Back Bay Harry’s doesn’t try to fix what isn’t broken

WEKB_NoshHarrys_1108

Photos by Derek Kouyoumjian

Things are not always what they seem. Take Back Bay Harry’s’ short menu of items like pizza, sandwiches, steak and salads, for example. Ho hum, right? However, those standards come courtesy of co-partner and chef Jason Santos, whose playful sense of embellishment turns puts exciting and inventive twists on traditional dishes.

For his Polynesian tuna tartare, Santos tosses chopped tuna with diced cantaloupe and lemongrass, then scatters it with dehydrated corn kernels. It’s served with prawn crackers that crackle and pop in the tangy juice.

Santos’s Caesar salad comes sans anchovies (which, technically, it should have). But the Romaine is gently dressed, sprinkled with pickled onion slivers and served with a crispy fried egg that’s perfectly gooey in the center. The absence of anchovies is soon forgotten.

WEKB_NoshHarrys2_1108

A swordfish steak — succulent and perfectly cooked — sits atop creamy carrot puree, maple syrup coated roasted Brussels sprouts (that could do with a bit less syrup), pearl onions and candied cherries that pack big vanilla taste. (The menu says “sour cherries,” but that flavor doesn’t come across. We’d suggest, as with the Brussels sprouts, a more measured hand with the syrup — or nixing it altogether.) As for the buttermilk fried chicken served with BBQ syrup, a gentler touch here works to add a subtle sweetness. It’s served with equally tempered honey donuts and finished with a wonderful gravy and pureed potatoes. Simple but, done right, it’s the business.

Speaking of sweetness, don’t make desert a mere afterthought. They serve Christina’s homemade  ice cream (it must be said that the Inman Square creamery is the best) — spicy ginger enriched with molasses, ah, wow. That, plus a dark, milk and white three-layer chocolate mousse served with espresso caramel, are examples of the eatery not fixing what isn’t broken, but instead adding a vibrant lick of paint.

If you go

142 Berkeley St., Boston.
Entrees: $8-$27
617-424-6711
backbayharrys.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…