Boston Magazine restaurant critic Corby Kummer weighs in on Legal Harborside. Kummer feels the "big, expensive, ambitious" restaurant is only just beginning to hit its stride, and he italicizes the word "just." Legal's addition to the waterfront is unlike any other establishment run by the chain and hits all of the marks required of a competitive, contemporary, upscale eatery: lobster enhanced by dry ice effects, scallops welded to bacon with transglutaminase (angels on horseback on steroids?). But despite the "Vegas-y" presentation of a $20 shrimp cocktail appetizer, Kummer finds the shellfish to be "waterlogged and mealy" one visit and "imperfectly cleaned" on another: "you could see black flecks of intestine."
The space is divided into three floors with separate identities: the first is comparable to a standard Legal, the third is a wine bar, and the meat of the sandwich does fine dining. The harbor views are "striking" but the restaurant's identity seems either undecided or uninformed. At first Kummer prefers land animals in the form of crispy pig's head and CVap'ed chicken with "a big raviolo with oozing egg-yolk filling." On subsequent visits he enjoys sautéed hiramasa but finds its accompanying eggplant puree to be inconsistently smokey. Abalone is as tough as he fears it will be and "desserts aren’t much worth trying." One gets the sense that Legal opened Harborside because it felt it should, not because it was dying to contribute something new. Still, Kummer remains optimistic for the future and closes the review with nautical metaphors, expecting the "glorious new luxury liner" to achieve "full sail." [Boston Magazine]
Robert Nadeau of the Boston Phoenix reviews Sweet Cheeks Q, which was also the focus of this week's Good News/Bad News. Nadeau finds the flavor of the meat to be subtle but notes that "everything is juicy and tender." Pricing is "confusing" but he's never had brisket so good. Pork is "very, very good" and pork belly is, perhaps for the first time, described as "lean," at least in relation to ham. Sweet potato hand pie is "is not to be missed." The vedict: four stars. [Boston Phoenix]
MC Slim JB reviews Firebrand Saints for Stuff magazine and finds it to be a solid addition to Area IV's happening restaurant scene. The space itself is "wildly original," bridging funky and geeky, including a "mesmerizing video installation." Slim digs the rotisserie meat plates, saying "we'll return to any place whose wide-open kitchen can do such a terrific spit-roasted lemon-sage chicken" that achieves "the rotisserie miracle of equally moist breast and leg meat." [Stuff]
Ali Carter visits Harvard Square wafflemeisters Zinneken's for the Boston Phoenix's On The Cheap column. These Belgian waffles are "crisp on the outside and dense and chewy on the inside." The space is "warm, welcoming" and waffles come topped with substances as diverse as bananas and Oreos. Carter samples a Fruit Delight waffle, "which carefully balanced the tartness of fresh slices of strawberries and bananas with the sweetness of Belgian chocolate shavings, powdered sugar, and a side of Maple Grove Farm syrup." [Boston Phoenix]