At George Aboujaoude's new Committee in the Seaport, roving Boston drink critic Luke O'Neil finds "the rare combination" of a quality beverage program and "real estate atmosphere," he writes in a recent Metro column. The creative drinks from beverage director Peter Szigeti incorporate more unusual spirits and modifiers, and in the case of The Cuban Affair, the result is "a sharp, dry sort of daiquiri with distinct vanilla notes." The Smoke Show, a mezcal cocktail, is softened at its edges by a smooth strawberry infusion.
O'Neil noted the specialty cocktails don't necessarily pair well with the meze-style small plates. But the dishes come to the table and go quickly — but leave a dent in the wallet — so pairing is "an afterthought anyway."
The Boston Globe's Devra First reviewed another small plates place this week, BISq in Inman Square. "It is such a fine neighborhood hangout, a person might consider relocating to make it hers," she writes in the 2.5-star review. She begins with "fresh and light" seafood dishes, which offer a "vivid mix of flavors, textures, and hues," as well as the not-so-light N'awlins barbecue shrimp toast, which is a favorite. Overall, the dishes are all well-balanced and lightened with accompaniments.
Vegetarian dishes are "some of the loveliest." One of those, carpaccio, "occasionally floats off into reverie with fluffy bites of egg and fungus." While charcuterie is the star of the restaurant, First finds the offerings uneven. She adds that the menu misses are dealt with accordingly, though, and taken off the menu quickly. Two dessert offerings are just right for the restaurant, but she says it could benefit from one large-format dish per night.
Strega king Nick Varano's casual pizzeria, Rina's, is the subject of the Globe's Cheap Eats column this week. "The food is wonderful," Sheryl Julian assesses, and that has much to do with a red sauce "you might want to eat with a spoon." A Strega signature, it's available in bottles, too. But one night, there's too much of it applied to a margherita pizza.
A calzone spans several subsequent meals, as portions are enormous. A few options miss the mark, though, like "dry" rotisserie chicken with "shriveled" potatoes. But chef Luigi DeMarco, who "acts like an Italian mama" and wants to make sure every guest is enjoying the food, makes the place so good.