Convivial, Cozy, and Crowd-Pleasing
New to Boston’s West End, Alcove steps into a much-needed role, according to Improper Bostonian critic MC Slim JB. The “convivial spot” is cozy, with a breathtaking view of the Charles River and Zakim Bridge, and the food menu “is a cavalcade of carefully executed crowd-pleasers,” from raw bar items to charcuterie, pasta, and grilled meats. The raw oysters are “pristine,” while the Jonah crab cocktail is easily shared, Slim writes. He recommends the head-on shrimp for its superior flavor and the pumpkin sage soup for its “rich and satisfying” qualities. Slim calls the two pasta options sensational: the spinach creste de gallo with “delectable pesto” and the radiatori with a “fatty, tender ragu.”
Among the larger dishes, Slim calls out the pan-seared sea bream for its “classically simple” Mediterranean sauce vierge, while dubbing the whole roasted branzino a marvel “of bright flavors and different, skillfully wrought cooking techniques.” There are also fragrant fried maitake mushrooms, a roast half chicken, and a burger loaded with cheese and caramelized sweet onions, not to mention enjoyable drinks and dessert. Slim imagines the neighborhood will find Alcove a welcome addition.
“Like It’s Been There for Decades”
No starred review from the Boston Globe this week, but there’s a “quick bite” overview of Country Mile, new to Watertown, by Sheryl Julian, who highlights the restaurant’s staff-to-diner ratio — “you’re never wondering where your food or drink is” — and the “warm and friendly” vibe. The menu’s always changing, but one recent dish included “succulent, juicy little pieces of Vermont quail,” and there are always “interesting” vegetable dishes to try. A succinct craft beer list “avoids the sillies,” while the wine list is “surprisingly lengthy.”