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Lots to Love at Fairsted Kitchen

Photo: Official Source

It's three stars out of four for Fairsted Kitchen in Devra First's latest review for the Globe. (Add that to the nearby Ribelle's four stars, and you've got a pretty spectacular little piece of Brookline.) There's plenty of high praise for the food and drinks; the pig head lettuce wrap is "perhaps the best $5 bar snack in town," and the bar program is one of Fairsted's "biggest strengths." But it's actually the "TLC," the overall hospitable vibe of the new restaurant, that pleases First the most. "The restaurant has so much heart," she concludes. "It deserves to be loved in return. [BG]

Hungry Mother's sister bar, State Park, is now open in Kendall Square, and Luke O'Neil checks it out for his "Thursty" column in the Metro, finding it to be "a retro-fitted, pre-worn, high-dive style bar and restaurant that feels like a natural extension of the type of sophisticated casual model that's proved so successful for the likes of Highland Kitchen and Trina's Starlite Lounge." From Southern snacks to cocktail pitchers, it's "very good" and "very on trend," and O'Neil could see it becoming his "favorite new bar." [Metro]

Bloomberg's critic Ryan Sutton pays a visit to O Ya and seems to leave with a fairly negative impression of the lauded tasting menus — or at least the value. Based on one visit, he finds the tiny, expensive Leather District restaurant to be "superb for a quick bite, not for dropping mad coin." He takes offense at various parts of the $285 omakase, like the lobster with uni toast, "as forgettable as a canape at your cousin's wedding." Also unfortunate: the fact that none of the bottles of wine or sake, some of which are quite pricey, are presented at the table; glasses arrive fully poured. But on the plus side, "Chef Tim Cushman excels in old-school over-the-top bliss, showering patrons with black truffle shavings, butter-warmed lobster, spoons of frozen foie gras mousse with tempura flakes (tastes like cereal for the rich), and oodles of caviar." [Bloomberg]

For The Improper Bostonian, MC Slim JB gives a perfectly polite review of the new Stephi's in Southie, the latest addition to the Stephanie's/Stephi's now-trifecta, which offers "dishes like fancy meatloaf and simple roast chicken at near-fine-dining prices." This "upscale comfort food was a novelty when Stephanie's debuted 20 years ago" on Newbury Street, and Slim was surprised when it worked again "in the typically edgier South End" five years ago. Now in Southie, it seems to work yet again, arriving just when gentrification is in full force with "hip clothing boutiques, a bagel joint, even (gasp) a Starbucks." Slim's picks include the Stephi burger ("Have we seen this before? Endlessly. Is it good of its kind? Very.") and the charred shishito peppers (one of several "simple, value-priced bites" at the bar). [TIB]

Devra First provides a quick overview of Ostra in the Globe this week as well. The pricey new seafood restaurant is part of the Columbus Hospitality Group, which also includes Mistral, Teatro, and more. The "swank" restaurant has live piano and "dangling white lamps" that "resemble jellyfish," plus plenty of oysters. She overhears one customer say of the grilled bream, 'For a lady it's good. They don't want something heavy.' She also overhears — or doesn't — "couples not talking at all." Raw scallops are a nice (read: cheaper) alternative to luxurious caviar, and the ricotta gnocchi with lobster, mushrooms, and truffle is "a little richer but no less lush." [BG]

Fairsted Kitchen

Beacon St, Brookline, MA (617) 396-8752

O Ya

9 East Street, , MA 02111 (617) 654-9900 Visit Website

State Park

300 Lower Level, , MA 02139 (617) 848-4355 Visit Website

Ostra

1 Charles Street South, , MA 02116 (617) 421-1200 Visit Website

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