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The Critics Ate Pasta, Braised Rabbit, and Dumplings This Week

At Benedetto, Liquid Art House, and Bess’s Cafe

Closeup on a pasta dish. Swirls of noodles are tossed with a meat ragu, cheese, and shredded herbs on an orange plate.
Pasta at Benedetto
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

‘Meticulous Noodle Craft’

Boston Magazine’s Jolyon Helterman visits Benedetto in Harvard Square for his latest review, and finds desserts that are “just so darned good,” cutting a path between “homey nostalgia” and “ice-cold abstraction.” He praises the blood orange–elderflower granita, which he writes is “bold, flavorful and palate-cleansing.” The main section of the menu includes sfizi, which he writes are “strong across the board,” including “a masterfully constructed bruschetta” and crispy polenta cakes. There is “meticulous noodle craft” behind the pasta dishes, and Helterman gives a nod to the pork-belly strozzapreti sauce, while noting the grilled branzino and charred bone-in rib-eye that is “on par with or better than any other Italian-restaurant version in town.”

No ‘Clunkers’

Mat Schaffer visits Liquid Art House this week for his latest Boston Globe review. He writes that “Johnny Sheehan may be Boston’s next breakout chef,” and praises the fettuccine with braised rabbit that’s “so rich, you have to put your fork down every few minutes to catch your breath.” A dish of charred cauliflower is topped with a “gutsy mustard vinaigrette,” and Schaffer writes that he particularly likes the “cumin and turmeric scented, ground chicken stuffing” of the Nepalese-style momos. Another standout is the “moist and meaty, brown-crusted” halibut fillet. Overall, he writes, “there’s no other restaurant in Boston with such an unwavering belief in the transcendent power of beauty.”

A ‘Short-But-Sweet’ Menu

The Globe’s Ellen Bhang visits the newly opened Bess’s Cafe in Brookline for a spread of dishes that she calls “soul-satisfying and delicious.” She writes that the shrimp dumplings are “delectable” and that “it’s impossible to be in a funk” with an order of crispy chicken buns. The scallion pancakes are also crispy, she writes, and they come with a hoisin-like plum sauce and layers of roast beef. “It’s hard to imagine a nicer version” of the dan dan noodles, Bhang writes, and says there’s a flavorful broth in the vegetarian version of noodle soup.

Review: Benedetto in Cambridge [BM]
Beauty Everywhere You Look at Liquid Art House [BG]
Make Brookline Your Next Stop for Jiangnan-Style Dumplings and Noodles [BG]

Liquid Art House

100 Arlington St, Boston, MA 02116 (617) 457-8130 Visit Website

BESS'S CAFE

224 Cypress Street, , MA 02445 (617) 879-0993 Visit Website

Benedetto

1 Bennett Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 617-661-5050 Visit Website

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