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Three Out of Four Stars for Row 34 and More

Photo: Row 34/Meg Jones Wall

For the Globe, Devra First heads to Fort Point to visit Island Creek Oyster Bar's new sibling, Row 34. It's "relaxed, loose, and loud, a happy place with great food and even better beer," but First does take a few sentences to shoot down the notion that it is a "workingman's oyster bar," a phrase that popped up repeatedly in the restaurant's press materials before it opened. "The workingmen at Row 34 talk IPOs and stock options," she writes. "If the place is supposed to hark back to rough-and-ready establishments of a prior century, where laborers drank beer and slurped oysters after breaking their backs all day, well, oysters have come up in the world." While the oysters serve as a "requisite starting point," there are lots of other things to love on the menu as well, including dishes "that will haunt diners with cravings for weeks and months to come." Three stars out of four. [BG]

First also gives an overview of much-anticipated Harvard Square newcomer Alden & Harlow, finding that it is already a "food-industry darling." The scene includes "people lending one another hardcover books" and "fresh-faced Warby Parker patrons," and everyone is "putting away tremendous amounts of food." One thing to eat: The pickled corn pancakes with shishito peppers "taste like breakfast for dinner." [BG]

Barbecue blogger PigTrip also pays a couple visits to Alden & Harlow, paying particular attention to the "secret" burger. He finds it to have "one of the better buns in the high rent district of the Boston burger landscape," and the meat itself has "so many textures and flavors." While he plans to return on more occasions to evaluate the consistency of doneness, seasoning, and other factors, his preliminary conclusion is that it is "a unique composition that's one of Boston's most creative and well conceived." [PigTrip]

For Boston Magazine, Christopher Hughes and Leah Mennies discuss the ramen-bun burger at Ki Bistro in Allston. Mennies describes the "super heavy" bun as "kind of like snuggling a burger in between two slabs of noodle kugel, or something." Not that kugel is a bad thing, she later clarifies, but she's not a fan when it's in "non-Kugel-appropriate scenarios," like this one. Hughes on the bun: "I imagine that if you had soaked a can of Chow Mein noodles (like rehydrating dried mushrooms), compressed them, and fried the patty, it would have tasted exactly the same." [BM]

Alden & Harlow

40 Brattle Street, , MA 02138 (617) 864-2100 Visit Website

Row 34

300 District Avenue, , MA 01803 (781) 761-6500 Visit Website

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