The Boston Phoenix
August 19 - 26, 1999

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Bulfinch Triangle's secret lunch spot

by Liz Zack

At 1:45 on a liquefyingly hot Tuesday afternoon, we are the only diners at Cosmopolitan. Lunch is not the meal this place was designed for. In a cavernous space in the area between Haymarket and North Station, the long bar and the prolific wood and metal detailing speak to the hip post-work-drinks crowd. But if you don't mind dining in relative isolation, Cosmopolitan is a great deal for lunch.

Cosmopolitan Cosmopolitan may have the best house vinaigrette in the city, a delicious sesame-oil-and-honey creation. Order as much greenery as you can. The chef indulges his lunch patrons with plate artistry usually reserved for much larger meal checks; a beautiful mesclun salad comes arranged as a crown, with sliced eggplant as a brim and enoki mushrooms for points ($4.95). The other must-have at Cosmopolitan is the spring rolls, huge multi-colored creations cut on the bias and placed in a yellow mango crème anglaise with drizzled balsamic vinegar. Perfectly crispy on the outside and stuffed with seasonal vegetables from roasted peppers to roasted garlic, the rolls are a meal in themselves ($5.25).

Entreés are sandwich-based and, though good, aren't quite as stellar or inventive as the appetizers that precede them. Both the chicken sandwich ($7.95) and the vegetable sandwich ($6.95) are paired with the real star of the entreés -- the fries. Thick wedges of spicy yellow and sweet potato dusted with . . . was it brown sugar? I ate every one. One warning: check your bill. When we left, we discovered that we had been grossly mischarged for the entreés we had ordered.

Cosmopolitan, located at 54 Canal Street, is open for lunch Monday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 720-2889.

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