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The Critics Ate Lamb, Poutine, and More This Week

At Terra, Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar, Cafe du Pays, and Baraka Cafe

Food at Terra
Food at Terra

The Pleasures of the Char

Boston Magazine’s Jolyon Helterman visits Eataly’s wood-fired restaurant Terra for his latest review. He fell “head over heels” for the restaurant, he writes, finding even an undercooked lamb chop “sublime” in flavor, as the overnight cure for the meat leaves it “magnificent in its extremes.” The dishes that come out of the “snarling, oak-fueled inferno” are “vivid, gutsy, bursting with confidence” across the board, including the lamb meatballs with rosemary and the bruschette with anchovies. “The recipes have a genuine, elegant minimalism,” Helterman writes, noting the rabbit agnolotti with tender meat, cultured butter, and “crunchy nubs of barely blanched Romanos.”

Greek, Revisited

The Boston Globe’s Devra First pays a visit to Doretta Taverna, now with chef Brendan Pelley at the helm. (The newspaper first published a mixed review of Doretta in January 2016 by Ted Weesner.) “It’s as if the place had a heart transplant,” First writes, noting the passion Pelley brings to cooking Greek food. She praises the flavor and texture of the dishes, including the zucchini chips with a squeeze of lemon and tzatziki. The pan-roasted shrimp with kataifi is “clever; delicious,” she writes, and there are plenty of dips and spreads to enjoy. “The mezze are Doretta’s strong suit,” despite some hiccups, and the lamb “is always good,” regardless of how it’s served, according to First. For dessert, she recommends the “Greek-inspired” ice creams that range in flavor from fig jam to strawberry with rosewater gelee. Overall, First writes, Doretta is taking hold of Greek cooking and “moving the cuisine forward.”

French Canadian Fare

The Improper Bostonian’s MC Slim JB visits Cafe Du Pays this week, finding dishes that link New England with its Canadian neighbor to the north. The restaurant’s summer pea soup is “an elegant take on the poverty cuisine standby,” made with “luscious strips of smoked pork.” For those wondering, there are squeaky curds in the restaurant’s poutine, along with a “wicked gravy,” Slim writes, and the tourtière is a solid individual version of the traditional meat pie. For a main course, the half duck “combines a generous fan of ruby-toned breast slices nestling a thin layer of hot white fat under nicely-crisped skin, plus a deeply-smoked, blackened leg and a late-summer tomato salad, providing tangy contrast.” Overall, Slim calls the restaurant a “beguiling” new spot.

Smooth and Smoky

The Globe’s Sheryl Julian visits the recently relocated Baraka Cafe, which has counter service for lunch and table service for dinner. The North African dishes include a “smooth and smoky” baba ghanoush and a “delicious smoky spread” of roasted eggplant and peppers. The Za’atar coca (sliced and grilled flatbread) comes covered in sweet caramelized onions and herbs, and the kafta kebab roll-up “is deliciously juicy with ground beef, lettuce, and crunchy vegetables in a hot, grilled tortilla,” Julian writes. The melfouf is “one of the best things on the dinner menu,” she notes, with merguez sausage, lamb and chicken, vegetables, and pommes frites. “There’s a lot going on and every flavor and texture is just right,” she writes.

Dining Out: Terra [BM]
Once More, With Feeling, at Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar [BG]
Great White North [IB]
Baraka Cafe Moved Its North African Menu to a Lavishly Decorated Cambridge Spot [BG]

Doretta Taverna

79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116 Visit Website


100 State Street, , SC 29169 (803) 791-3443 Visit Website


800 Boylston St., Boston, MA Visit Website

Baraka Cafe

1728 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 617.868.3951 Visit Website

Café du Pays

233 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue, , MA 02141 (617) 314-7297 Visit Website