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MC Slim JB on Vejigantes; Devra First on Kitchen

Photo: Yelp/Emily D.

Vejigantes in the South End is the subject of the very first review in the new publication The Phoenix, the product of a merger between the Boston Phoenix and STUFF. MC Slim JB reviews the restaurant, which occupies the former Don Ricardo's space on Dedham St. and which is run by the owners of the Dominican Merengue in Roxbury. The only local venue named for "a many-horned, fantastical Carnaval creature," Vejigantes serves "ferociously good" camarones al ajillo: "seven fat shrimp cooked in about a head's worth of minced garlic in oil." Though paella valenciana is "a bit mild," at least it comes in a "whimsical, edible clamshell-shaped container made of fried plantains" when ordered for two. [Phoenix]

If you haven't heard, historical foods are a thing now, and Globe restaurant critic Devra First spells out one of the reasons why in the intro to her new review of Kitchen, which is also in the South End in what was formerly Pops on Tremont St. The short version: after so much molecular gastronomy, "weariness crept in." She gives Kitchen two and a half stars (out of a possible four). There is too much batter on the frog legs and some baked goods appear to need more baking, both examples of how "the food can be uneven." But mock turtle soup -"a thinner, more-elegant beef stew"- hits the spot, and the creme brulee is "a fine version." Perhaps the greatest accomplishment is that "history isn't a gimmick." [BG]

Vejigantes

57 W Dedham St, Boston, MA 02118

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