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Big Fat Whale
Faking it, just not quite making it
The first clue to a fake restaurant is a phony name. Conga's isn't owned by an Afro-Cuban dance rhythm, and doesn't serve drums. Instead, it has a Spanish and South American menu cooked by Central Americans for Thai owners whose previous Japanese restaurant in this space didn't catch on.
| February 24, 2010
This convivial corner of Hell is actually beer Heaven
What act could follow the B-Side Lounge, beloved home of craft-cocktail scholars? Well, how about a bar-restaurant for beer geeks?
| February 17, 2010
Bistro du Midi
Fine, but not necessarily French
Bistro du Midi purports to serve "authentic Provençal" cuisine, but Midi actually refers to all of southern France.
| February 10, 2010
Satisfying a Grecian yearning
Having longed for an all-out Greek dining room in metro Boston since, well, almost since the Phoenix was reviewing plays by Euripides and protesting the Peloponnesian War, I finally hit Dionysos in Cambridge about a year before it closed in 2007.
| February 03, 2010
House of Chang
A welcome change in the neighborhood
For more than 30 years, this location housed Lucky Garden, one of the first neighborhood Mandarin-Szechuan restaurants in Greater Boston, and one of the best in stretches.
| January 27, 2010
Walking a narrow path to success
Another week, another gastro-pub. Okay, Post 390 technically bills itself as a Back Bay "urban tavern," and is bigger and glitzier than most, but it has the same combination of comfort food with a twist, a few bits of high cheffery, serious drinks, and playful desserts found throughout the city so frequently these days.
| January 20, 2010
The Regal Beagle
A quirky neighborhood that puts all the pieces together
The Regal Beagle is making a quick success doing what almost all the new restaurants want to do: small plates; comfort food with a gourmet twist; a mixture of high and low; a bit of locovore, green, and slow fare; some salty fast food; interesting drinks; and scrambled nostalgia.
| January 13, 2010
Nothing quaint and everything delicious at Belmont's 'country house'
Il Casale — the "country house"— may be more rustic than Chef Dante de Magistris's magisterial and experimental restaurant Dante in the Cambridge Royal Sonesta, but it ain't no hometown spaghetti shack.
| January 06, 2010
Ginger Park Kitchen & Bar
The second time's the charm
One of my frustrations with restaurant criticism is that restaurants do not usually respond to it.
| December 30, 2009
2009: The year in dining
My year in food
This was an unusual food year for me, in that the recession did not have the expected effect on the local dining scene.
| December 28, 2009
Artistry and taste combine — but perhaps not often enough
At breakfast and lunch, Pairings serves as a basic hotel restaurant, which the Park Plaza has lacked for about 10 years.
| December 16, 2009
Myung Dong 1st Avenue
Can a Korean dive bar serve the masses? Certainly, with alcoholic melon drinks.
Myung Dong refers to a high-rent, youth-oriented shopping district in Seoul, thus "1st Avenue" is a kind of evocation of both Fifth Avenue and SoHo. This restaurant has a variety of Japanese and Korean dishes, but the idea is to appeal to a young crowd, more specifically a drinking crowd.
| December 09, 2009
Pasha Turkish & Mediterranean Cuisine
A fantastically long list of Turkish delights
Even without enormous evidence, the Nadeau family has decided that "Turkish food never lets you down." Louise likes to grab lunch downtown at Boston Kebab House; Maurice prefers Allston's Saray; and Stephanie and her school friends enjoy Brookline Family Restaurant.
| December 02, 2009
Gennaro's 5 North Square Ristorante
A former tourist trap proves its worth
The owners of Caffé Vittoria and the Florentine Cafe took over this venerable tourist trap that looks out on North Square a year ago, renamed it for their son last May, and quietly spiffed up the rooms and the menu.
| November 25, 2009
Sampling the perks of a recession
I'm enjoying this restaurant recession more than the last one.
| November 18, 2009
A pleasantly unpredictable treat sneaks out of the shadows
How do we find hidden gems? You can't just look under the radar. Sometimes the hiding place is behind a famous name, as is the case with ArtBar.
| November 16, 2009
Jade Garden Seafood Restaurant
Fresh as can be and well-priced. What’s the catch?
Ready for some reasonably priced lobster after years of paying too much? You’re in luck, since a price war seems to be unfolding on the streets of Chinatown, with various window signs advertising twin lobsters in ginger and scallion for as low as $14.95.
| November 04, 2009
Sofia Italian Steakhouse
Versatility and competence go a long way
I have to admit I giggled when I got a press release describing this restaurant as being located in the “white-hot West Roxbury-Dedham dining scene.” After all, the space had already killed a reasonably good steak house, Vintage, after a long closure in which it tried to upscale, then ended up downscaling by adding red-sauce Italian dishes.
| October 28, 2009
Bubor Cha Cha
Some call it inauthentic, but this is Malaysian fusion done well
I’m not an enthusiast of fusion food, but I do like the cuisine of Malaysia, where history has developed a four-way fusion cuisine.
| October 21, 2009
A quality Indian bargain spot deserving of multiple visits
Punjab Palace — by the same owners of Kenmore Square’s India Quality — “proves to be the kind of kid brother that would make any older sibling proud,” my colleague MC Slim JB wrote last year. That’s true, but this is also another second-tier Indian restaurant. So why do Slim and I like it so much?
| October 15, 2009
Shining light on a secret Iberian bargain
Three-year-old ethnic bargain spot Con Sol snuck under reviewers' radar with an Iberian menu that draws mostly on Portuguese-American food — a cuisine that feels native to long-time Cantabrigians, but otherwise is little known north of New Bedford and Fall River or west of Provincetown.
| October 14, 2009
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The Current Issue
Table of Contents
Where To Follow Me
| March 24, 2013 at 11:09 AM
Mo Takes His Turn
March 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM
[Q&A] KMFDM's Sascha Konietzko on art, Columbine and having balls
On The Download
| March 18, 2013 at 3:22 PM
See this film series: The Belmont World Film Series @ Studio Cinema in Belmont
Outside The Frame
| March 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM
See this film: This is Spinal Tap [with post-film talk by expert from Acoustical Society of America] @ the Coolidge
March 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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