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The Critics Ate Shakshuka, Manti, Kunafe, Sashimi, and So Much More This Week

At Pressed Cafe, Moona, Stella’s, Little Donkey, and Pabu

Brian Samuels for Moona

The Boston Globe’s Ellen Bhang pays a visit to Burlington to check out the new Pressed Cafe, which recently opened in The District, a mixed-use development. The fast-casual spot serves a sabich panino with eggplant in crunchy breading that comes with a hot sauce that brings smoky flavor to each bite. On the salad side, Bhang recommends the “power bowl” with guacamole, quinoa, and greens, plus toppings like grape tomatoes and carrot shreds (and additional “kicky hot sauce”). Finally, the shakshuka topped with melted feta is worth braving the crowds for, Bhang writes.

In his latest review for the Globe, Ted Weesner stops in at Moona in Inman Square for a mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare. The Brussels sprouts have an Arabic spin and are doused with tahini, and the sweet potato brilliantly meshes an assortment of flavors, Weesner writes. While the hummus is dry, the chicken bastilla is worth a visit unto itself, he writes, with crisp phyllo layers, orange blossom water, cinnamon, and more. The grilled whole fish is a “showstopper” and a “pure triumph,” with a crisp outside and “impeccably moist” inside. Weesner writes that the lamb chops are “revelatory” and that “it would be culinary masochism” not to order the kunafe for dessert.

For the DIG, Marc Hurwitz checks in at Stella’s in East Watertown for some pizza that’s not far off from the thin-crust style of New York. Hurwitz writes that the Margherita pizza with ricotta and basil is an excellent choice, as are both the simple plain and pepperoni options. There are also calzones, sandwiches, salads, and a few additional items. Though the space is basic, Hurwitz writes, “Stella’s is really tough to beat.”

Boston Magazine’s Jolyon Helterman reviews Cambridge’s Little Donkey, writing that the menu has a “batshit-random” ethos that leads to a “motley parade of dishes.” Among those, a “beautiful cardamom-perfumed halibut biryani” and farro kimchi fried rice, both of which seem to him like dishes Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette would be likely to cook up for friends at home. The Vietnamese bologna is “a stunning balancing act,” Helterman writes, and the Turkish meat ravioli, or manti, nail the proportions. The place has “a legit neighborhood friendliness.”

MC Slim JB heads downtown to check out Pabu for The Improper Bostonian, finding that a number of “terrific small cold plates” kick off the meal well, such as an “unusual and very good” take on Hawaiian poke and a “starkly lovely” house-made tofu. Heading into hot plates, Maine lobster okonomiyaki is a “brilliant, briny umami bomb” and robatayaki (charcoal-grilled skewers) are “uniformly excellent.” The sushi is “pristine” and the cocktails are “cunningly presented.” Overall, the San Francisco-based restaurant is a “welcome import” here.

Burlington Just Got the Fast-Casual Restaurant We All Deserve [BG]
Moona Leaves You Elated, and Wanting More [BG]
Stella’s in Watertown [Dig Boston]
Restaurant Review: Little Donkey in Cambridge [BM]
Mina Machine [IB]


1 Franklin St., Boston, MA 02108 Visit Website


243 Hampshire Street, , MA 02139 (617) 945-7448 Visit Website

Stella's Pizza

605 Mount Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472 (617) 924-5692 Visit Website

Little Donkey

505 Massachusetts Avenue, , MA 02139 (617) 945-1008 Visit Website

Pressed Cafe

200 District Ave., Burlington, MA 01803 (781) 365-1412 Visit Website