"The pies are the best offering at MAST'," writes Devra First in her latest Globe review, praising the pizza at the newish Downtown Crossing restaurant — but not much else. "The dough has structure; the crust is charred just enough." The Alla Diavola pizza, in particular, is "delicious" (although not spicy, despite what the name suggests).
But the rest of the menu doesn't fare as well, from "dry" meatballs (with a "lovely, flavorful" sauce, at least) to a mushroom ravioli special that "is reminiscent of bad packaged pasta." And there's a creme brulee with custard that "tastes like lighter fluid."
The biggest downfall is a "sour, watery" $49 prime ribeye. The server takes it away — and then brings it back, telling First and her dining companions that the kitchen says "it's fine" and that the taste is "just the seasoning." The charge remains on the bill.
"So order pizza," First bids readers. "Have a drink. Hang out at the bar, or by the pizza bar, or in the downstairs lounge area. The restaurant — black with copper accents, the space carved up by columns and walls — works well for this." In the end, she grants it one star out of four — "fair."
The Globe's "Cheap Eats" column is a happier read this week, with a rave by Sheryl Julian for Dumpling Daughter out in Weston. The new restaurant is "full of surprises," she writes. Owner Nadia Liu Spellman is the daughter of Sally Ling and Edward Nan Liu, who owned Sally Ling's on the waterfront back in the day. Some classic dishes return at Dumpling Daughter — and the Sally Ling's dumpling chef even came out of retirement to return to dumpling-making at Dumpling Daughter. Highlights include the egg-drop tomato soup ("with so few ingredients it doesn’t seem possible that it can taste this good and this comforting"), Grandma's Beijing meat sauce over spaghetti ("makes you want to reach across the table with your chopsticks to pluck every last morsel from the bowl"), and the three-day pork ramen ("intense broth").