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Two Stars for Pastoral and More in This Week's Reviews

Photo: Pastoral/Katie Chudy

An inconsistent Pastoral gets two stars out of four ("good") from Devra First in the Globe this week. "At its best," the new Fort Point restaurant is "bustling" and "hospitable." When things are going right, "It's like being in a heartwarming comedy that takes place in an Italian restaurant." There's an "unusual and delicious" pizza with bonito flakes, jalapenos, and arugula; "rustic, boldly flavored snacks" like garlic knots; radiatori with a "wonderful texture." But "not everything is perfect," from "dry" chicken meatballs to "bland, overcooked, and droopy pizza" on a busy night. Overall, it's a "gamble," but one that First seems to recommend you take, in hopes that you'll experience "the Pastoral that serves good food, where the staff goes above and beyond to make everyone happy." [BG]

First also gives a "Quick Bite" overview of Totto Ramen, an Allston newcomer that is the first Boston outpost of a popular duo of New York City restaurants. She observes "young Asian men...slurping assiduously, not exchanging a word until the last bit of soup is gone" and "a chopstick-challenged woman in platform sneakers...reduced to using a fork." To eat and drink: Totto spicy ramen ("which gets its kick from hot sesame oil") and Ramune, a Japanese soda with "each [flavor] sweeter than the last." [BG]

Also in the Globe this week, Sheryl Julian writes a "Cheap Eats" review of the newish Newbury Street pizzeria Scissors & Pie, which serves Roman-style, scissor-cut pizza, priced by the ounce. Expecting a wait, Julian finds the place practically empty on several visits. "Find this place and fill those seats," she demands. "This is extraordinary Roman-style pizza, in a very friendly place." The crust is thick, but "you must banish any ideas of flabby thick crusts you've eaten elsewhere, and don't even think about the things called 'deep dish.'" [BG]

In his Boston Magazine "Man Food" column, Richard Chudy highlights the fried chicken sandwich that appears only on Thursday evenings at Commonwealth. It is "the ultimate comfort food," writes Chudy. "There is no wheel reinvention here, nor is there meant to be, but chef Nookie Postal's treatment feels wholly original." It's "the best version of Buffalo wings, albeit in sandwich form," and there are usually only 30-35 available, so go early to get this "succulent enterprise fit for a king or queen." [BM]


345 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210 617 345 0005 Visit Website

Commonwealth (Cambridge)

11 Broad Canal Way, Cambridge, MA 02142 (617) 945-7030 Visit Website

Totto Ramen

169 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134 (617) 202-5075 Visit Website

Scissors & Pie

225 Newbury Street, Boston, MA (857) 350-4088 Visit Website