The team behind the acclaimed restaurants Kava Neo-Taverna (eight street neighborhoods) and Puro Ceviche Bar (upper back bay) have grown their list to include another South End gem Ilona, in Claremont. With a light, feminine atmosphere and amazing food, Ilona is sure to be another hit restaurant in this neighborhood.
Photos taken by Sophie Benzie
We stopped into Ilona to get a feel for the lively new South End spot. With a food and cocktail selection inspired by the eastern Mediterranean to the shores of the Black Sea, there are many fun dishes to choose from. Here’s a rundown of what we tried:
This dish consists of three dips served with your choice of bread, so we had the manakish. This is their heavily seasoned flatbread. The first dip, a beet tzatziki, is a really fun choice due to its hot pink coloring. The second, a baba ghanouj featured a really strong lemon flavor. The third dip, a unique sauce made with pomegranate, was the staff favorite which was the most noteworthy of the three.
These fried eggplant slices are served over a bed of honey and yogurt making this a delightfully sweet plate that is easy to share.
These potatoes are served pan-fried and topped with an amazing cilantro herb mix. If you like cilantro this is a must-have.
Ilona makes serves their beef meatballs in a sauce of Mediterranean spices. This eclectic dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
pinnacle razz, berries, lemon juice, agave nectar
Served straight up in a martini glass, the Ilona’s Favorite has a strong sweet raspberry flavor.
Passion Fruit Mojito
flor de cana, passion fruit purée, mint, lime, club soda
When we visited, the passion fruit was substituted with Blackberry because Ilona makes sure to feature local ingredients. The freshness of the blackberries was accented by the mint.
Short path gin, St. Germain, cucumber, tonic
Similar to a gin and tonic with cucumber, this refreshing but sweet drink is perfect for a hot summer night.
If Ilona and this upcoming dining scene in the South End interests you then you should check out our listing down the road at 2A Wellington Street.