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Devra First Gives Casa B Three Stars

Photo: Facebook/Casa B

"Every once in a while a restaurant opens that feels completely fresh," says Globe restaurant critic Devra First, who gave Casa B in Union Square three out of four stars. Not bad for two first time restaurateurs seeking to keep tapas current. Things work that easily might not have: that the owners did the decorating, that the meatballs are in a guava sauce and that gnocchi are made from yuca, an ingredient which can easily stray into dry and stringy territory. Meringue with passion fruit curd "manages to be both classic and novel," a description that could serve as a synecdoche here. First declares the restaurant a dream "that has been fully realized." Excluding some tough roast pork. [BG]

Robert Nadeau of the Boston Phoenix is not as into Trade as most of the other reviewers in town. He gives Jody Adams' sophomore, waterfront restaurant only two of four stars for its lack of focus, "being a neighborhood spot, presenting big culinary ideas, seeming business-casual, and appealing to the deliberate tourist" without mastering any of the above. Nadeau also faults specific dishes for their failure to deliver. "Local grilled lobster with pickled-artichoke aioli... doesn't taste grilled, doesn't taste like artichoke, and doesn't even taste much like lobster." He does enjoy the service, a soup with tofu that "defies hippy-dippy connotations" and a pear crostata "with excellent pie crust pulled up into a purse of melting pear." Once again, Nadeau likes the decaf. [BP]

For the Globe's Cheap Eats column, Bella English praises the newish South Boston Paramount, which expanded from its original Beacon Hill location of 15 years. The layout makes for "a bowling-alley of a place," but unlike at a bowling alley, "a razor-thin, frozen slice of cucumber floats in each water glass." (When something does float in your water at a bowling alley, it's generally not an aromatic frozen vegetable.) Salmon is "pan-roasted to a perfect silky texture" (really, without sous vide!?) and tacos "are a colorful tableau with grilled scallions, a smear of chickpea puree, and a cranberry prosecco coulis." [BG]

For CBS Boston, Rachel Leah Blumenthal discovers the Beacon St. neighborhood favorite Zoe’s Gourmet Chinese Cuisine, surely the only place to get both strawberry chicken and spicy fried frog in Somerville. "One messy bite into the buns and we were hooked on Zoe’s," she says. Though "pork kidneys, tripe, and intestines are a bit beyond my comfort zone," the menu prompts overeating and inspires future visits. "Even before our meal ended, we decided that we’ll be regulars at Zoe’s." [CBS]

For the Phoenix's On the Cheap column, Cassandra Landry adds to the adoring buzz on Lone Star Taco Bar. Tequila is "lovingly honored in this agave temple" in drinks like the Agua de Tamarindo, "a study in sensuality and spice," and the Paloma, "a clean pre-dinner aperitif." Oh, and the tacos are good. The selection makes it "as hard to choose between as one's own children." Beef barbacoa is the best, followed by the Baja fish taco. Grilled corn with cotija and chili-lime aioli is "frighteningly close" to the infamous version at Toro (is that a good thing?) and the overall experience inspires Landry to feel "like I was part of something revolutionary." [BP]

Lone Star Taco Bar (Allston)

477 Cambridge Street, Allston, MA 02135

casa b

253 Washington Street, Somerville, MA 02143 617 764 2180 Visit Website

Trade

1410 14th Street Northwest, , DC 20005 (202) 986-1094 Visit Website

Casa B

253 Washington St, Somerville, MA

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