Restaurants can fly under the radar for many reasons, with a number of spots featured on this site being hidden because they are located in residential neighborhoods or inside other businesses, or in the case of some bars and local joints, they may look a bit sketchy from the outside. But in the case of one Brookline dining spot, one reason could be that it has a similar name to a handful of mostly Greek and mostly excellent (and not all related) eateries north of Boston, some of which have closed and some of which remain open, with Brothers Deli in Lynn, New Brothers in Danvers, and Brothers Deli & Restaurant in Wakefield being three that remain in operation. And while Brothers Restaurant sounds like it may be connected to one or more of the Brothers on the North Shore, it is not, but some continue to assume it is, and for those who assume it is related and would rather go to a full-service restaurant than a cafeteria-style eatery, guess what--Brothers in Brookline is indeed a full-service restaurant, and one that certainly has a lot going for it.
Brothers Restaurant is a dark, cozy, and somewhat romantic place that sits along a part of Harvard Street that has some excellent dining spots, including the Thai eatery Dok Bua and the Japanese restaurant Genki Ya, which focuses on organic sushi. The exterior of the dining spot is a bit understated and it looks like so many other storefronts found between Coolidge Corner and the Allston line, so it is relatively easy to miss and, again, its name may make people think of the North Shore cafeterias by the same name. The interior space is split into two completely separate sections, with the right room including a bar along the right wall and a few tables along the left wall, and the left room (which can be accessed by walking to the back of the right room) being the main dining area with more seating and the same dark and moody feeling as the bar side. Both sections tend to have low noise levels, making Brothers a good place for quiet conversation.
While not Greek like the Brothers dining spots on the North Shore, Brothers Restaurant does offer some Mediterranean fare--though it leans a bit more toward Italian cuisine--and it also features American and Mexican dishes as well, making it a rather eclectic New American-style spot that has something for everyone. A few highlights (depending on the season and on the nightly specials) include a slightly hot and slightly sweet chili that has ground beef and two types of beans; a sinful Sam Adams cheese fondue with house-made potato chips; a rich and creamy tomato bisque with croutons on top; aromatic parmesan truffle fries with garlic mayo; fried calamari with hot cherry peppers, red sauce, and a zesty lemon-garlic aioli; a Mediterranean platter with great takes on hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and falafel; tremendous short rib tacos with tender and slightly fatty meat, cabbage slaw, and a smokey aioli; baked penne pasta with sweet Italian sausage, meatballs, and creamy ricotta cheese; nicely marinated lamb kabobs with pita bread, rice pilaf, and a salad; a warm and comforting short rib shepherd's pie with lots of root veggies, a bit of horseradish, and mashed potatoes placed on top; a marvelous chicken saltimbocca with parmesan, prosciutto, and a creamy sage sauce; and a decadent molten lava cake with strawberries. Drinks include a long list of wines along with a decent selection of craft brew and mass-market beers, while cocktails include a good mix of classic and modern options, with margaritas and manhattans being a couple of options. In addition to lunch and dinner, Brothers also offers breakfast, with an array of omelets and benedict dishes being available as well as French toast, pancakes, waffles, breakfast sandwiches, and more. Prices for both food and drink generally nudge toward the high end of the moderate range, but the quality of the items here makes the slightly higher prices worth it.
Even though the restaurant has been in business since early 2015, more than a few folks still incorrectly connect Brothers Restaurant in Brookline to the Brothers eateries north of Boston. And while they are all spots worth trying out, the Brothers in Brookline is completely different from those eateries on the North Shore with similar names. It may take awhile longer for people to realize that this dining spot is not what they think it is, but once they try it, chances are the confusion will quickly end.
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