Orinoco (South End)
By Robert Nadeau of The Phoenix
So what’s all the excitement about? Well, part of it is cheap, tasty Venezuelan street food. Another is moderately priced Nuevo Latino cuisine, from South Beach. There’s also the thrill of a small, happening place; some neat décor; enthusiastic service; and a full bar with excellent mojitos.
You must, of course, order arepas ($4.75–$5.95). These are the classic corn patties — fatter and creamier inside than Mexican tortillas — overstuffed with fillings. At Orinoco, they come with a salty garlic sauce that you’ll want for all the other dishes on the menu. If you aren’t having an arepa as an appetizer, you should order one as a side dish...
477 Shawmut Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
134 Hampshire Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
By Corby Kummer, Saveur
When Chef Anna Sortun opened Oleana 11 years ago in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the restaurant—with its filigree lanterns, Turkish rugs, and sultry garden where musicians played the oud and hand drums—was a novelty. The food, an amalgam of Mediterranean cuisines that wandered all over North Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East, had hardly any precedent in Cambridge, or this country. I remember being surprised on an early visit by the startlingly vivid flavors: There were colorful mezes like kibbeh nayeh, a pescatarian take on traditionally meaty kibbeh, with tender raw tuna, smoked bulgur, and Turkish peppers, as well as other dishes, like fried mussels and hot peppers with a garlicky tarator sauce...