November 12, 2003
The entrance was a bit difficult to locate, as that corner of the street was under construction, and the restaurant’s name is rendered in a highly stylized fashion. You’ll see why once you walk in – it’s a trendy, happening spot. The building used to be a bank, which explains the wide expanse of marble. The bar, which dominates half of the room, is built out of the old teller windows.
In one corner of the restaurant, there is a cage-like artsy contraption that looked like it was for private dining parties. The Web site calls it the Hookah Den. The rest of the place is rather ultra-modern and chic.
I wish we had been able to eat there later in the night, as there were few people in the place when we first arrived (we were the first diners). It definitely looks like a good place for people watching.
The theatre menu was taken from the regular menu, though the menu portions might have been smaller, as the price was definitely less than if you had ordered the three items separately ($38/person). They had a fair sampling of wines by the glass, with prices ranging up to $12.
The cuisine is actually French-Indian, with an emphasis on spice and flavor. Everything was good, though nothing particular wowed me. The soup that night featured a center of (essentially) barbecued pork spareribs. The unexpected combination was good, but the periodic chunks of un-chewable fat were not. My husband had better luck with the salad, which had an incredible dressing.
Portions were of a good size and perfect for a pre-theatre dinner. If you’re in Boston and you’re going to a show, Mantra is a great choice. Or, go to just hang out at the bar. It’s an impressive site.
From journal Walking & Eating Boston