Local foodies, rejoice! We are so fortunate to have some amazing restaurants in and around Newton. Restaurants that, in my opinion, rival some of the best in Boston.
My personal favorite is Comedor. My honey and I have been there a handful of times and have never been disappointed. We’ve also never had the same thing twice as the menu is ever-changing. The service is friendly and efficient, the atmosphere intimate yet vibrant.
Getting a Reservation
We were back recently at 5:30pm on a Saturday night for an impromptu date. Like many restaurants in Newton, you need to book at least a week ahead to reserve table seating between 7-8pm. So when I called it at 4:50pm, our choices were either 5:30pm or 9pm; we opted for the earlier seating. When we first got there it was a bit quiet — perfect for getting some good pictures of the restaurant.
Comedor has several seating areas. In addition to table seating, there are two bars: a chef’s bar, with a reservation, and a regular bar with 8 seats that are open to walk-in customers. One other seating area, a 4-seater high-top table by the front door, is also available to walk-in customers, though it can also be reserved.
Inventive Chilean Small Plates
Comedor bills its food as “creative Chilean cuisine mixed with a dose of American ingenuity.” It is small plate Peruvian fusion that is remarkably inventive. The menu changes frequently. Almost everything, from the cocktail ingredients to the pickled fennel, is made in-house.
I’m not a big drinker, but I will often have a drink when dining out. I had the spicy mamarita with chili-infused tequila, which I really enjoyed. My husband had the Fennel Corpse Reviver with gin and absinthe, and it did revive him. He also went on to have a glass of Finca DeCero Malbec, another great choice.
And now, for the food. Our server recommended we start with 4-6 small plates, then order more as desired. The plates come out as they are ready. To keep our hunger at bay, we received two knotted poppyseed rolls with their house-made honey butter.
We chose 5 dishes to start. Our 6th dish, which was also our favorite, was the mackerel pate. I had to talk my husband into it. “Mackeral pate” did not sound appealing to him but I just had a feeling it would be tasty. And let me say, it was amazing! My hubby ended up scooping every last bite out of the small mason jar it was served in. (Insider tip: if you run out of the toasts that accompany the pate, just ask for more!) I recommend tasting the garnishes on each plate. For instance, the pate comes with a delicate spray of house-pickled fennel. It was delish eaten separately, as well as with the pate en croute. Garnishes are not just for aesthetics at Comedor.
The other dishes we ordered included a fillet of arctic char uniquely served on a skewer, which made it easier to share. Crispy skin and tender fish, it was served with seasoned mushrooms. The house-made pickled cucumber was tasty, and the Brussels sprouts hash with leeks, mushrooms and almond couscous arrived first and was excellent. My husband ate the braised short ribs solo since I don’t eat red meat. We thought about ordering seconds of the scallop empanadas (yummy!) but decided to restrain ourselves.
What To Know
Comedor is open for dinner Tuesdays – Sundays. Sunday brunch is served from 11:30am-2pm. Closed Mondays.
Another aspect of the restaurant that I respect is their admirable effort to improve the pay of their kitchen workers. Following in the footsteps of the restaurant group responsible for Tres Gatos, Casa Verde, and Centre Street Café, Comedor has instituted a 3% kitchen appreciation charge, which helps their kitchen staff to receive a living wage and to improve their quality of life. Here is how they explain it:
“In an attempt to meaningfully address wage inequities between our service team and kitchen staff, we have determined that a 3% kitchen appreciation charge is the best option among many considered. We understand this is a unique approach, but it enables to deliver a consistently high-quality dining experience to our guests. Thank you for your understanding!”
While I’ve never seen this before, it seems more than fair to me. Kitchen staff work as hard or harder than those in the front of the house. Moreover, the charge in the context of our bill was also pretty minimal — only $3.43.
Tell Us What You Think
Have you tried Comedor? What do you think of it? We’d love to hear from you!
105 Union St
Newton Centre, MA