better this way in our opinion.

family-friendly restaurant tipRibelle is currently offering a “shotgun” tasting menu: 3 for $30 before 6:30pm. This is a great way to taste the full portfolio of Maslow’s creations without breaking the bank.

Pasta + Meatballs

Pasta + Meatballs

Kid’s Menu:

Ribelle does not have a kid’s menu. More adventurous kids may enjoy the esoteric ingredients when tossed with the fresh pasta and silky sauces. The little ones will happily nosh on rigatoni with octopus – a testament to the quality and skill coming from the kitchen.

For the less adventurous, families will be pleased to see that the kitchen staff will make a kid’s pasta ($12) if requested. This could consist of fresh pasta tossed with olive oil and parmesan. We recommend, even for the pickiest eaters, to order the malfade (ribbon pasta) with marina and meatballs. Truly delicious. Garlic knots are also a huge hit with kids.

Nearby Attractions:

  • Boston College
  • Coolidge Corner
  • JFK Birthplace

Amenities:

  • Highchairs
  • Stroller parking (fold ’em in store in the vestibule)

Getting There:

  • T accessible by the Green Line (C rain), Tappan Street or Washington Street Stop
  • Plenty of metered parking and 2 hour parking on side streets