Bar Boulud’s Pastry Chef Robert Differ knows how to satisfy your sweet tooth. You can currently catch the Newton resident creating dreamy, seasonal chocolate-y concoctions at the restaurant’s Parsian-inspired pop-up “Chocolat Chaud” hot cocoa bar. (This month’s is s’mores inspired with chef-made Mallowmars.)
Meanwhile, the Louisiana-bred chef Differ knows the best spots to curb your savory cravings as well. We caught up with the Mandarin Oriental Boston’s sweetest chef to find out where he noshes on bar snacks, grabs a meal alone and finds a quality burger.
Best late night meal?
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Buffalo cauliflower at Back Bay Social Club. I go there with colleagues after work and this dish disappears in a matter of seconds. Plus, the amazing Lou makes the best martinis! 867 Boylston St., backbaysocialclub.com
Best meal under $5?
The cheeseburger at Charlie’s Kitchen in Harvard Square. It’s very messy — which means it’s very good. You could stop there at $5, but I’d spring for the fries and a beer, too. 10 Eliot St., Cambridge, charlieskitchen.com
Best hidden foodie gem?
75 Chestnut. They offer simple yet fun American-inspired dishes in a rustic/chic restaurant atmosphere in Beacon Hill. The restaurant space is just as important to me as the food. 75 Chestnut St., Boston, 75chestnut.com
Best place to dine alone?
City Table at the Lenox Hotel. It is loungy and dimly lit, the vibe is one of the more chic choices in Back Bay. They have a great bar, music and engaging bartenders. The high-top tables are the perfect place to sit and enjoy a meal alone. The Lenox Hotel, 65 Exeter St., citytableboston.com
Go-to date spot?
Grill 23, I am a traditionalist at heart. For me, there is nothing like a perfectly cooked ribeye with a side of warm pomme purée and the service is always executed perfectly. I would definitely recommend finishing your experience with one of the small bites desserts. 161 Berkeley St., grill23.com
Best place to catch up with friends?
Cook in Newton. It’s close to where I live and the bar is great to linger and chat. The menu is casual with great flatbreads, my favorite being the chorizo and fingerling flatbread. The menu features fun things to share and the vibe and energy in the room is just right to hang and nosh. 825 Washington St., Newton, cooknewton.com