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Shanghai Social Club a 'Step Forward for Allston'

Photo: Meg Jones Wall

Shanghai Social Club "represents an intriguing step forward for Allston," writes MC Slim JB for Improper Bostonian, "walking the line between kitsch and craft, between ironic winking at America's middlebrow expropriation of Chinese cuisine and a more serious appreciation of it." Slim welcomes a place like Shanghai Social Club in a neighborhood "that perpetually stumbles between worthy but humble outposts of traditional world cuisines and execrable beer-soaked dives for bro-dudes." Top picks: red roast pork steaming noodle bowl featuring "good al dente" noodles, XO scallops ("a fragrant whiff of Hong Kong"), a "prettily presented" Mai Tai. [TIB]

The Globe's Devra First checks out Stephanie Sokolove's third restaurant, Stephi's in Southie, and finds the "unremarkable, sometimes downright bad" food deserving of just one of five possible stars. The "beautiful space" and "fun staff and thriving bar scene" don't overcome decisions like serving a "plain and dull," $18 roast chicken without sides. Salmon is "fishy" and overcooked, and a wild mushroom risotto is "more like button mushroom rice." Nonetheless, First observes the place has been full since it opened with "women wearing skinny jeans" and "men in preppy sweaters."[BG]

Boston Magazine reviewer Corby Kummer says Bronwyn is the restaurant chef/owner Tim Wiechmann "was born to open." Weichmann's takes on Eastern European street foods come off "more refined and idiosyncratic" than their namesakes (currywurst being nothing like what Kummer remembers from "blindingly lit night kiosks." The menu is both "a little odd" and "a little challenging," but it is also "jolly" and "fun." The menu, like the decor, has "very little light," about it and he recommends skipping the cucumber salad or sauerkraut one might be tempted to order to balance the meal. Instead, get the "unmissable" shredded pancake-like Viennese dessert called kaiserschmarrn. [BM]

The Globe's Ellen Bhang visits Somerville's month-old Some 'Ting Nice Caribbean Restaurant, and predicts Bostonians will soon be "grateful for this little slice of the Caribbean." Despite kinks such as the frequent unavailability of multiple menu items and occasional long waits for food, dishes like Baccanal wings with Buffalo Soldier sauce ("We can't stop licking our fingers") make it worth "pack[ing] some patience and slip[ping] into island time." [BG]

Some 'Ting Nice

561 McGrath Highway, Somerville, MA 02145 (617) 627-9047

Shanghai Social Club

1277 Comm Ave., Boston, MA 02134

Bronwyn

255 Washington Street, , MA 02143 (617) 776-9900 Visit Website

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