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The Critics Ate Escargot, Pasta, and Barbecue This Week

At Frenchie, Mida, and Battle Road Brew House

Mida
Mida
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A Different Take on French Cuisine

For The Improper Bostonian, MC Slim JB heads to Frenchie, a new French restaurant in the South End — “a few blocks [from] four other French (or half-French) joints” and a decade after “Peak French Bistro” hit Boston. So how will it stand out, he wonders? For one thing, the mostly French wine list is geared toward “weeknight affordability,” unlikely a neighbor with more “dramatically marked up” wine prices. Plus, the staff boasts a large number of “French ex-pats” who lend a “sturdy professional seriousness” to service. And of course, the food: It’s mostly small plates, and many provide “witty updates on hallowed bistro classics.” Try the escargot, for example (“a generous pile of plump snails”), or the drumstick-and-farro take on coq au vin.

Exuberant Dining

The Boston Globe’s Sacha Pfeiffer dives into the menu at Mida for her latest review. Douglass Williams’ newest restaurant opened in November in the South End near Roxbury, and according to Pfeiffer, it “exudes contemporary urban sophistication.” One of her favorite appetizers is the Maine grains salad, which she writes is “like softened Grape Nuts,” and the “juicy medium” dry-aged strip steak is excellent. Williams “excels at pasta,” Pfeiffer writes, praising the fettuccine with pancetta, kale, and egg yolk and the agnolotti with mushroom confit, brown butter, and hazelnuts. The only problem is that sometimes Williams’ “endearing” enthusiasm can lead to “overly busy” and “disjointed” dishes. “His passion is evident,” Pfeiffer writes, but he “needs to make sure his execution matches his enthusiasm.”

Battle Road Barbecue

The Globe’s Ellen Bhang took a trip to Maynard to check out Battle Road Brew House, where she found a “sweet aroma of steeping grains” along with “a spot for delicious pub fare.” The restaurant part of the brew house offers Texas-style smoked barbecue, including fork-tender brisket, smoked sausage finished on a wood grill, and juicy shredded pork shoulder. “Don’t miss the cornbread,” Bhang writes, also noting the “excellent” collard greens with bacon and saucy baked beans. There’s seafood on the menu as well, and Bhang recommends the delectable “powderkeg” shrimp and the haddock sandwich. Overall, she writes, “No bad beer here. The food is better too.”

Maison Unique [IB]
At Mida, Exuberance — Unrestrained [BG]
Combine a Brewery, a New England Tavern, and a Barbecue Joint, and You’ve Got Battle Road Brew House [BG]

Battle Road Brewing Company

Building 5, Mill & Main, Maynard, MA 01754 Visit Website

Frenchie

560 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118 (857) 233-5941 Visit Website

MIDA

782 Tremont Street, , MA 02118 (617) 936-3490 Visit Website

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