Healthy and Sane

Friday night out in Boston: Minibar and Masa

September 20th, 2009 · 8 Comments · Boston, restaurant reviews

I’ve written many times about my love for Friday nights. It marks the end of a long work week and the beginning of the weekend that can be spent (hopefully) sleeping in, relaxing and spending time with friends and family. Especially for weekends with not much on the agenda, the possibilities seem endless for things to do. Adam and I like to celebrate this favorite night of ours with cocktails and dinners out 😀

We made dinner reservations for 8:30, and started the night with drinks at Minibar. The bar is quite small but pretty fancy – the perfect place for a cocktail. Note: I usually get a cocktail only if it’s a special occasion because they can be quite caloric and I know I’m about to consume many more calories at dinner. This time I decided to get one because I knew I was going to skip dessert at dinner, and it’s been a while since I’ve had a proper cocktail :)

So many drinks sounded delicious! I chose the white sangria (peaches, Asian pear, vodka) as it seemed light and refreshing – exactly what I was looking for. Nothing worse that a super sugary cocktail that just weighs you down for the rest of the night!

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To be honest the sangria was just okay. It definitely was light and refreshing but it also seemed watered down. I still drank it of course 😉 Minibar is minutes away from our new condo so I think we’ll be back there. It has a nice modern decor and just the right amount of people (not too crowded but not empty either). The food actually looked quite delicious too (like the mini kobe beef burgers… mmm).  Next up: dinner at Masa.

I’ve been to Masa last summer and ordered off their summer pre-fixe menu. That night everything seemed to be working against me. My appetizer was bland, my entree undercooked, but everything Adam ordered was top notch. Masa has a really fun atmosphere too. It’s an upscale southwestern restaurant that doesn’t take itself too seriously (read: giant scorpion bowls!). Despite my less than stellar previous experience, I knew we’d be back there. Sometimes a restaurant just has an off night… and sometimes you just order the wrong thing (well in theory there shouldn’t be anything bad on the menu, but you know what I mean…).



I ordered a glass of rioja to enjoy with dinner. Very flavorful; I liked it a lot.

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By this point I was absolutely starving, so the bread basket was very much welcomed.


Crusty sourdough bread and corn bread


I had 1 slice of the crusty bread to test out the spreads + 2 pieces of corn bread. I think I could have eaten the entire basket of corn bread. So moist and delicious. I love corn bread!

… + 3 spreads – the left one was smoky, the middle one sweet, and the one on the right seemed like a red pepper cream dip. I liked all 3!


For dinner I decided to get 2 appetizers to keep it a little lighter. For my first course I got the organic field greens with cascabel coffee vinaigrette, queso fresco, strawberries and plantain croutons.


Of course I ordered it with no onions and scallions and the salad had lots of scallions it + it was drenched with dressing. Let’s try this again…

Second salad was sans scallions and with dressing on the side. The dressing was very creamy so a tiny bit really covered all the greens. I didn’t taste even a hint of coffee in it, but it was a yummy dressing. My favorite part about the salad was the queso fresco and the fresh strawberries. There were also tiny pieces of walnuts that all settled on the bottom and kind of got lost. 😐 Overall: good fresh ingredients, average execution. The fact that the chef originally thought it was a good idea to drench these beautiful greens in dressing troubles me a bit.



For my second course I chose the skillet roasted sea scallops & barbecue duck with sweet corn cream. Giant plate, tiny portion:


Despite the small size, this was a very rich dish and I was very content with the portion. I think making this into an entree sized dish would have been an overkill. The barbecue sauce was especially intense; nice balance though – sweet with a little kick. It was well complemented by the roasted scallops (kind of neutral in flavor) and the corn cream. I enjoyed this dish! 😀


I also enjoyed a tasting of Adam’s polenta fry with a creamy avocado dip (I think… I can’t remember. It was something green for sure :) ). Actually all of Adam’s food again was spectacular. He got the 2 specials they had for the day (stuffed pepper for appetizer; duck + polenta fries for entree). Both were complex, creative and delicious. This sealed the deal for us; we’ll be back at Masa again! :mrgreen:


The food is reasonably priced, the atmosphere is fun – perfect recipe for a great Friday night spot. We had a great time! I’m ready for our next Friday night outing already 😉

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Sara

    Yum! Masa looks delicious. I’m glad you had a good weekend! You probably mentioned this, but I’m curious to know what field you work in.

  • #2 - Maddy

    mmm that salad looks so good! i love the sound of plaintain croutons. And I’ve never had polenta but those fries look LOVELY!

  • #3 - Maddy

    -got your comment: i dont know if you’ve had the western alternative brand of “light” bagels, but they’re a little bigger than those… maybe 4 inch across?

  • #4 - Elina

    Sara – I work in finance.

    Maddy – try polenta. It’s delicious (especially in fry form. lol) :) And thanks for the bagels recommendation. I’ll be on the lookout for them.

  • #5 - Dish Gal

    YUM I loveeee Masa. That salad looks awesome.

  • #6 - Nicole (dishin')

    I’ve wanted to try Masa for a while now. Your post makes me want to go there even more! That bread basket looks amazing.

  • #7 - KellyB

    I love Masa – we have one on the Woburn/Winchester line, for those who don’t live in the city.

  • #8 - Elina

    KellyB – thanks for bringing this up. I forget sometimes that some of us are not in the city :)