Written by Christine Fennelly
Moonshine 152, located in the old Franklin Southie spot on Dorchester Avenue, is a fantastic food and drink spot, and if you haven’t tried it yet, put it on your “to-do” list.
Chef and owner Asia Mei lives in Southie and when she opened the spot in February, she knew that the neighborhood didn’t need another sports bar – we’ve got plenty to fill that niche. “I said in the beginning that I want to bring some of the Asian and Latin flavors to Southie. I grew up living in California,” she said.
Fairly early on a Thursday evening, the bar was buzzing with an after-work crowd and the dining area was filling up. With an extensive “starter” menu, you can easily make a meal out of a few appetizers. While most restaurants offer a calamari dish, usually battered and deep-friend, Asia creates a grilled calamari and octopus dish, sans batter and deep frying, that sits atop a bed of baby spinach, with citron butter, oranges supremes and topped with roasted kale. It’s a great way to enjoy calamari – light and fresh. The roasted kale is crunchy and a tasty treat.
Asia’s love of street food is apparent in the “Throwback Korean BBQ Tacos.” This appetizer could easily be a meal. The boneless beef short rib, Asian pear kimchi topped with a candied ginger aioli, all snug in a soft taco screams of comfort food with a serious flavor kick. The crispy flounder fillet entree with fried pickled green tomatoes and spicy uni-shrimp butter was light and flavorful and would be great to share!
Moonshine serves food until 1:30 am and drinks until 2 am, making it a favorite for the night owls as well as area restaurant workers who wrap earlier in the evening. “It’s a lot of fun here around 1 am when our colleagues from neighboring restaurants pop in for a last minute bite to eat and a drink to end their shifts. Our Dirty Friend Rice seems to be a go-to favorite for the after work crowd. (Fried rice with Chinese sausage, pickles, scrambled egg and duck liver.) There’s a lovely sense of camaraderie amongst us food service professionals in the neighborhood,” added Amanda Rae, Moonshine 152’s General Manager.
From their website: Chef Mei opened Moonshine 152 as her first solo chef-owned venture. Fueled by the neighborhood’s energy and evolution, the restaurant focuses on maintaining a fun, sustainable, delicious take on bar and kitchen offerings late into the night. Entrusted with the legacy and soul of the space, Mei and the Moonshine crew couldn’t be more excited to be a real fixture in the community, and continue to draw inspiration from it for everything from the spirit of the food to the drinks and warm, inviting atmosphere.