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Shepard, Doretta, Tenoch, and More: Reviewed

Due to the holidays, there hasn't been a Week in Reviews in a few weeks, so today's Week in Reviews is really a Weeks in Review.

Doretta Taverna
Doretta Taverna
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

The Globe's Catherine Smart begins with what Chilacates is not: It "isn't a divey taco stand" or "a place to linger over a $15 agave margarita" or "an Americanized abomination serving greasy chimichangas." What it is: It's a takeout-focused space in Jamaica Plain with "sunny charm" and "fresh Mexican food," like "perfectly tasty" carne asada, "sweet and savory" al pastor, and "toasty and comforting" tortas. Breakfast is coming later this month, Smart reports.

Also for the Globe's "Cheap Eats" column, Ellen Bhang visits the tiny Thana Thai Kitchen in Arlington Center and enjoys "sunny, appealing" dishes like the "fragrant, brothy bowl" of tom yum kung soup and a green papaya salad in a "zippy dressing." The young restaurant "excels at Thai comfort food," she writes, highlighting a crab fried rice and a Thai omelet.

Kara Baskin files a "Quick Bite" for the Globe on the new Davis Square location of Tenoch, which has "longer lines than at 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens.'" (But the line — which includes "seemingly every Somerville resident under the age of 40" — does move "quickly," she notes.) Try one of Tenoch's signature tortas, which are at the new location "in abundance," alongside tacos with "traditional" and "quirkier" fillings, burritos, enchiladas, "sturdy" chips, and more. Baskin recommends asking for the house chile de árbol, a "sneakily spicy blend of dried chiles and spice," for "dunking."

For The Improper Bostonian, MC Slim JB favorably reviews Michael Schlow's complete reincarnation of Via Matta into an upscale Greek restaurant called Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar. (That raw bar is "high-quality," he writes.) Traditional Mediterranean spreads like a "delectable" fava bean hummus "beautifully exemplify the virtues of the Greek kitchen," and this especially comes through in the "nearly miraculous" village salad, "instantly banishing the memory of a thousand perfunctory, dreadful Greek salads." While entrees "may seem superfluous" with all the small plate options, they're worth trying, particularly the "lusciously fatty, meltingly tender 15-hour lamb shoulder" or the "perfectly cooked" branzino fillet.

Boston Magazine's Corby Kummer issues stars for the first time, granting Shepard an "extraordinary" four out of four alongside his uncharacteristically positive review. "Each element has been thought out, crafted by hand, and assembled with care and discernment," he writes of the dining experience there. The collaboration between owners Rene Becker and Susan Regis, along with chef de cuisine Peter McKenzie, results in dishes that "reward you with unexpected pings of flavor." Possibly the "most impressive" dish, he writes, is also the biggest — "one really expensive bird ($58)...served with the head and feet on, in the current fashion." It's a "marvelously moist chicken, with shatteringly crisp skin," and although it's different from the classic roast chicken at now-shuttered Hamersley's Bistro, it "will salve the wound for the wistful Hamersley's crowd."

Doretta Taverna

79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116 Visit Website

Chilacates (Amory Street - JP)

224 Amory St, , MA 02130 (617) 522-6000 Visit Website

Shepard

1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Tenoch (Davis Square)

382 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA 02144 Visit Website

Thana Thai Kitchen

882A Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476 (781) 648-8888

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