Best of Boston

2008 Best Caribbean Restaurant


Not even the drizzliest, dreariest New England day can cast a pall at Merengue, a Dominican institution saturated with the color and warmth of a Caribbean sunset. Surrounded by walls and ceilings painted pink, sky blue, yellow, green, and vermilion, diners tuck into seafood and meat vibrant with garlic, Creole spices, and other signature island flavors. Sure bets for newcomers include the mashed plantains filled with shredded chicken or pork—dumplings la the D.R.—and creamy shakes showcasing tropical fruits like mango and guava. Further brightening the scene are co-owner Héctor Pina’s genial presence and frequent visits by high-wattage Red Sox clientele.

160 Blue Hill Ave., Boston, 617-445-5403,