In a stylish gem on the corner of Tremont and Mass Ave., chef/owner Douglass Williams is slinging globally inspired small plates and thoughtful handmade pasta dishes at MIDA. On the tip of the bustle of the South End, Williams fills the space formerly occupied by Cluckit! (sadly short-lived but delicious Peri-Peri chicken rotisserie) and Estelle’s (Brian Poe’s Southern comfort spot, brimming with pie and po’ boys).
An easy elevated elegance guides MIDA’s menu, as the 32-year-old Jamaica Plain resident roasts sweet whole parsnips with Spanish octopus and white Romesco and adds creaminess and warmth to a simple grain salad with fresh yogurt and hazelnut pesto. Since opening doors in November, Williams is undeniably busy, but doesn’t hesitate to share his favorite spots to chow down, grab a cup of joe or find the best slice in town. (Editor's note: We stand behind his pizza choice 100-percent.)
Best late-night meal?
When late night hunger strikes and I want something close to home, the Galway House never disappoints. Their honey fried chicken hits the spot every time. 710 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-9677
Best meal under $5?
I could eat Mexican food all day, every day. I love the texture, the spice and the love put into making it. Best meal under $5 goes to the Lengua tacos at Chilacates for sure. 224 Amory St., 617-522-6000
Best hidden gem?
Arax Market in Watertown has the best ready-made Armenian foods, made by grandmas in the back. Their lentil soup and all of the Meze are delicious with their imported lavash bread. 585 Mt Auburn St., Watertown, 617-924-3399
Best place to dine alone?
Honestly, a good slice of well-done pizza from New York Pizza is A-OK with me. Various locations,
Place you recommend for out-of-towner?
My good friends just opened Tapestry this summer. If you are visiting Boston, you could catch at a game at Fenway and then grab a bite arounad the corner. 69 Kilmarnock St., tapestry.restaurant
Go-to date spot?
My wife and I recently made our way to the new Uni. It’s dark, sexy and it’s got a great energy.
Eliot Hotel, 370 Commonwealth Ave., uni-boston.com
Best place to catch up with friends?
If I need to step out of MIDA for a few, it’s going to be to go to Render Coffee Bar. Their coffee is perfect. 563 Columbus Ave., rendercoffeebar.com