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MC Slim JB Applauds The Hawthorne

Photo: Marlo M/C

For STUFF, restaurant critic MC Slim JB reviews the food and drink at The Hawthorne, which opened in Kenmore's Hotel Commonwealth last fall to much acclaim. And here's more acclaim: Slim calls the staff "an absurdly talented team" and deems the small plates "extraordinary for a drinking establishment." Deviled eggs are topped with "impossibly crisp prosciutto" and even the bowls of olives get a "generous." As with all Slim's STUFF reviews, he ends on a single, emblematic dish, in this case a sliced skirt steak salad, which is "delicious, thoughtful, carefully assembled, and elegantly served without a hint of pomp." [STUFF]

For Serious Eats, Liz Bomze profiles the legendary prune-stuffed gnocchi at Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Barbara Lynch's No. 9 Park. The feature begins with a stroll through the dish's previous mentions by local press and by the Times' Mark Bittman. "They're fat and cute and manage to pull off the elusive balance of rich, sumptuous flavors captured in a delicate frame," adds Bomze. The dish is not just "a stunner" but "a rite of passage." [SE]

For the Phoenix, restaurant critic Robert Nadeau reviews Area Four, giving the Kendall Square restaurant three out of four stars. As is his custom, Nadeau remarks upon the decaf: here it is "not so strong or aromatic as the very best" despite the fact that "the technique is impeccable." The draft list is "a truly choice short list," wood-oven pizzas are "superb" and a dish of broccoli with hot pepper, olives, and pecorino is "tasty but salty." [BP]

The Small Boston Kitchen has mixed feelings about Gourmet Dumpling House in Chinatown. Despite the photos of a visiting Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson, scallion pancake and pork and leek dumplings do little to reverse "a bad stereotype" and are "unnecessarily slicked with grease." But such fare has its place, says TSBK: "If you're looking for something to help soak up some of the aftermath of an over-indulging evening, this might be your spot." [The Small Boston Kitchen]

For the Phoenix's On the Cheap column, Ali Carter pays a visit to the Allston Diner, which adds some multicultural flare to the neighborhood by not being multicultural. A seitan-based vegan barbecue breakfast sandwich transports Carter to another world. "For a nice break from fast-paced city life, Allston Diner is a great sit-down spot." [BP]

The newish 2 Dine For Boston reviews Trina's Starlite Lounge in Somerville using its standard he said/she said format. He says: "This hot dog had elements of the craziness without the extreme feeling of disgust afterward. " She says: "I appreciated the classic Ritz topping and the deviation from the macaroni norm (this one was made with shells)." The composite score: 8.5 out of ten. [2DF]

Trina's Starlite Lounge

3 Beacon Street, , MA 02143 (617) 576-0006 Visit Website

The Hawthorne

500A Commonwealth Avenue, , MA 02215 (617) 532-9150 Visit Website

No. 9 Park

9 Park Street, Boston, MA 02108 617 742 9991 Visit Website

Gourmet Dumpling House

52 Beach Street, , MA 02111 (617) 338-6223 Visit Website

Area Four

500 Technology Square, , MA 02139 (617) 758-4444 Visit Website

Allston Diner

431 Cambridge Street, Allston, MA 02134 617 208 8741

The Hawthorne

500 A Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA