Jasmine Bistro (CLOSED)
412 Market Street, Brighton, MA 02135
Boston's Hidden Restaurants has featured literally hundreds of dining spots since its inception, and obviously some of these restaurants tend to stand out above the others. Cafe Polonia in South Boston, for instance, is considered by some to be one of the best restaurants in the Boston area, as is Dok Bua in Brookline. And Jasmine Bistro in Brighton should probably be included among the best of the best on this site, and unlike some of the other top spots, it also happens to be a rather quiet place with very nice atmosphere as well.
Jasmine Bistro is a tiny, intimate place with a definite old-world feel to it. Attractive hanging lights, colorful handwoven cloths on the tables, and white stucco walls with attractive pictures on them make this eatery feel like it could indeed be someplace very far away instead of on the edge of bustling Brighton Center. The owner and chef of the Jasmine Bistro was born in Afghanistan and trained in Budapest and Paris, so his varied culinary skills certainly are reflected in the food here. Appetizers are a bit limited at the Jasmine Bistro, but they do have soups and salads, with the fried eggplant in bell pepper paprika sauce and the chicken paprikas crepes being a couple of appetizers that should not be overlooked. For entrees, Hungarian food lovers may want to try the astoundingly good beef gulyas (cubed beef in bell pepper paprika sauce with sliced potatoes) or the equally delicious veal paprikas (veal cubes sauteed in a creamy paprika sauce, and also with sliced potatoes). For those who are looking to try a French dish, the rich, buttery black forest chicken (breaded, fried chicken cutlets with wild mushrooms and a cream sauce) is tough to beat, and the shrimp grand marnier (jumbo shrimp in a creamy sauce with spetzel) should certainly be considered by any seafood lovers. Finally, for those interested in Middle Eastern food, the lamb kabob includes cubes of lamb fillet rubbed in various spices and served with pepper and onion rice pilaf; and for diners who wish to try Asian entrees, there are all kinds of curry dishes including those with beef, lamb, chicken, and shrimp. Desserts include house-made items such as a decadent Belgian dark chocolate cake, while those who are looking for a nice beverage with their meals can choose from a variety of wines from all over the world here, including a few Hungarian options.
The Jasmine Bistro is well-known among serious food lovers and a few food critics, but perhaps because of its relatively hidden location just south of Brighton Center, it hasn't really caught on with too many diners. But it has surely caught our attention with its fabulous food, old-world atmosphere, and personable service; do yourself a favor and be sure not to miss this one.
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