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B.N. Lee Gives Tavern Road Two Stars

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Photo: Tavern Road/Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Two of the most prominent members of Boston's new batch of chef-owned restaurants are reviewed this week: Puritan & Company, by Will Gilson, and Tavern Road, by Louis DiBiccari. For The Improper Bostonian, B.N. Lee finds that Tavern Road, which opened in February, is "still finding its stride," and so it scores two stars out of a possible five. There are inconsistencies with the quality of the food, as in a salty bowl of vichyssoise, "flavorless meat" in steak tartare, "tough, overcooked" octopus and a "rather bland" porchetta. Charcuterie fares better, as in a pairing of andouille sausage and the bluefish pâté: "Ordered together, the sausage and the bluefish were a study in the transformative properties of smoke, emphasizing the assertive flavor of the pork while reinforcing the subtle sweetness of the fish." Lee concludes by saying there is "adaptability and promise in enough dishes" to instill optimism for the future. [TIB]

Puritan & Company "mostly" succeeds at trying "to fuse New England fare with modern technique," says Corby Kummer for Boston Magazine. That witty, anonymous diner who seems to accompany all restaurant critics says the potted foie gras is "like the breakfast spread of a really rich person." The chef is "better with meat than fish" here, says Kummer, noting that slow-poached cod with mussels "was dull and mealy, the whitish foamed ham broth an odd complement." Desserts are "somewhat uncertain" but "enthusiasm, commitment to the local, and young talent" abound. [BM]

The North End's newish Aria Trattoria gets two stars out of a possible four from Anne V. Nelson for the Globe. The article's headline declares that the restaurant "hits the spot for Italian" - which few restaurants in this neighborhood actually manage to do - though "there are a number of dishes that... would benefit from just a little more care." In one dish, peas are "overdone and pretty flavorless." In another, they are "so sweet-tasting." [BG]

PigTrip returns to the storied burger at Craigie on Main for the fifth time in this updated review. The piece is largely an ode to what by now nearly everyone knows is a very, very good burger: "but is it the best?" wonders PigTrip. "Maybe when it's at its best. The rest of the time, it's merely one of the best, and that's good enough for me." [PigTrip]

The Globe's latest Cheap Eats column, by Catherine Smart, confirms what many Somervillians already know: that Vinny's Ristorante, at Vinny's Suprette, is "a small gem of a Sicilian-American restaurant." The house white is "inexpensive," the bread basket is "overflowing," and Sicilian rabbit is "succulent and tender." Which is partly why this is "just the place for a leisurely midday meal." Still, prices "may seem a bit high, but they serve up value." [BG]

Tavern Road

343 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210 617 790 0808

Craigie On Main

853 Main Street, , MA 02139 (617) 497-5511 Visit Website

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