One day, Boston will erect a statue in Ana Sortun’s honor—that’s how revelatory her Eastern Mediterranean cooking has been to the city. After a training stint in Turkey, Sortun came back to Boston and opened Oleana in 2001, introducing Bostonians to fragrant, spice-laden cooking with seasonally grown ingredients. Delicate small plates (meze) like chickpea crepes, lamb siniya and spinach falafel are both revelatory and pleasing to a wide range of palates (Oleana is nirvana to vegetarians), though larger entrées like the lemon chicken with za’atar and Turkish cheese pancake are equally flavor-packed. The homemade ice creams are a must (always keep an eye out for the salted butter varietal), as is a seat on the patio during the warmer months, ideally underneath the fig tree.
134 Hampshire Street
|Cross street:||at Elm Street|
|Opening hours:||Sun-Thu 5:30-10pm; Fri, Sat 5:30-11pm|
|Transport:||Red line to Central Square, then 15min walk or bus 83, 91|
|Price:||Main courses $23-$28.|