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1.5 Stars for Ward 8; Row 34 Is 'Hip'; More

Photo: Ward 8/Meg Jones Wall

For the Globe, Devra First finds Ward 8 to be "a warm place to gather" for the people who live nearby. While the "food might seem run-of-the-mill in a part of town where good old roast chicken isn't a rare bird," the hospitality is solid, and "the cocktails would stand up anywhere." The menu has its ups and downs. There's "a invention called 'fried cheese steak dumpling'...the bikini's natural enemy. An egg roll and a greasy sandwich had a baby, and no one can even pretend the hefty clod is cute." But there's also a "satisfyingly warm bowl" of lobster bisque. In the end, it earns one-and-a-half stars out of four, somewhere between "fair" and "good." [BG]

MC Slim JB writes an enthusiastic review of Row 34 for The Improper Bostonian, praising the new Fort Point restaurant for "carry[ing] off its complicated dance—raw bar, clam shack, fine-dining seafood joint, beer-geek bar—with very few missteps at pretty fair prices." It provides rare proof of Boston's "reputation as a city rich with terrific local seafood restaurants," the design is "stunning," and the service "upholds [restaurateur Garrett] Harker's reputation." MC's picks include fried hand-dug clams, pan-roasted monkfish, and the smoked and cured board. [TIB]

The Kirkland Tap & Trotter gets a bit of a downer from Boston Magazine's Corby Kummer. He does eat some dishes "you'd find yourself jonesing for in the days and weeks afterward: effortless perfection," but overall, numerous inconsistencies temper his enthusiasm. "I kept asking myself, 'Would this pass the blindfold test?'" he wonders. "That is, if you didn't know this was food under the supervision of Tony Maws, possibly Boston's most famous current chef, would you think it was particularly notable?" After a few visits: "I'd say no." One success was the rabbit terrine with homemade mustards, "every bite full of moist flavor with the ideal fat-to-lean balance." Another, a "dramatic" grilled salmon head, was a "showstopper." [BM]

Devra First also provides a quick overview of Savvor Restaurant & Lounge, a new opening in the Leather District. It's "a sassy take on regional specialties" from the Caribbean and the South, and there's a "sense of humor" with events like a recent "Walking Dead"-themed night. The tables "groan with food" in a "lair-like" space upholstered in turquoise. [BG]

Ward 8

90 North Washington Street, , MA 02114 (617) 823-4478 Visit Website

Savvor Restaurant and Lounge

180 Lincoln St, Boston, MA 02111 (857) 250-2165 Visit Website

Row 34

383 Congress Street, , MA 02210 (617) 553-5900 Visit Website