Gallery: Ribelle Plays Neighborhood Restaurant with a Killer Early-Bird Special in Brookline, MA

The Line
The Line

Chef/owner Tim Maslow oversees the busy line.

Garlic Knots
Garlic Knots

Most garlic knots I've had were chewy (in a good way). These are incredibly plush, a bit stretchy, and brushed with duck fat—which, to me, makes the marinara sauce (although tasty) almost unnecessary.

Truffle Egg Toast
Truffle Egg Toast

The ultimate toad-in-a-hole. The semolina bread is made in house, griddled until deep golden brown, and excellent; I want it for my toast every morning. That's a Lally Farm egg spilling out from the center, plus blistered shisito peppers over top—a little hot and a little bitter. I thought the truffle flavor was faint, but better that than a wash of bad truffle oil that tastes like gasoline.

Carrots and Hazelnuts
Carrots and Hazelnuts

Creamy-textured and well-browned whole Sparrow Arc Farm carrots glossed with a syrupy jam made from buckthorn berries (they look like orange cranberries and grow in coastal areas, giving them a faint salinity). The pale orange purée is also carrot. Chopped hazelnuts and mustard seeds add crunch. (This was the one dish we ordered from the à la carte menu for $12, though it's also an option on the 3 for 30.)

Kohlrabi With Grilled Veal Tongue
Kohlrabi With Grilled Veal Tongue

Ultra-crisp meets ultra-tender. The kohlrabi is julienned so it sits nicely with the slender green beans, both quite crisp. Grilled tongue medallions sit underneath, and cleave into tender, silky hunks when a fork gets anywhere near. The dressing is garlic confit and Calabrian chile oil that the kitchen makes, and those crunchy bits are squid ink bread crumbs with caraway, chia, and fennel seeds.

Rye Bigoli with Citrus and Shrimp
Rye Bigoli with Citrus and Shrimp

My favorite dish of the night: chewy rye-based pasta pipes; shrimp confited in oil with citrus zest (and a little simple syrup that makes it just a bit sweet); grapefruit, lemon, and lime segments; thin-cut matsutakes, and sharp, tender-crisp mustard greens.

Pappardelle Bolognese
Pappardelle Bolognese

Maybe the most recognizably Italian dish on the menu, it's mostly a rich triple meat (lamb, veal, pork) ragu and chewy, scallop-edged pappardelle ribbons. Where it does go off-course: pork rinds that are puffed and ultra-crisp and pea greens.

Olive Oil Ice Cream
Olive Oil Ice Cream

This dessert's getting a lot of buzz. My favorite part wasn't the texture, which was noticeably less dense and rich than premium ice cream. The EVOO flavor was good (it's a kalamata-based oil) and the sea salt is just enough. But the really impressive part was the homemade magic shell, which tasted a bit like Mexican chocolate. That's not because there's cinnamon in the hard sauce, but because there's a small piece of burnt cinnamon stick on the outside of the ice cream bowl that gave off such a strong aroma, you could taste it.