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B.N. Lee Gives Asana Three and a Half Stars

Photo: Asana/Cal Bingham

The question of how executive chef Rachel Klein has settled into her role at Asana is answered by B.N. Lee, who gives the Mandarin Oriental Hotel restaurant three and a half stars out of a possible five in The Improper Bostonian. "Klein has introduced an elegant, confident sense of place with a menu shifted to a more seasonal, local focus," says Lee, who calls the New England clam chowder "outstanding." When was the last time anyone called clam chowder outstanding? Not everything is on that level, including moulard duck and Brandt strip steak, but thanks to Klein Asana "is better than ever." And yet Klein seems capable of even more: "a hotel restaurant, even a fine one, isn't always the best setting for her gifts." [TIB]

Brazilian steakhouse chain and Copley Square newcomer Fogo de Chão scores two stars out of a possible four from James Reed, stepping in for Devra First at the Globe. "You can blow through a lot of cash here," notes Reed, though service is "uniformly excellent," and the meat largely satisfies: "The sirloin, both the top and bottom cuts, are succulent and flavorful, as is the lamb chop, if a tad salty." [BG]

And how does Oak Long Bar + Kitchen fare after the massive restoration and renovation that altered what was once The Oak Room? For Boston Magazine, Corby Kummer says the dining room "can feel magical" and "a few dishes are as good as anything in town." And yet "Attempts at complexity, though, generally went awry, most notably in a kind of surf 'n' turf tagliatelle ($28) that wound up a sloppy miss." [BM]

Go on a banh mi crawl with Globe food editor Sheryl Julian in the latest Cheap Eats column. New Saigon Sandwich has "The most succulent, juicy, tasty banh mi," but best baguette goes to the Mei Sum bakery. [BG]

Daddy Jones in Magoun Square, Somerville continues to please reviewers with the latest write-up from Liz Casey at DigBoston. Both food and drink impress, and "The staff was endlessly friendly, quick, and accommodating, eager to give suggestions or make sure we were enjoying ourselves." [DB]

Richard Chudy of Boston Burger Blog assesses the burger at City Landing and finds it lacking. The burger is visually "a showstopper," but "each element is severely under-seasoned with the beef being the primary disappointment." [BBB]

The Friendly Toast gets a friendly reception from Katie Maloney at the friendily named We Love Beantown, which includes the Kendall Square establishment in a series on underrated restaurants. Though the Toast is better known for the first meal of the day, "The lunch menu is just as full of delicious options as the breakfast menu." [WLB]

Correction: This post was edited to say that the total possible number of stars earned by Asana is five, not four, as previously reported.

The Friendly Toast (Kendall Square)

1 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139 (617) 621-1200 Visit Website

Fogo De Chão

200 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA 02116 617 262 9600 Visit Website


776 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 2199 617 535 8800

New Saigon Sandwich

696 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111 617 542 6296

OAK Long Bar + Kitchen

138 Saint James Avenue, , MA 02116 (617) 585-7222 Visit Website

City Landing

255 State Street, Boston, MA 02109 617.725.0305 Visit Website

Mei Sum Bakery

36 Beach Street, , MA 02111 (617) 357-4050