Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Moonshine 152

152 Dorchester Avenue, South Boston, MA, 02127
(617) 752-4191 Find location!
--- Winner, Best eclectic restaurant in Boston Area, 2016 ---

Photo of Moonshine 152, South Boston, MA South Boston is hot. As nearly everyone knows by now, this close-knit neighborhood is changing seemingly by the day, with the Seaport District looking completely different from as recently as a decade ago, Fort Point becoming one of the most sought-after areas in the city, and now the heart of Southie--mostly along Broadway--getting countless new shops and restaurants, especially toward the western end of W Broadway, which is almost unrecognizable to those who haven't been to the area in 10 or 20 years. And while W Broadway's restaurant scene is booming with new eateries often being packed and having long waits, there are also some less well-known spots off the main drag including a eclectic little dining and drinking place called Moonshine 152 which is a bit quieter and slower-paced than some of the other eateries nearby, and one that feels like a true neighborhood spot that has a warm and welcoming feel to it.

Moonshine 152 is located on the ground floor of a luxury residential building just south of where W Broadway and Dorchester Avenue meet, and even though it is pretty much within sight of this bustling intersection where so much new development is taking place, it is actually fairly easy to miss because it blends in a bit with the condo complex in which it resides. The interior of the restaurant is dark, moody, and rather romantic, with a bar taking up much of the left side of the space, comfortable booths along the walls, and a communal high-top seating area in the middle of the room. A fairly spacious outdoor patio sits outside the place on a quiet patch a bit away from the busy Dorchester Avenue, with trees, plants, and umbrellas adding some attractiveness to the space.

As mentioned earlier, Moonshine 152 is a somewhat eclectic spot, and that offbeat vibe extends to its menu, which includes New American, classic American, Latin American, and Asian influences and also mixes upscale options with street food items. A few highlights (depending on the season and the specials available) include moderately hot shishito peppers with sesame seeds and garlic; a sublime--and beautifully presented--edamame hummus and pickle plate with a buzzy Szechuan chili oil; an equally-gorgeous caramelized onion-beet dip with crispy and salty taro chips; savory and slightly spicy lamb meatballs; a rich duck confit arepa with a layer of mozzarella and an arugula salad on the side; a spicy tomato soup that comes with a thin and crispy parmesan chip; Korean-style BBQ tacos with delicious short rib meat included; a mind-blowing Irish curry with a comforting, warming sauce and one that can be made even better with the aforementioned lamb meatballs added; beef brisket nachos with a fried egg adding a bit of decadence; a juicy burger that can be topped with jalapeno bacon, while specials include a marvelous Greek burger and what could be a one-and-done burger (but hopefully not), a "Foxy Forty" with cheese, green chili enchalada sauce, ranch sour cream, and jalapeno bacon; and a roasted statler chicken breast with a green jade sauce and steamed white rice. (Brunch and late-night menus are also available.) Drinks include a variety of beers and wines, and its cocktail list features some good ones, including a fruity Kentucky cooler (bourbon, lemon, agave, and blackberry puree), a spicy farm to glass (Grand Ten Fire Puncher Vodka, cucumber juice, elderflower, lemon), and an excellent sangria with hibiscus and ginger. Prices for meals and drinks are moderate to slightly expensive, with main dishes ranging mostly from $15 to $30.

Moonshine 152 might not have the name recognition that some of its neighbors on nearby W Broadway have, and it definitely isn't as well-known as some of the sprawling restaurants and bars along the water in the Seaport District, but in a way, this is what makes the place so special; it is one of the few spots in Southie that is relatively quiet, laid-back, and low-key, which makes it good for couples, groups, families, and others who might be looking for a spot to enjoy a leisurely meal and/or some quiet conversation.