River Bar "breaks the mold of mall restaurants with some fun, fresh ideas," writes MC Slim JB in his latest review for The Improper Bostonian, highlighting a dining destination that stands out amongst Somerville's newest mall-like development, Assembly Row, which is otherwise filled with "an Earls (think Canadian Cheesecake Factory) and local chain versions of seafood, Mexican, ice cream and pizza—convenient, certainly, but hardly destination dining." The small selection of food "complement[s] an evening of leisurely drinking." One particular highlight: "Corned beef and cabbage dumplings ($9) show [chef Patrick] Gilmartin’s fusion-y truck-food legacy at its best, filling three beautifully browned potstickers with otherworldly housemade corned beef, accompanied by a rye dipping sauce I’d happily drink by the mug."
River Bar also gets a shout-out in the Metro, courtesy of Luke O'Neil's "Thursty" column. "This is one of the most interesting and continuously rewarding cocktails I've had in a while," he writes of the Autumn Still (bourbon, Kummel, Averna, and Angostura bitters), "a spicy glass of boozy, liquid bread," which he assures readers is "a lot better than that sounds." Another cocktail, The Age of Discovery, is "deep and rich, but brightened up with citrus notes," and The Hollow Men is "rich and bitter."
For the Globe's "Cheap Eats" column, Catherine Smart reviews Addis Cafe, a fairly new Ethiopian restaurant in Malden (not related to Addis Red Sea). There, she finds "large portions of spicy, flavorful, and filling food...exactly what you want to be eating on a dark, cold January evening." Lovers of spicy food should try the lamb awaze tibs, a "sizzling" dish with "spicy meat cooked with tomato, jalapeno, and butter." Note that the address is 281 Cross Street; there are a number of incorrect listings online.
The Globe also provides a "Quick Bite" overview of Study, courtesy of Devra First. The new Kendall Square sibling to Ames Street Deli, Journeyman, and Backbar offers "experimental" tasting menus with descriptions that "leave much to the imagination." The wine list, on the other hand, is "every bit as descriptive as the menu is not."