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The Critics Dined on 'Revelatory' Spicy Tuna and a 'Flintstonesque' Bone Marrow Crostino

This week's restaurant reviews by local critics include Bar Mezzana, Uni, Moldova, and John Brewer's Tavern

A classy restaurant interior with gray walls and booths, a hardwood floor, and striking round light fixtures Provided

For The Improper BostonianMC Slim JB headed to the South End to check out the recently opened Bar Mezzana, where he found "impeccably fresh, precisely chilled" seafood in a variety of crudo preparations, each of them "a marvel of balance in textures, temperature and flavors." There was also the bone marrow crostino ("a Flintstonesque mammoth"), an "astonishing (for July)" tomato salad, and a "perfectly cooked" fluke fillet. From the beverages to the design, everything else fell into place as well; overall, Slim found that the restaurant was serving up "a glamorous rendition of a beloved European cuisine."

Ken Oringer’s revamped Uni was the subject of a review by The Boston Globe’s Nestor Ramos, who found the expanded concept especially satisfying. Among the cold plates were a smoked uni spoon and "impossibly tender" chilled octopus, and the roughly 30 hot plates were unreasonably tempting, Ramos wrote — especially the Chiang Mai duck carnitas, the Berkshire pork belly steam bun, and the scallop bun (though he questioned the $10 price tag on the latter). As for the sashimi, Ramos wrote that the dishes "expand the definition of the term" with items like the "revelatory" spicy tuna and foie gras tataki. Ramos did find a dud in the chicken and waffles, but overall, "this is exciting and inspiring food."

The Globe’s Sheryl Julian visited Moldova Restaurant in Newton and wrote that the hearty dishes tasted "like they might have been prepared in a farmhouse kitchen." She drew attention to the bean paste served with caramelized onions, the eggplant spread, and the chicken soup, which was "real country fare" and "a remedy for anything that ails you." Julian also recommended the placinte la tigaie pastry rounds with farmer’s cheese that were "wonderfully crunchy and flaky," as well as the chicken and rice cabbage and grape leaf rolls. She noted that the beef and pork sausage meal "should be a national dish" with its "spicy, juicy meat" and "sharp bites of cabbage and tender pieces of potato topped with sour cream."

For the DigMarc Hurwitz went to John Brewer’s Tavern in Malden, which he found to be "an exceedingly friendly place" with a wealth of craft beer options. The classic American pub food was "pretty impressive and very reasonably priced," he wrote, including the chili with two cheeses and a full turkey dinner "with all the fixings." Hurwitz noted that the macaroni and cheese was creamy, the truffle fries were aromatic, and the steak tips were nicely marinated and tender.

Uni Boston

370A Commonwealth Avenue, , MA 02215 (617) 536-7200 Visit Website

Moldova Restaurant

344 Watertown St, Newton, MA 02458 (617) 916-5245 Visit Website

John Brewer's Tavern

7 Highland Ave, Malden, MA 02148 (781) 324-8800 Visit Website

Bar Mezzana

360 Harrison Avenue, , MA 02118 (617) 530-1770 Visit Website