Slideshow: 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.

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.