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The Critics Ate Octopus, Poke, and Pasta This Week

At En Boca, Pokeworks, and Benedetto

En Boca
En Boca
Brian Samuels for En Boca

Nestor Ramos visits En Boca in Harvard Square for his latest Globe piece and finds a hideout that features a full expanse of Mediterranean fare. The wood-grilled octopus is pliant and lightly charred, and the fried smelts come with a fragrant green romesco sauce. While the falafel is dry and crumbly, Ramos praises the poached egg with polenta, along with a bowl of Wolf Meadow Farm ricotta with “fresh and airy” herbs. Other favorites include roasted delicata squash and roasted piquillo peppers, and Ramos writes that the redfish has flaky flesh underneath the pile of Sardinian pasta. Overall, he write that the restaurant is “unfailingly interesting and ambitious.”

The Boston Globe’s Catherine Smart heads over to Somerville to check out the latest in trendy food items: poke. Pokeworks offers the dish in burrito form, as well as in bowls. “Pick your protein and build up your bowl or burrito with fixings,” Smart writes, and the options include salmon, tuna, scallops, shrimp, and more. She opts for the wasabi shrimp and scallop sushi burrito, and “the big mouthfuls of unseasoned wet scallops and tiny raw shrimp aren’t appetizing.” Though the shisho salmon and spicy ahi rolls have more seasoning, she prefers “poke served in smaller bites and more highly seasoned.” The favorite option is the umami classic, Smart writes, which comes closest to Hawaiian poke.

Also for the Globe, Kara Baskin pops in at Benedetto in Harvard Square for house-made pastas, small bites, and antipasti. There’s spicy grilled octopus, ricotta crostini, and plump duck leg tortelloni, along with tagliatelle alla Bolognese and a grilled branzino with Manila clams. She writes that the portions are large, and there’s a “deep list of Italian wines.”

The Hawaiian Raw-Fish Dish Poke Is Having a Moment [BG]
Current Location: The Mediterranean, New England, & Harvard Square, All at Once [BG]
What’s It Like at New Harvard Square Italian Restaurant Benedetto? [BG]


1 Bennett Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 617-661-5050 Visit Website

Pokéworks (Somerville)

261 Elm St., Somerville, MA 02144 Visit Website

En Boca

8 Holyoke St., Cambridge, MA 02138