Myers + Chang – Boston Magazine Hall of Famer

Myers + Chang wasn’t supposed to be the second Hall of Famer to be visited. I had a reservation for Field and Vine in January, but two feet of snow derailed that. Then, I intended to go to Toro in February, but I couldn’t get a reservation on the day I needed. So Friday night I ended up having dinner at Myers + Chang.

Like Deuxave, the first Hall of Famer I visited, I had been to Myers + Chang before, but it had been a long, long time, like ten years ago, maybe more. Other than the style of food, “Asian-ish” as they call it, I didn’t remember much about it. The restaurant is the owned by husband and wife Christopher Myers and Joanne Chang. They also own flour bakery which has many locations around Boston and Cambridge. Chef Chang is one of my favorite local chefs and it was great to see her bouncing back and forth between the open kitchen and the dining room on a busy night.

The menu at Myers + Chang is huge. You would need three or four visits just to scratch the surface. Here’s a tip though, and I wish I had known it, they do offer half portions. I don’t know if it will save you any money, but it will let you try more things. At Myers + Chang that’s the best thing you can do, because everything I ate was delicious.

There is no start to finish here. You order food and food comes. First this one, then that, with no real order. Eventually, your table has more plates than you know what to do with. There is no his and hers. Everything is shared. If you go with a friend, you have to fight over the last of the five dumplings and the other food served in odd numbers. It would be hard to leave hungry.

For drinks, you can’t go wrong with the Mai Tai. It’s classic. The Gin and Pear it is also good, made with Barr Hill Gin out of Vermont and spiced pear. You also can’t go wrong with the house made sodas, available spiked. If you go that route, I suggest the Mint Lime Rickey with coconut rum. After a cocktail, try some sake. Their collection is small but very good. If in doubt, get the “Hawk in the Heavens”. It’s fantastic and goes great with the cuisine.

The food will keep me coming back. Mama Chang’s Pork + Chive Dumplings with Black Pepper-Scallion Sauce is where to start, an excellent traditional pot sticker with ground pork, cabbage, and ginger. These are so famous you can find the recipe everywhere, but if you want to watch her make them, you can check out Chef Chang’s recent appearance on the Today Show.

We also dug into Nasi Goreng, an Indonesian fried rice with shrimp, pork, and pineapple, topped with a perfect fried egg. The Tiger’s Tears with Curry-Rubbed Steak + Bell Peppers was a special dish added for the Year of the Tiger. It was flavorful and fresh, but not as spicy as the three chili designation on the menu.

While everything was delicious, two dishes stole the show. Sweet + Sour Brussels Sprouts with Pickled Shallots + Fresh Mint were absolutely incredible. I make fantastic brussels, but these are better. I get brussels everywhere I go and these are the best I have had. They are nicely charred and then paired with an incredible sauce. Do not skip this dish. Likewise the Tea-Smoked Pork Spare Ribs cannot be missed. The meat is tender and falls off the bone, but the smokey flavor is what makes these so special. Usually reserved for duck, this twist on ribs is worth the visit.

For dessert, I went with the Coconut Layer Cake. Did I mention that the chef and her husband also own a chain of bakeries around town? Yup, you get amazing Asian style dinner, followed by truly excellent dessert. Sorry if green tea ice cream or a stale fortune cookie and canned pineapples is your thing. At Myers + Chang you are going to be tempted by some of the best dessert in Boston. And it is the perfect type of dessert, not some deconstructed nonsense and not so over-the-top that you can’t finish it and have to diet for the next month to make up for it. Just a perfect, beautiful slice of cake.

Myers + Chang is certainly one of the best restaurants in Boston. The restaurant is pretty casual and the service is very friendly. Our waitress Trang was wonderful and very helpful. It’s the type of restaurant you could go back to over and over again. The prices are fair, about $100 for dinner for two, but then toss in a bunch of drinks, dessert, and tip and we still ended up coming in under $240. If you don’t go all in, you can easily have a great meal for a good price. You don’t need to wait for a special occasion to enjoy it, just a good appetite.

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