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The Critics Ate King Crab, Creamy Polenta, and Congee This Week

At Waypoint, Antonio’s Bacaro, Winsor Dim Sum House & Bar, and The Ellis Room

Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

Boston Magazine’s Jolyon Helterman visits Waypoint in Harvard Square for his latest review. At this newish restaurant from Michael Scelfo, Helterman finds a place with “serious, unmitigated richness.” He praises the restaurant’s king crab, which makes for a “luscious, dreamy dish” with a plump richness, and a “pig’s face” pizza that is a little greasy, but lovable. He writes that the service is exemplary and the beverage program stands out, “but it’s the gorgeous food that’s deservedly getting the most attention.” Some highlights include the brined and cold-smoked shrimp, the octopus polpetti, and the boneless Maine lamb shoulder that is “an all-out showstopper.”

Mat Schaffer stops in at Antonio’s Bacaro in Hyde Park for his latest Boston Globe piece. There, he finds that “the simplest dishes are the ones that stand out.” Shared antipasti could make a substantial meal, he writes, including steamed top neck clams and arancini in tomato sauce. The crusty and fried salted cod melts in your mouth and the carpaccio is “streamlined Italian fare at its best,” he writes, and he recommends the restaurant’s creamy polenta, which comes topped with soppressata. Other favorites include the “pillowy” potato gnocchi with braised duck and an “outstanding” osso bucco.

The Globe’s Ellen Bhang visits Quincy’s Winsor Dim Sum House & Bar this week, where she finds a bustling business that’s worth the wait for its food. The siu mai dumplings “are expertly prepared,” she writes, and the barbecue pork buns have a prominent sweetness that makes the meat taste “almost like dessert.” Meanwhile, the shrimp and chive dumplings boast “vegetal, oniony flavors,” and the fried eggplant comes stuffed with minced shrimp and is “indulgently rich.” Bhang also recommends the Shanghai chow mein and notes that the congee with mushrooms and chicken “is rice porridge done right” and “one of the best dishes.”

This week for Dig Boston, Marc Hurwitz checks out the Ellis Room, the basement bar within Brookline’s Magnolia Smokehouse. The place “has a cozy, intimate feel to it,” he writes, and the menu takes cues from the barbecue spot upstairs. There are barbecue brisket nachos and crispy steak bites, in addition to pulled pork sandwiches and smoked sausages — and mac and cheese, of course. There are some hard-to-find craft beers (Von Trapp and SingleCut), along with old-school and modern cocktails.

Restaurant Review: Waypoint in Cambridge [BM]
It’s Just like a Venetian Wine Bar (Only in Hyde Park) [BG]
Dim Sum and Then Some: A New Winsor Comes to Quincy [BG]
First Look: The Ellis Room [Dig Boston]

Antonio's Bacaro

5 Fairmount Ave., Hyde Park, MA 02136 (617) 272-3028


1030 Massachusetts Avenue, , MA 02138 (617) 864-2300 Visit Website

Winsor Dim Sum House & Bar

706 Hancock St., Quincy, MA 02170 (617) 481-5383