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Reviews for First Printer, Clio, Asian Gourmet, and More

Photo: Facebook/First Printer

Boston Phoenix dining critic Robert Nadeau visits the recently opened First Printer in Harvard Square and awards it two stars. He describes it as "a surprisingly capacious and comfortable gastropub, pitched to a younger audience with modest food prices and vast portions." The cuisine is "Southern comfort, with an accent on the Cajun, featuring such conversation starters as fried alligator, a buffalo burger" and a wild-boar carbonara that is a "brilliant success." Desserts failed to satisfy, but the coffee, both decaf and cappuccino, were expertly made. [BP]

Globe restaurant critic Devra First pays a return visit to Clio on its fifteenth anniversary. The space has been renovated to be more modern without any drastic changes. "Updates are most pronounced at the bar, which is lighter and more welcoming, with a few small booths." The bar is always busy, attracting patrons that are "younger and perhaps less-affluent than the usual Clio crowd" with cocktails and bowls of $10 ramen. "The seven-course tasting is a pleasure, leading diners through miniaturized versions of many dishes" including what First calls "one of Oringer’s best inventions," the cassolette. [BG]

The Globe welcomes new Cheap Eats reviewer Ellen Bhang, who debuts this week with a visit to Asian Gourmet in Concord. Husband and wife chefs Jet and Jean Lee, who have also cooked at Jo Jo Taipei in Allston, excel in the traditional dishes. “Oyster pancake, more omelet than crepe, is silky comfort food,” and “steamed mini juicy pork buns are soup dumplings full of gingery ground pork.” Be sure to refer to the chalkboards for specials not listed on the menu, which on one visit included a ginger duck hot pot for two with sliced ginger, goji berries, and ginseng root. [BG]

For the Phoenix’s Cheap Eats column, Lindsay Crudele samples some of the offerings at Griddler's Burgers and Dogs. The Chowder Dog is more appetizing than she envisioned, topped with fried clam strips and chowder that is “more of a thick, bacony clam dip.” Waffle fries make for an additional vehicle for the chowder. The standard burgers, “griddled, flat-patty style,” are preferable to the Gooey Griddler, “essentially a meat pocket filled with American cheese sauce” that ends up being “a fairly explosive endeavor, with melted cheese running everywhere and leaving behind the well-done, steamed meat.” The onion burger comes with caramelized onions, red-onion slices, and onion rings and is served on a soft potato bun. Says Crudele, “these are the flavors of fast food.” [BP]

BU Today reviews Victoria Seafood Restaurant, located near the school’s West Campus. noting that the drab exterior belies what you will find inside. “Victoria is a no-frills Chinese restaurant, but its dirt-cheap cuisine is perfect for anybody on a budget.” While the menu can seem overwhelming at first with over 270 dishes, it offers something for everyone, from the most discerning Chinese food palate to a vegetarian. The lunch special might just be the best bargain in town, offering an appetizer and entrée for just $5.25. As for a recommended dish, “The sesame chicken entrée was satisfyingly sweet, evenly coated with toasted sesame seeds” and “the single chicken wing was perfect—crispy and not greasy.” [BUT]

Clio

370 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 617 536 7200

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