james gate
JAMES'S GATE 

JAMAICA PLAIN

JAMES'S GATE vs. TRES GATOS

The patio at James's Gate is really just a parking lot next to a bodega. That said, the staff transform the space into a little piece of blacktop paradise. While the Gate is always great for its clever mix of hippies, hipsters, artists, drunks, and riffraff, the patio has more of a civilized-brunch vibe to it (not unlike the restaurant's classed-up back room). If you lose yourself in the mural depicting the joint's namesake Irish landmark, you might even forget that you're lounging between stall lines.

Newcomer Tres Gatos isn't all that different from the Gate, but that's not our fault; the crowd is essentially the same at every place in JP, or at least those that offer outdoor areas (unfortunately, Galway House has yet to introduce dumpsterside seating). We chowed tapas outside at the recently finished patio, which is small, seating only 12. But check this — the whole floor is a giant tile mosaic of a cat. The team here has already established a homey atmosphere, inside as well as out. If all goes as planned, pretty soon the quince tree in the yard will bloom (without the use of heavy pesticides), and Chef Marcos Sanchez will use the fruit in his roasted-golden-and-Chioggia-beet salad. It doesn't get more Jamaica Plain than that.

JAMES'S GATE, 5 McBride St, Jamaica Plain | 617.983.2000

TRES GATOS, 470 Centre St, Boston | 617.477.4851

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