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One Globe Star per Decade for 30-Year-Old Grill 23

Grill 23/Yelp

"A good steak is forever" says Devra First in her three (of four) star Globe review of the three-decade-old Grill 23. Steaks such as the Kobe cap ("extraordinary, almost buttery") make up for "weaknesses" in side dishes (tater tots that "taste like cardboard.") In fact, a "nearly perfect meal" is "possible" with the right choices, such as a cocktail, a crab cake, and a 100-day-aged 18-ounce rib eye. But avoid the "too rich" New England shellfish chowder, the tuna tartare ("awful, bland mush,") and the "plain as plain can be" side of asparagus. First says a meal at Grill 23 leaves one "fatter, poorer, possibly on the road to gout, but happy." [BG]

The Improper's MC Slim JB has filed a glowing review of Ribelle, praising Tim Maslow's "relentless, sure-handed inventiveness." Pastas showcase the kitchen's "guile and edginess," and North End red-sauce joints need not be worried: "It's not a place to bring your veal-parm-loving grandma." The "high style" vegetable dishes benefit from their ingredients. "When was the last time a plate of carrots ($12) inspired 'oohs' and 'aahs'?" he asks. One dessert, olive oil ice cream in a chocolate shell, is "a Klondike Bar as reimagined by Thomas Keller, serious fun." One downfall — the space is "punishingly loud." But overall, "Italian for Food Nerds" is a success. [Improper]

It's a mixed-to-poor but slightly optimistic review of Patty Chen's Dumpling Room by the Globe's Catherine Smart. One night, most dumplings are plagued by wrappers that are "too thick and tough." On another, the skins on the chicken dumplings are "perfectly chewy," while those on the emperor dumplings (perhaps the "favorite" filling on the menu, made with beef, chicken and shrimp) are "undercooked and doughy." But the vegan dumplings are "juicy and surprisingly full of umami flavor," getting a little bit of heat from fresh ginger. Avoid the hot and sour soup "gloppy with excess cornstarch," which weirdly tastes like steak sauce. Of the dessert dumplings — Nutella or red bean — "either makes a fine ending." [BG]

Grill 23

161 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116 617 542 2255


1665 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 617.232.2322 Visit Website