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Devra First on Bogie's Place: Two Stars

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Devra First has reviewed steakhouse Bogie's Place for the Globe and gives the "anti-steakhouse" two stars. First has mostly praise for the back-room micro-restaurant inside jm Curley. "Where jm Curley is casual, raucous, and known for burgers, Bogie's is intimate and hushed — jm Curley all grown up." The steaks are "unquestionably the thing to order when one needs to dig one's teeth into something." She was also impressed by chef Samuel Monsour's vegetarian filet, "a crunchy fritter of a creation that is as tasty as it is unexpected." First mostly enjoys Monsour's "Bogie's 7" - a monthly changing menu of spins on classic steakhouse sides, praising the foie gras and macaroni & cheese, but finding carrots "could stand a longer roasting time and a foil-wrapped baked potato with root vegetables and melted cheese is a bit of a mess." Wines, not a focus at jm Curley, are well-curated, as are the cocktails. There was one serious flaw for First: steaks could be "overcooked and oversalted." When informed of an overcooked steak, a server's reply of "Oh, well, so long as the texture is to your liking," was "not the right answer. It's the one misstep in the otherwise accommodating service." [BG]

Newton Centre's Sycamore coaxed Boston Magazine's Corby Kummer to the suburbs to see what chef-owner David Punch and co-chef Lydia Reichert are doing. He didn't fall in love, but he fell in "deep like fast." He praises bar manager Scott Schoer's entire program, including the "Persephone" ($10), "a swirl of tequila, pomegranate juice, lime, and frothed egg white" he found refreshing and well-balanced. While Kummer certainly enjoyed the food, he found Punch to be "trying too hard to satisfy everyone, which means he's never quite confident enough to let something stand on its own." Meat is where the menu excels; Kummer declared a sumac rubbed chicken breast served with duck fat poached leg to be "as good a chicken dish as I know" and he feels that dish, along with a beef daube, could be enough to "keep a restaurant running for years." What kept Kummer from falling in love was the "lack of focus" that comes from "the need to pack heavy flavor into every dish" he believes is symptomatic of nose-to-tail cooks. Given his opinions of tasting menus, will Kummer be writing a piece about the tyranny of flavor sometime soon? [BM]


Beantown Taqueria, on the outskirts (not quite the heart, as the Globe suggests, and definitely not in Kendall as originally stated) of Central square, is the feature of this week's Cheap Eats column. Catherine Smart enjoyed both halves of the menu from this "Real Mex and Tex-Mex" joint but found herself drawn more often to the authentic Mexican side where "tacos ($8) are served with freshly pressed house-made corn tortillas, lime, and cilantro." The Tex-Mex version ($7), on the other hand,is served on "a choice of commercially made corn or flour tortillas." While calling it a "food-coma-inducing" dish, she still suggests readers choose from "chorizo, ground or shredded beef, steak, shrimp, or fish, and order them in a huarache ($7), a dense masa base, topped with refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and queso fresco." Bonus: the taqueria delivers until 4 am for those wicked smart MIT kids' all-night coding sessions. [BG]

[Photo: Official source]

Sycamore

755 Beacon St, Newton, MA 02459 (617) 244-4445 Visit Website

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