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The Maiden, Sorellina, McKenna's Cafe: Reviewed

The critics also visited A Mano in Salem.

The Maiden
The Maiden
Katie Chudy for Eater

The Improper Bostonian's MC Slim JB made his way to Southie to investigate The Maiden, a new restaurant from local restaurateurs Esti Parsons, her husband Drew, and his brother Jon. The restaurant opened in December, and according to Slim, "It is already purring like a well-oiled machine." Classic starters like raw oysters, cheese and charcuterie boards, and raw uni are on the menu. The Maiden's roasted oysters with uni butter are "four delectable bites that vanish too quickly," Slim wrote, and its pub-style burger is "excellent." Additionally, the honey-brined chicken is "beautifully tender." Overall, Slim said the restaurant "sets a higher bar for service."

Sorellina, which has been around for 10 years, received a visit from The Boston Globe's Ted Weesner. The "utterly posh, Italo-Mediterranean" restaurant produces dishes that "have a frisky knack for insinuating more earthen concerns," Weesner wrote. The Caesar salad is simple and the burrata an elegant "pillow of milk-drunk mozzarella." Two appetizers — venison carpaccio and tuna tartare — were "unremarkable," he wrote, but they were "exemplars of visual beauty." The campanelle "bowls me over in the best kind of way," Weesner wrote, and the tiramisu comes out truly elegant.

Boston Restaurant Talk's Marc Hurwitz reviewed McKenna's Cafe for Dig Boston. The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch food that is "consistently good, the portions are big, and the ingredients used are fresh," he wrote. A breakfast highlight is the granola-crusted French toast, while a sandwich slam is the "turkey stuffer" made with "all the fixings." The place isn't chic, but it is "a solid eatery where you can get a good stick-to-your-ribs meal at a decent price."

The Globe's James Reed visited A Mano in Salem, the former 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar. The restaurant's chef and owner, Tony Bettencourt, shifted the concept for the opportunity to explore more rustic Italian options. For example: the garganelli, a penne-like pasta dish with braised duck, dried cherries, kale, and pine nuts "that comes across as effortless and endlessly comforting," Reed wrote. The meatballs that came as an appetizer tempted Reed to order two to make a full meal, and the fried Brussels sprouts didn't last long. The entrees fell on the heavier side, he said. Braised beef short ribs are served over creamy polenta, and the pork chop Milanese gets covered in cheese shavings and broccoli rabe. Overall, the food is lovingly made and — like the warm toffee pudding — often "delights on an almost primal level."

The Maiden

28 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127

Sorellina

1 Huntington Avenue, , MA 02116 (617) 412-4600 Visit Website

McKenna's Cafe

109 Savin Hill Avenue, , MA 02125 (617) 825-8218 Visit Website

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