Erbaluce: A dramatic dining experience

Waiter Felipe Flecha served dinner to Mary Hemmingsen, left, and Nikhath Akhtar, right, Tuesday at Erbaluce Restaurant in downtown Boston.

The doors have barely opened for the night, and diners have already crowded into Erbaluce. Not unusual for a restaurant in the theater district, where a hasty pre-play bite is the norm. But after quickly filling in, it doesn’t look like anyone is hurrying out  of this plain room, prettied up by lots of twinkling candles and crisp white linens.

Owner-chef Charles Draghi has re-created Italian cuisine as progressive and healthy as it is eco-conscious in the few years since he opened Erbaluce, named for a Northern Italian wine grape. The restaurant eschews dairy-rich cooking, mostly using vegetable oils and meat juices in savory dishes.?And it employs vegetable and fruit purees rather than starchy roux-based sauces — something like Anton Mosimann’s cuisine naturelle.

Meats are indeed natural, fish and produce local and everything else organic where possible. The menu, which changes each night, is clearly dictated by market produce: Peaches are paired with prosciutto as a first course and make a gorgeous dessert stuffed with mascarpone and marzipan, barely sweetened with honey and grilled. Peaches are also the base for  gelato flavored with mint flowers.

Bitter greens are cooked al dente and accompany a juicy bavette steak and the nasello, a locally caught hake that’s sweet and tender, and has a piquant sauce of pureed heirloom carrots.

The darkly colored iron-rich leaf is also mixed with a touch of ricotta to stuff pasta envelopes, which have a granular walnut pesto. Almond cream forms a base for a torte of wild blueberries flavored with juniper — a striking combination. It’s feel-good food that feeds the senses rather than dulls them.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

University of New Mexico running back arrested for…

By Joseph J. KolbALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) - A University of New Mexico football player has been arrested on suspicion of raping and kidnapping a…

National

Teen who stowed away on flight to Hawaii…

By Alex Dobuzinskis(Reuters) - A teenage boy who stowed away on a flight from California to Hawaii in the frozen, oxygen-deprived wheel well of a…

Money

Investing is easier than you think

Easy investing: Everything you need to know about investing, you already do.

International

Arion1: Pill-shaped bicycle hits 90 mph

The Arion1 is a pod-like bicycle that aims to take the land speed record.

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Arts

"The Shape She Makes", an "extraordinary treat" at…

“The Shape She Makes” is a fascinating melding of theater and dance in a narrative that exposes human vulnerability in its purest form. Initially, the…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 9-3

Jon Lester allows eight runs in 4 2/3 innings taking loss

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

Sports

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins…

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins men's race

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.