13 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02482
The town of Wellesley isn't often mentioned in conversations about restaurant-rich cities and towns around Boston, but this wealthy western suburb of the city has some interesting dining spots, including a couple that are rather unique in the region, while also being just a bit similar to each other in some ways. One of these spots, called Cafe Mangal, is an upscale, romantic Turkish and Mediterranean restaurant on the eastern edge of Wellesley Square, while the other--and the focus of this review--is a serene, intimate Greek, Italian, and Mediterranean spot about a block west of Cafe Mangal called Milestone.
Housed in the space where Vidalia's Truck Stop used to be, Milestone did a nice job of changing the feel of the place from that of a classic old-school family-friendly restaurant to one that is a bit more on the exotic and elegant side. The front room has a vaulted ceiling that gives the space a rather airy feel, and comfortable booths line the wall along the left side of the room. The long bar along the right side of the front area is also comfortable, and every bit as conducive for diners looking to eat a meal as it is for drinkers. In the back of Milestone is a dining room that is a good option for larger groups and quiet conversation. The soft colors and dim lighting help make both rooms pleasing to the eye. A sidewalk patio with plenty of shade can be found out front during the warmer months.
Milestone features a wide variety of Mediterranean food, though the menu tends to lean more toward Greek fare. Included is a tapas menu that jumps from Greek to Italian to Spanish and features everything from warm, firm grape leaves coated with egg-lemon sauce to baked sheep's milk cheese, risotto fritters, tuna tartare, bruchetta, and much more. Salads include a classic horiatiki salata that has incredibly rich-tasting chunks of feta cheese as well as pungent and hot pepperoncini. For soup lovers, Milestone offers the classic avgolemono, or egg-lemon, with chicken and orzo. Main entrees include a number of Italian dishes such as a wonderful chicken valdostana with a sweet and salty prosciutto and crunchy asparagus, all smothered in mild mozzarella cheese. Lobster ravioli, linguine with clams, and haddock risotto are a few of the other Italian entrees featured here. Greek dishes include a freshly-made moussaka with layers of tender potatoes, slightly bitter eggplant, spiced beef, topped a rich bechamel sauce. One other Greek dish that may be of particular interest to seafood lovers is the salmon kleftiko, which consists of salmon wrapped in parchment paper and mixed with olives, tomatoes, lemon, and oregano. Drinks at Milestone include an extensive wine list and a limited number of beers, while the lunch menu features a number of sandwiches and pasta dishes.
So which restaurant should fans of Mediterranean food go to in Wellesley--Cafe Mangal or Milestone? Well, it really depends on whether you want to lean toward Turkish and Middle Eastern food or more toward Southern European fare. If it is the former, definitely head to Cafe Mangal; if it is the latter, check out Milestone. And if you are thinking of dining outdoors or eating at a bar, Milestone is certainly the way to go. But both of these spots are very appealing places in their own ways (especially considering the truly outstanding food at Cafe Mangal), so our advice? Try both and decide for yourself.
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