An Iconic Icon
East Coast Grill is back (under new ownership, the Highland Kitchen team), and it’s “time to recognize the East Coast Grill for what it is: an embodiment of many of the best ideas of the last 30 years of Boston dining,” writes MC Slim JB for The Improper Bostonian. It’s “the kind of iconic restaurant that gives being an icon a good name,” he declares, detailing “the horror of the 1980s Boston restaurant scene” before the original East Coast Grill helped introduce the city to offal, raw seafood, and more. His top picks at the reincarnated East Coast Grill include the smoked tofu dan dan noodles (“umami-rich with mushrooms”), the grilled mahi mahi (“exquisitely fire-cooked to just-done”), and the “bold flavored” grilled romaine salad.
Nestor Ramos tucks into Italian food this week for his latest review for The Boston Globe. Dinner begins with “sfizi,” or small bites, such as soppressata and white bean bruschetta. From the antipasti selection, he recommends the “beautiful” warm celery root and pear salad. The pasta dishes show off fresh sheets and noodles, and the braised duck leg tortelloni is worthy of being Benedetto’s signature dish, Ramos writes. He also praises the bone-in skate wing and bone-in rib eye, and he writes that the best way to enjoy the full range of offerings at Benedetto is by “trading plates around the table, enlisting the help of a server, and having larger dishes sliced up in the kitchen.” For dessert, go for the frozen walnut and nardini caramel.
Dumplings as a Gateway Drug
The Globe’s Catherine Smart dines at Gourmet Dumpling House, a 10-year-old Chinatown institution. The restaurant has an “extensive menu of hits,” she writes, including the mini juicy dumplings filled with pork and crabmeat. The plain pork versions are crowd pleaser. Beyond the dumplings, there are more gems, Smart writes: The pan-fried leek and pork buns require some cooling before digging in but consist of airy bread and a slightly sweet filling. Smart recommends leaving room for the sliced fish Sichuan style that’s tender with a lingering heat and “teeming with chiles.” She calls the cumin lamb “a looker of a dish” that’s “hard to stop eating.”
• Pole Star [IB]
• Benedetto, Where the intelligentsia Eat Italian [BG]
• After a Decade, Gourmet Dumpling House is Still Going Strong [BG]