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The Critics Ate Latkes, Lobster Bisque, and Soul Food This Week

At Mamaleh’s, Bistro Duet, and Next Step Soul Food

Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

Kreplach and Chopped Liver

Boston Magazine’s Jolyon Helterman visits Mamaleh’s in Kendall Square for his latest review, where he finds the crew is “pretty darned good” at “slinging every last item in the Jewish pantheon” of food. He writes that the deli meats are a bit safe in terms of fat and salt and the noodle kugel plays “safely down the middle,” leaving out raisins, but amid the classic Jewish deli items, “there are breathtaking bursts of creative brilliance.” Among those bursts, he notes that the baking program is “on point” and suggests getting the house lox with a bialy (or anything that comes with house-made breads). He calls the potato latkes “flawless” and recommends the kasha varnishkes. Overall, he writes, “you’d be hard-pressed to find better, and more relevant, Jewish-deli fare anywhere.”

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Sacha Pfeiffer stops in at Bistro Duet in Arlington for her latest review in The Boston Globe, finding that the restaurant is “a classy concept for a classy space.” The lobster bisque is made without dairy but served with cream on the side for a modern twist, and the salads “are simple but satisfying.” She writes that the terrine of pork and duck is “delicious,” that she loves the brandade, or poached salt cod, and that the English pea puree served alongside “beef two ways” should be a regular side dish. While some dishes are missing “a sense of adventure, a mark of distinction, a punch of unforgettable flavor,” she writes, the restaurant is “providing something this neighborhood wants and is grateful to have.”

Can’t-Put-it-Down Good Soul Food

The Globe’s Ellen Bhang finds herself at Next Step Soul Food in Dorchester for her latest article and digs into classic soul food favorites. There are “generous portions of collard greens, flavored with smoked turkey, and tender sauteed cabbage,” and the barbecue chicken “is can’t-put-it-down good.” The sides are also delicious, she writes, including an indulgent creamy potato salad and mac and cheese that is “pure comfort food.” Bhang recommends Thursday’s daily special, the oxtail dinner, which features satisfying meat “braised in plenty of gravy,” alongside collard greens and yellow rice.

Restaurant Review: Mamaleh’s in Kendall Square [BM]
When Just Good Is Good Enough or: The Case of Bistro Duet [BG]
‘We Need More Soul Food in Massachusetts’ [BG]

Bistro Duet

190 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA 02474 (781) 316-8808 Visit Website

Mamaleh's Delicatessen

One Kendall Square, Building 300, Cambridge, MA 02139 Visit Website