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Three Out of Four Stars for Ostra and More

Photo: Ostra/Meg Jones Wall

The Columbus Hospitality Group's new upscale seafood restaurant, Ostra, earns three Globe stars out of four from Devra First this week. The "luxurious" restaurant, as the headline describes it, "wants to be Boston's Le Bernardin. On many nights, it succeeds." The food is "suitably elegant," from the "smoky and tender" grilled octopus to the "light and luxurious" sea bass tartare. On the down side, "Ostra's prices can be as breathtaking as its food," and not all of the "gloriously fish-fetishizing" preparations will fully satisfy hunger. One salad is "merely pleasant," while a "nicely cooked" halibut is unfortunately accompanied by a "bland" broth. Overall, though, First finds Ostra to be "elegant, expensive, and just a few dishes and decibels away from world-class." [BG]

First also provides a quick overview of the newly opened M.C. Spiedo in the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. "Eat here if you love history, pasta, and meat cooked on a 40-inch steel skewer," she recommends. Try the M.C. Tagliatelle (guinea hen, oranges, onions, almonds, and kale) and a 14th Century Manhattan to drink. [BG]

Harvard Magazine's Nell Porter Brown reviews the 25-seat Baraka Café, a "cozy jewel-box" that has been nestled on an unassuming Central Square side street for nearly two decades. "Regulars savor the food and stylish, homegrown décor" from "feisty" co-owner and executive chef Alia Radjeb Meddeb. "Bold flavors and spices rule," and Baraka Cafe serves the "best fresh pomme frites" that Brown has had. [HM]

Sweet Cheeks' ramen, served only from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays, is "the best ramen you've probably never had," according to Boston Magazine's Christopher Hughes. "It might seem like a stretch for a barbecue restaurant specializing in fried chicken and Texas-style dry-rubbed brisket to be making competent Asian cuisine...but Sweet Cheeks Q's Tiffani Faison, along with chef de cuisine Dan Raia, are quietly making some of the most superb ramen anywhere in Boston." [BM]

Boston Burger Blog's Richard Chudy takes on the burger at the Beat Hotel, awarding it a score of 87 out of a possible 100. "The beef and the beef alone is the clear star of this burger," he writes. "There is no hidden agenda regarding the Beat burger: it's beefy, thick, juicy throughout, and seasoned just about as flawlessly as you can get." While it's not "necessarily original," that "hardly matters" because "it is executed the right way." [BBB]

Beat Hotel

13 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 617 449 0001 Visit Website

Sweet Cheeks

1381 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215 617 266 1300 Visit Website

M.C. Spiedo

606 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210 617-476-5606 Visit Website

Baraka Cafe

1728 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 617.868.3951 Visit Website

Ostra

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

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