88 Wharf

The southern half of Dorchester is becoming known for its new restaurants, especially if you extend the southern edge a bit into Milton. As you know from my brief review of Mrs. Jones, I’ve already written about one of these new restaurants. We still haven’t tried Ledge or Abby Park, but yesterday Barbara and I had a first-rate dinner at 88 Wharf, located unsurprisingly at 88 Wharf St. As you can see on the map, this restaurant is actually in Milton, but it’s only about 200 feet from the Dorchester border as the crow flies. Or, if you happen to have a car rather than a crow, you’ll have to venture a little further (about 500 feet) into Milton. But don’t worry; it’s not scary. Here’s the map:


Anyway, the atmosphere was slightly elegant but still welcoming and comfortable. Service was perfect: prompt, attentive, and appropriately chatty, but never rushed or overbearing. (Are you beginning to sense a theme here?) When we ordered a bottle of wine that they turned out to have run out of, the waiter offered us a choice of two somewhat comparable but higher-priced wines for the price of the one we had ordered. So we got a Zaca Mesa Syrah for the price of a Seghesio Zin. Both Barbara and I really liked the perfect Caesar salad, even though at first I didn’t taste the promised anchovies, which turned out to be a subtle ingredient of the dressing. Barbara then had an excellent short-ribs stroganoff, which was served over papardelle noodles, along with a side of properly cooked green beans. I had the lamb shank — why is it so hard to find lamb in restaurants these days? — which came with barley and kale. The flavors of all three merged wonderfully to produce a memorable dish.

I wasn’t intending to have dessert, but I couldn’t pass up the “traditional crème brulée,” balanced by a large cup of strong, black coffee. The crème brulée was indeed traditional; more to the point it was smooth and perfectly prepared. A fitting end to a fine meal. As General MacArthur and his wife said, “We shall return.”

Categories: Dorchester/Boston, Food & Restaurants