- Food Lens Five
From morning to late at night, this Central Square haunt’s playful, interpretive dishes and cocktails will make you say hmmmm. Little Donkey takes typical dining convention and kicks it right in the you-know-what—and that’s exactly what we love about it.
Opened in 2016 by the James Beard Award-winning Boston culinary power duo Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette (also behind Toro and Coppa), Little Donkey’s small plate format and meant-to-be-shared menu pull flavors and influences from just about everywhere around the globe. And we mean everywhere.
At dinner you’ll find small-small plates like Parker House Rolls (sweet rolls with chives and Chinese sausage, like an upgraded pork bun), slightly larger plates like Cucumber Salad (bright green cucumbers rolled around feta cheese and dotted with roasted peppers and savory herbs on a bed of buttermilk), and heartier fare like the flavor-exploding Burger (dry aged beef, buffalo pickles, onion soup mayo, foie gras, jalapeño chips). Mind. Blown.
If that’s not enough, opt for lighter choices like the fluffy, buttery caviar sandwich and our favorite citrusy, served-in-shell razor clams.
And of course, desserts and cocktails to round it out. Foams, shrubs, whole fruits, and spicy accents lend a simultaneous uniqueness and sense of comfort to those offerings. Though it’s always hard to pass up cookie dough served on the mixer beater and a punch served in a grapefruit, we can say with certainty that any pick you make will be the right one.
The wide-open dining room holds a mix of high, communal bar tables, bench seating along the walls, and low tables and seats at the bar itself. If you’re heading there for dinner, reservations are highly recommended.
Or just go in the morning for breakfast and stay all day. Our impression is, they’d love to have you.
The restaurant is open alllllllllllll day. Yes, allllllllll day. And they’ll serve you food allllllllll day, too. From breakfast to dinner, they’ve got you covered.
Everything at Little Donkey is meant to be shared. Two to three plates per person is recommended, depending on the size (and how hungry you are). Raw bar items are treated more as accompaniments—so we say order as many as you want.
Drinking while waiting for a table is acceptable. So is exploring Central Square’s plethora of non-culinary oddities (MIT Museum, the Seven Stars metaphysical bookstore, Boomerangs thrift, etc).
The herb garnishing that vivid cucumber salad is called nipitella; it’s part of the mint family and smells like a cross between mint and oregano.
Tastes of Little Donkey
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