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The Critics Ate Cuban Food, Roti, and American Classics This Week

At Doña Habana, JP Roti Shop, 75 Chestnut, and Tempo

Doña Habana
Doña Habana

MC Slim JB visited the new Doña Habana for his latest Improper Bostonian review. The place boasts a hefty drink menu, ranging from mojitos, margaritas, and caipirinhas to large-format cocktails, sangria, beer, and wine. On the food side of thing, Slim recommends the crisp empanadas filled with chicken, pork, or beef, and writes that the croquetas de jamón "are a classic bar snack." The la caleta, or plantain cup with filling, is "a nice array of bright and savory flavors," and the tamal en cazuela has "surprising depth of flavor. While the seafood stew’s tomato broth is underseasoned, Slim writes, the ropa vieja, "is superb." Overall, the restaurant "is an endearing, gorgeous, incredibly vivacious lady; she just needs to work on a few of her dance steps."

The Boston Globe’s Ellen Bhang visits JP Roti Shop, which specializes in dhalpurhi roti, where "cooked yellow split peas are seasoned and milled into a fine consistency, then kneaded into wheat flour dough that’s rolled thin like a crepe," Bhang writes. The roti can be filled with vegetables, or a combo of shrimp, beef, and chicken, and it can even be ordered deconstructed. Extras include potato, chickpeas, long beans, and mango chutney, and there are assorted specials that include oxtail, curried fish, and stewed greens. The wait for roti will be around 20-40 minutes, Bhang writes, but it’s worth it.

Marc Hurwitz heads to 75 Chestnut for Dig Boston this week. The menu features "slightly upscale versions of classic American fare and comfort food," he writes, leaning somewhat in favor of meat lovers. Highlights include spicy chili with polenta wedges and an appetizer tower of fried calamari, pumpkin ravioli, and garlic bread. He also recommends the Caesar salad, clam chowder, and a burger "that rivals some of the city’s best." The restaurant has an "impressive wine list," Hurwitz writes, assorted cocktails, and a low-key vibe.

The Globe’s Sacha Pfeiffer visits Tempo in Waltham this week. The bread basket offers variation and a "wonderfully warm" selection, while the "salads are beautiful and creative." She recommends the beet salad and the "dirty" chicken wings, which have a "standout flavor." While the kitchen occasionally has a "heavy hand" with sauces, seafood is a strength, including the yellowfin tuna and the cashew-crusted cod special. Pfeiffer writes that the seared salmon fillet is "perfection" and the short ribs are "meltingly tender."

Festival Cubano [IB]
Roti: Made Famous in JP, Now Available in Dorchester [BG]
75 Chestnut [Dig Boston]
Moody Street’s Tempo Keeps up the Pace [BG]

Dona Habana

, Boston, MA (617) 708-0796

JP Roti Shop

482 Washington Street, , MA 02124 (617) 825-4860

75 Chestnut

75 Chestnut St, Boston, MA 02108 (617) 227-2175 Visit Website


2179 Nolensville Pike, , TN 37211 (615) 457-3932 Visit Website