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A Single Globe Star for M.C. Spiedo

Photo: Meg Jones Wall

In this week's Globe, Devra First grants a single star ("fair") to M.C. Spiedo, the new restaurant from seasoned chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier, best known for Arrows in Ogunquit, Maine. The concept here is meant to be the Italian Renaissance, but First is less than impressed by the sales-minded server aggressively peddling from the "market cart" of mediocre appetizers — and by many of the dishes overall. Some things are worth trying, like the "simple and excellent" swordfish kebab or the oven-baked crepes, a "decadent appetizer." But many of the more Renaissance-y dishes are problematic; "maybe there is a reason some recipes fade into history," she observes. [BG]

For The Improper Bostonian, MC Slim JB reviews the recently opened Merrill & Co., the South End sibling of jm Curley, finding that it's the "latest example" of the "laudable development" of strong beverage programs in the neighborhood. There are "unusual and affordable wines," "inventive, delicious cocktails," and more, coming together to form "one of the South End's best bars." On the food side, there's "a similarly useful and of-the-moment menu," and executive chef Jason Cheek "shows a particularly deft hand with seafood." MC's top picks include the octopus, whole fish, and tiger shrimp. [TIB]

Barbecue blog PigTrip focuses on the burger at The Kirkland Tap & Trotter, reviewing it based on two visits and finding it to have an "intense juiciness, seasoning and complete package of layered flavor" that make it one of his "favorites in greater Boston." It "holds its own against its older sibling" at Craigie on Main, and it comes in "an easier-to-handle size with more of a burger feel and a more relaxed (albeit louder) atmosphere." [PT]

Catherine Smart visits The Goods JP, "a charming little pocket of a place," for a Globe "Cheap Eats" review, finding a "vast menu" of "comfort foods." While a kale and rice salad described as "amazing" ends up being "just satisfactory," there's a house-made Italian relish that is "amazing," and Smart thinks it "should be bottled for sale." She also finds a lot to like amongst the sandwiches and pizzas, recommending in particular the tropical hog pizza and the Black Jack sandwich. [BG]

In a "Quick Bite" for the Globe, Kara Baskin finds "business dining as it should be" at Precinct Kitchen + Bar, the new restaurant at the Loews Boston Hotel, from a foyer fireplace to "strategically placed baguettes." The food is "meant to evoke Boston," from a "mayonnaise-bound" lobster roll to Wellfleet clam chowder. [BG]

M.C. Spiedo

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