BoMA -- the name obviously refers to Boston, Mass., right? Yes and no. The roots of this new South End neighborhood joint's name lie in a Persian word for a safe haven: Boma.
BoMA, which stands in the former Pho Republique space, has a modern American ambiance with exposed brick and wood plank, and dark, almost flat tones contrasting with the fall menu's colorful, exotic flair. Whole shrimp, head and all, take the place of the shrimp cocktail. Filleted trout, which seems to be the new salmon, popping up on several menus around town, is served over saffron couscous flecked with sultanas, and that lesser-used brassica, cauliflower, which also has ancient Arabian origins.
Mushrooms, as it is still fall, are frequent ingredients on BoMA's opening menu. A mushroom risotto combines pine-y sage with piquant balsamic vinegar and delicate shavings of Pecorino Romano, an earthy sheep's milk alternative to Parmesan. The spice-and-cocoa-rubbed buttercup squash is filled with sauteed hen of the woods, a wonderfully meaty mushroom, and served with a wheat berry and corn pilaf. A drizzle of cinnamon cream adds a touch of sweetness and a sprinkling of cranberries gives a splash of color.
On the apps/small plates menu, if the petite tacos stuffed with short-rib, finely shredded cabbage with anejo cheese or the flaky pastry crust pizzette topped with fontina, spinach and wild mushrooms are meant to be shared, forget it. Trust us, it won't happen.
What’s cooking for this season
BoMA chef Chris Bussell is no newcomer to the Boston dining scene. His labors have taken him through Icarus, Hibernia, Butterfish and The Foundry. If what he’s done with staples like the BoMA burger — like add luscious french fries cooked in duck fat — is anything to go by, we can’t wait to try brunch, which is due to start this month.
If you go
BoMA Restaurant + Bar
1415 Washington St., Boston