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Tavern Road "Falls Just Short" for Corby Kummer

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Photo: Tavern Road/Rachel Leah Blumenthal

There is "a recurring earnest-unfocused theme" at Tavern Road, writes Boston Magazine's Corby Kummer. Kummer found the bar to be one of the city's "best-placed homes for craft cocktails," with beverage manager Ryan McGrale's cocktails "veer[ing] sweet but with balance." But as to the food, "a lot of what they serve falls just short of what it promises." A smoked chicken that was "finished in the smoker for too long" was one example of "badly miscalculated entrees." Kummer sees flashes of what he likes, as he thinks "with some editing and discipline," the menu will be as inviting as the service. [BM]

It's two of four stars from Devra First for Allston's "salute to America's Chinese Restaurants," Shanghai Social Club. The Globe critic finds "surprisingly refined," "bold-flavored food" in a room full of "repurpose[d] Chinese history." ("Famine! The Cultural Revolution! How jolly.") Steamed buns are "always good," regardless of filling, and "there is much to like" about entrees like black pepper shrimp. She finds the appetizers "bland" and definitely disliked the giant fortune cookie dessert ("flavorless and soft" coupled with five-spice ice cream that "tastes vaguely like Band-Aids." The bar is best at tiki drinks, and the Foo Dogs Barking "would be at home in any craft cocktail bar." [BG]

Luke O'Neil hiked up his skirt a little more and checked out the Dave Matthews Band themed (wait, what!?) Financial District bar Warehouse Bar & Grill and is impressed by the 23 different canned craft beers on the menu. O'Neil enjoyed the "sort of cider-based Old Fashioned" known as the Jimi Thing, made with Four Roses bourbon, orange, and Angry Orchard cider Overall, though, the Metro columnist finds it to be "a neighborhood spot [rather] than a destination from locations across the city." [Metro]

Ellen Bhang saw three social-media-posting cooks visit Everett's Kiengiang Restaurant on their collective night off and decided to take the Globe's Cheap Eats column there as well. She found the Revere Beach Parkway Vietnamese restaurant is "the place to go for noodles," offering 14 different versions of the noodle soup, pho. Bhang calls banh xeo — an eggless Vietnamese rice flour crepe — "the best in town." Some dishes don't quite work — hot and sour soup matches neither descriptor. [BG]

Tavern Road

343 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210 617 790 0808

Shanghai Social Club

1277 Comm Ave., Boston, MA 02134