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The Critics Eat Lobster Arancini, the Best Pizza, and Hot Pot This Week

Local reviewers take on Capo, Santarpio's, Happy Lamb Hot Pot, and Gigi's Restaurant

Courtesy of Mike Diskin

The newly opened Capo in South Boston had a visit from The Boston Globe's Mat Schaffer, who found that chef Tony Susi "has the cred to preside over a pizza and pasta place in traditionally Irish-American Southie." He praised the pomodoro sauce and noted that a guest could come only for the pizza and leave happy, "but you'd sell yourself (and Susi) short." The lobster arancini and pureed potato croquettes captured his attention, and the pork and beef meatballs were worthy of a "best of" medal in Schaffer's eyes. While the veal was "memorably marvelous," the Capo chop was "unhappily even," but the grilled branzino could appeal even to non-fish eaters. Schaffer found the vegetables straightforward and minimalist and the pasta rave-worthy.

For the DigBoston Restaurant Talk's Marc Hurwitz visited a go-to for pizza in Boston: Santarpio's in Eastie. He had trouble classifying the pizza — it's not quite Neapolitan thin-crust, not quite gourmet or Sicilian. Its pizza is "sauce heavy," where the toppings are added first and the pizza gets a coating of cornmeal on the bottom. "The bottom line is they are considered by many to be one of the best — if not the best — pizzas in the entire Boston area," Hurwitz wrote. Santarpio's also serves steak tips, lamb skewers, and more.

MC Slim JB headed to Happy Lamb Hot Pot in Central Square for The Improper Bostonian this week, finding "generous portions" of "good quality" meat and seafood. Despite the fact that it's "a corporate cousin of Taco Bell," as well as Pizza Hut and KFC, Happy Lamb succeeds with "first-rate ingredients" and an ambiance that is "handsomer than most fast-food joints." There are locally owned hot pot spots with "superior broths," but Happy Lamb can do the trick. Slim's top picks include Mongolian beef pie, wide potato noodles, and the seafood combo platter.

The Boston Globe's Ellen Bhang went to Maynard to sample the fare at Gigi's Restaurant, which she wrote "is the kind of place you would want in your neighborhood." She had the iconic pho dish with brisket, rare steak, and meatballs, which was "flavorful and clean" and customizable. The vermicelli bowls, served cool, come with warm toppings, including "snappy and succulent" grilled shrimp. Bhang praised the Asian-style spare ribs and noted that the banh mi was "tidy and refined rather than street-food rustic." She also wrote that the husband-wife team of Phan Nguyen and Gigi Cao "is tuned in to how folks here like to eat."

Happy Lamb Hot Pot (Boston)

138 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA

Gigi's Restaurant

177 Main St, Maynard, MA 01754 (978) 763-8684

Santarpio's Pizza

111 Chelsea Street, Boston, MA 02128 (617) 567-9871 Visit Website


1810 Ocean Avenue, , CA 90401 (310) 394-5550 Visit Website