We had to chuckle at this dispatch from Boston magazine. Jolyon Helterman helpfully breaks down the types of menus typically spotted in Boston restaurants, and it’s right on the money.
Helterman notices four different styles, each with a distinct aesthetic and stridency. Behold:
The Farmstead Federation
“Nothing says ‘I returned from the market seconds ago’ quite like a smattering of almost illegible script.” Rustic? Charming? Poseurish? Jury’s out.
The Frenglish Legion
“Florid fonts, swirling arabesques, and exotic-sounding foreign terms inject a dose of je ne sais quoi into what’s essentially French diner grub, the croque-monsieur to our ham and swiss.” We have to agree here. And you know, these menus can be incredibly fun to stare at late-night when you’re a bit … addled … and trying not to pass out in your poutine.
Ye Olde Brigade
“Bostonians are suckers for history, a truth not lost on gastropub owners, who’ve tapped into that antiquarian exuberance via their menus.” Right on. These menus look like they were stolen from the Library of Congress.
“Like highly curated boutiques featuring a single frock or footstool, the spare, uncluttered menu conveys a careful paring-down to only the best.” Yes, less is almost often more. Literally, in this case, as local examples include second-mortgage-not-included spots Menton and O Ya.
A Four Restaurant Town [Boston]