Bar Manager Scott Holiday makes this on-the-rocks drink with saffron gin, lemon and cardamom. Your liver may not thank you for ordering it, but your taste buds certainly will.
POTENT POTABLE: There’s enough gin in this glass to make Anthony Bourdain blush, but, thankfully, the large, fresh lemon peel helps to balance the strong alcohol. The bright citrus flavor also complements the aromatic cardamom and slightly bitter saffron beautifully. Extra lemon peel or a squirt of fresh lemon juice would help to make the first few sips of this libation less pungent, but after a long day, the kick of liquor is worth the cringe.
LOCAL FLAVOR: Despite saffron and cardamom being two of the most expensive spices, the Nehru only clocks in at $10 per cocktail. Since the full menu is served at the bar, that leaves you with enough dough to order some eats to help counteract all that gin. Some noteworthy bites: Barley and oxtail risotto with piave cheese, vegetable antipasto with roasted eggplant puree and muhammara, and the Bosc pear crostata with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce. Locavores can rejoice knowing that the restaurant grows its own herbs on its rooftop garden, and its menu features mostly local and seasonal ingredients.
CENTRAL PERK: It’s pretty clear why Yankee Magazine named Rendezvous Best Neighborhood Restaurant in 2012. Warm colors, cozy lighting and an open kitchen make Rendezvous a welcome escape from the bustling Central Square streets. The 85-seat restaurant combines casual fare with a fine dining feel and adorns its walls with alternating local artists’ creations. – Michelle Collins