MC Slim JB's review of GaGa Seafood Restaurant in the latest issue of STUFF starts by accusing you of not eating in Chinatown enough. "Are you still... harboring doubts about kitchen cleanliness? Then why do you suppose Chinatown is where you’re most likely to spot the city’s best chefs when they’re eating out?" He then ticks off the Seuss-like lineup of sea life awaiting you in the restaurant's live-tanks: "feathery flocks of shrimp, purple-hued Dungeness crabs, mottled green Maine lobsters, barbel-chinned and wide-eyed cod, rose-tinted tilapia, and the spiny, crusty, unearthly monsters known as sea ravens." But GaGa is not merely biodiverse; it is also adept. Slim sees the "spare and plain" restaurant and its "crystalline focus on simplicity and freshness" as the antidote to "a world obsessed with frippery." [STUFF]
Boston's Hidden Restaurants ventures to Jeffries Point in East Boston to check out Italian Express Pizzeria, which is "one of the most well-hidden spots in the Boston area for top-quality pizza." Despite the fact that this establishment "might not look like a true restaurant," the kitchen turns out pizzas that are "among the best in all of Greater Boston" and "a particularly good Caesar salad." While it doesn't play favorites, the review comfortably mentions Italian Express in the same breath as Santarpio's. [Boston's Hidden Restaurants]
Boston Burger Blog posted two reviews this week, discussing the relative merits of the burgers at Vito’s Tavern in the North End and JM Curley in Downtown Crossing. The "over-cooked by a long-shot" Vito's burger "misses the mark again and again while trying to sound more special than it actually is." Overall score: 70. JM Curley fares far better, scoring 93. "I’m a burger purist and this is a burger I’ve been waiting for; great beef, nothing pretentious and just good without tripping on its own two feet, and the option is there if you want to go a little crazy." For instance, peanut butter. [Boston Burger Blog]
Luke O'Neil reviews Saloon in Davis Square for the Metro and is charmed by the novelty of the space's antiquated feel. The bar "might have stumbled across the formula" for forcing a sense of history despite having opened only three months ago. "Little touches" such as serving Claret Punch out of flask "go a long way toward setting Saloon apart." [Metro]
On Fork it over, Boston!, Rachel Leah Blumenthal shares her thoughts about a preview of Wheeler del Toro's new pop-up Barrio. She begins by defending the concept of a pop-up against accusations of "passé or pointless" before describing Cuban-influenced dishes like spicy corn on the cob, the plantains, and "juicy pork, rolled up in a soft tortilla." Though there are some misses, "the overall experience was thrilling." Surely it's the only venue in town where diners pitch in with prep work while sipping Dom Perignon.
In the Phoenix's latest On the Cheap column, Jasmine Lywen-Dill visits Green T Coffee Shop, whose tongue-in-cheek title is derived from its proximity to the E line. The article's sub-heading is "Minimalism done right," and Lywen-Dill goes on to praise the six-item menu and four-table space complete with "a faux fireplace." Though "the space isn't big enough for loitering" and a chai is more sweet than spiced, the author's "mouth still waters just thinking about their homemade pastries." [BP]
Glenn Yoder visits the 17-year-old Peter Woo’s in Revere for the Globe's Cheap Eats column, and finds that the restaurant "delivers on its pork fried rice." Pineapple chicken is "a highlight" despite being a bit dry and though specials are inconsistent, "of all the dishes here, the true star is soup." [BG]