Shepherd’s Pie served as finger food. Amped up Mac and Cheese. And nostalgic ice cream sandwiches.
It seems that all the foods you grew up loving are making a seriously tasty come back at the Lion’s Tail.
Located in Boston’s South End, Lion’s Tail is a laid back spot where the craft cocktails are stiff and the vibe is loose. From the moment you step in the door, you’ll feel at home with a knowledgeable staff, craveable comfort food, and an over all friendly feel according to Executive Chef Daniel Pagano.
“I feel like you walk in, you feel like you’re walking into our living room. Very much part of the family, casual environment, everyone’s having fun. You’re gonna hear some great music playing. Everyone’s having a good time, smiles. This is the kinda place that you can come and spend half your Friday night.”
And while you’ll always find bar chefs out front mixing up some delicious unique cocktails, you’ll find the kitchen getting creative with a menu lined with all of your favorite foods to snack on while you sip, like the craveable Shepherd’s Pie Bites- a dish that brings Chef Daniel back.
“I grew up eating shepherd’s pie. It was something that my mom would make like once every couple of weeks. Whenever it was shepherd’s pie night, we were all excited. And every time I’m rolling these little shepherd’s pie bites, I think back on that and it makes me happy.”
“I make potato, beef, and cheddar croquettes, which are little, fried, breaded potato balls…Those get deep fried, and then served with a carrot puree, and crispy fried green peas, and some grilled corn kernels off the cob. So, it’s kind of all your components of that shepherd’s pie, in a little bite-size appetizer.”
Other timeless treats include creamy dreamy tomato soup topped with grilled cheese croutons and served alongside a pile of bacon. And crave-worthy, crispy chicken wings that go way beyond your typical sports bar starter.
“We use jumbo, all natural chicken wings. I comb feed them in their own fat, so they’re cooked in chicken fat. Makes them super tender, and then we deep fry them, they get very crispy. They’re tossed in a Thai chili sauce, which is super sweet, a little spicy, tangy, covered with some chives and sesame seeds for a little more crunch. And then, a nice creamy blue cheese dressing on the side for a cooling kind of finish. ”
There’s Confit Pork Belly- served over a deviled egg aioli with cold pickled cabbage for added acid and crunch and perfectly steamed mussels swimming in a curry cream broth.
“They’re nice Bar Harbor mussels from Maine. We get them in fresh every day…and we steam them with a little roasted garlic, a nice creamy curry sauce. You get a little bit of kind of spicy, earthy creaminess, with some kale and roasted potatoes, a nice garlic toast points.The bowls come back just nothing but shells left. No bread. No kale. Nothing.”
And if you happen to be at Lion’s Tail at the end of the week, an order of sliders is a must because these handheld treats change depending upon what Chef Daniel is feeling like that night.
“Thursday through Sundays, just kind of on a whim, however it’s going. It might change throughout the night. It might change every couple of days. Depends on how much of any particular one we have. Variety is the spice of life. Right? Why we do what we do.”
The entree section of the Lion’s Tail menu is lined with generous portions of stick to your ribs fare. There’s potato gnocchi tossed in a black truffle Medeira Cream Sauce with sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, and arugula and one of the best baked Mac and Cheeses in the city- made with decadent Cabot Clouthbound cheddar.
“Cabot Clothbound mac and cheese is out of this world good. It’s probably a sin to cheese mongers that I’m doing this with this cheese. It’s probably the sharpest cheddar you’ll ever have in your life, but still just amazingly creamy. I buy this, and then I shred it,…with a house-made Bechamel, elbow macaronis, and a Ritz Cracker buttered crust. This is adult mac and cheese.”
There are big, comforting plates of fork tender Beef Short Ribs- served with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and garnished with potato sticks for texture and an ultra moist half roasted chicken that’s a must order. But nothing quite beats a burger, and the one at Lion’s Tail is one you’ve gotta try.
“We use a chuck and short rib blend, which just has a great fattiness to it, without being greasy, so it’s really tender all the time. We sear them on the flattop, which gives a nice crust and kinda seals in all that nice buttery richness to the burger. We serve it on a potato roll with shredded lettuce, some nice, sweet caramelized onions, and then a nice, tangy, spicy mustard and horseradish aioli.”
At dessert, there’s everything from a nostaglic Ice Cream Sandwich which changes every season.
To the Burnt Bourbon Bread Pudding which you could share- but you won’t want to.
“You just hit all the notes. That nice buttery bread, rich eggy pudding, with some dried cherries for a little tartness, some walnuts for some crunch, and then a nice French vanilla ice cream and caramel to just kind of smooth it out and cool your palate. Absolutely a great way to end your meal.”
So when your hunger’s roaring for some delicious comfort fare, you should get your tail into the Lion’s Tail.
354 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118