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Merrill & Co. and More in This Week's Reviews

Photo: Merrill & Co./Katie Chudy

Devra First discovers a positive trend at Merrill & Co., the subject of her latest Globe review. While she was "not impressed" by her first visit, subsequent visits got better and better, and she ultimately concludes that the restaurant's "best offerings override its flaws." One of those offerings, for example, is the "four-star" mussels; they're "plump, briny, and juicy." The experience can feel "disjointed" as it moves "between purist comfort food and world-traveling invention," but this is a good thing as the "best dinners here involve code-switching." Rating: two-and-a-half stars out of four, between "good" and "excellent." [BG]

Merrill & Co.'s neighbor, Wink & Nod, also gets reviewed this week. For The Improper Bostonian, Donna Garlough gives the "self-styled speakeasy" a try, finding "a dramatic redesign of the space [that] has erased all signs of Noche." The cocktail recipes "are thoughtful," with most of the components (syrups, juices, etc.) being made in-house. For food, there are dishes like the Super Yaki, which comes in a smoke-filled jar — it's "tender, flavorful and filling, not to mention fun." While there's "skill and ambition aplenty," there are nights when it seems like "the kitchen aspires to more than it can reliably execute." But overall, even on those off nights, "everybody's happy at Wink & Nod." [TIB]

Dumpling House, a new Chinese restaurant in Central Square, gets the "Cheap Eats" treatment from the Globe's Catherine Smart, who finds it "sparkling, lively, and efficient." You won't be "coddled by servers," but you will find "delectably juicy mini soup dumplings," "delicious" shredded beef with longhorn pepper, and "tender, tasty and sweet" braised eggplant with basil. "This is some of the best Chinese food this side of the river," Smart concludes. Come hungry. [BG]

For the Herald, Kerry J. Byrne covers brand new art gallery/restaurant Liquid Art House, a "big, ambitious" space that "feels more Manhattan showroom than Boston eatery." It's "bold and unique for Boston." Its "culinary soul" is "the humble, hearty and little appreciated cuisine of Eastern Europe," including "creative handmade dumplings directly inspired by pierogies." Try the Rohan duck confit ("perfectly tender meat and crispy skin") or the Faroe Islands salmon. [BH]

Liquid Art House

100 Arlington St, Boston, MA 02116 (617) 457-8130 Visit Website

Merrill & Co.

1 Appleton St, Boston, MA 02116 617-728-0728 Visit Website

Dumpling House

950 Massachusetts Avenue, , MA 02139 (617) 661-8066 Visit Website

Wink & Nod

3 Appleton St, Boston, MA 02116 617-482-0117 Visit Website