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Bina Osteria, Thirsty Scholar, Jimmy's Bar and Oven

Photo: Facebook/Bina Osteria

In Devra First's review of Bina Osteria, the Globe food critic paints a picture of an imperfect but underappreciated restaurant unduly suffering from identity changes. First says the "hearty but not heavy" menu excels at pasta. "Hake pulled from Maine waters makes a fine main course, its sweet, flaky flesh offset with assertive flavors: caramelized fennel, pickled celery root, salty little clams, and piquant salsa verde." Dessert "doesn’t distinguish itself" but the restaurant is overall a better pick than others in its range: "Bina is not out of diners’ league as a regular, everyday haunt." [BG]

Hidden Boston visits the Thirsty Scholar in Somerville and praises its "snug" little room that makes for a great intimate meal with a handful of friends. Though there's only one of them here. "Standouts among appetizers include a delicious plate of roasted mussels with a spicy cream sauce; a meaty chili with olives, peppers, and tomatoes." For entrees HB likes fish and chips with Sierra Nevada beer batter and beef stew with Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter. Is this the best Irish Pub food in town? No. "But this pub is a great spot if you're looking for quiet conversation, terrific atmosphere, and decent food in a slightly out-of-the-way location." [Hidden Boston]

Cristin Nelson reviews Jimmy's Bar and Oven for the Brookline Patch, praising the restaurant's 1,000 degree oven and "substantial enough to hold all the toppings" crust that is "crispy all the way through." Nelson finds that the bar and oven aren't always on the same page: "You can enjoy a pizza with goat cheese, pears, figs, and arugula, even while the boys at the bar watch the game on ESPN... you can shout the tasting notes on your glass of Pinot over the Weezer song playing on the stereo." [Brookline Patch]

Jimmy's Bar & Oven

1653 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02445 617 277 2774 Visit Website