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Ostra Is Very Expensive and More in This Week's Reviews

Photo: Ostra/Meg Jones Wall

Corby Kummer takes on Ostra for his latest monthly review in Boston Magazine and spends the bulk of it finding new ways to describe just how expensive it is. "Perhaps you were wondering whether the economy is recovering," he begins. "Perhaps you were even a bit worried. After sitting down at Ostra...you'll worry no more—except, that is, about whether you'll be able to foot the bill." There's a good deal of the experience that is worth the cost; "the quality of the fish at Ostra is impeccable" and "much of the preparation matches the impeccable quality, subtly but not showily enhancing the fish." There's also a steak that's "better than at most steakhouses." But on the downside, "the preparations don't always live up to the cost—or the high quality of the ingredients. Neither does the service." Overall, Kummer seems pleased but disinclined to regularly drop that kind of cash on it. [BG]

In her latest Globe review, Devra First carefully balances her respect for 51 Lincoln owner Jeffrey Fournier's new "mission statement" with the results at his revamped Newton restaurant, ultimately granting it one-and-a-half stars out of four. In Fournier's new world, where he is attempting to "avoid trading his principles for profit," there's a smaller menu and a greater focus on seasonality, meaning that, for example, his signature watermelon "steak" is no longer on the menu year-round. First "respect[s] the hell out of" this new game plan but finds the "food to be frequently baffling." There is, for example, "garden-variety minestrone," of which "you might find a similar version at a nice diner." Suitable enough for the old 51 Lincoln, perhaps, but "with mission statements come expectations." She concludes with advice for Fournier: "To thine own self be true. Just make sure you keep the customers happy, too. Ideals don't pay the bills." [BG]

First also gives a quick overview of ester, the new restaurant in Lower Mills, this week. "It has already been discovered as a neighborhood hangout," she writes, describing it as a place to "see friends or make new ones." As for eating, "the menu is stocked with spiffed-up comfort food," and on the drink side, "invent-your-own smashes are a refreshing option." [BG]

And also in the Globe, Sheryl Julian reviews another restaurant that doesn't start with a capital lettersweetgreen, which has two local outposts (Back Bay and Fort Point). At the Back Bay location, she finds that the salads are chopped up "much too fine, even in this era of chopped salad mania," but at the Fort Point one, the "salad makers are more restrained and you find handsome leaves still in your bowl." She's particularly enthusiastic about the dressings — "quite delicious without a hint of bottled aftertaste." The price is a bit high, especially when you start adding the premium proteins, but she's "willing to pay it — and squeeze in beside all those Lululemon yogis." [BG]

Sweetgreen (Fort Point)

372 Congress St, Boston, MA 02110 Visit Website

Sweetgreen (Back Bay)

659 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116 617-936-3464

Ester

2261 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02124 (617) 698-2261 Visit Website

Ostra

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

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