“Polish, Joy, and Excellence”
MC Slim JB’s latest review for the Improper Bostonian covers Buttonwood, the new Newton venture from chef David Punch, who’s also behind Sycamore and Little Big Diner. “A few weeks in, it’s not hard to see why it’s packing in crowds,” Slim writes. Punch and chef de cuisine Francisco Millan have a varied menu that begins with assorted spreads for grilled bread, including spicy whipped feta, red lentils, and “mild but still kicky” roasted garlic and white bean.
He writes that the marinated octopus salad “brings a gently briny accent and delicately tender texture,” and adds, “It’s easy to imagine making a light meal of a couple of these with a glass of wine and maybe a salad.” Slim praises the chopped beet salad in particular, calling it “a vibrant, al dente gloss on an often rote, dull offering.” Another standout is the whole bronzino, which “absolutely nails its preparation,” while a side of root vegetable gratin serves as “a cream-dosed, heavenly reimagining of scalloped potatoes.” The restaurant also offers a selection of desserts and “sophisticated specialty cocktails,” Slim writes, plus wine and beer.
A Pizza and Bread Haven in Medford
Marc Hurwitz pays a visit to Italo Bakery in Medford for his latest review in Dig Boston. It’s a place most people go for bread and pizza, and the scali loaves “scream out ‘Boston,’” as the braided bread is hard to find outside of the region. Several Portuguese sweet breads also grace the menu, while the pizza is “basic, simple, and utterly delicious bakery pizza, or ‘grandma’ pizza that is cut into squares and has a rich sauce that is both sweet and acidic,” Hurwitz writes. Slices are “almost ridiculously cheap,” so even with a handful of quarters, customers can walk away with slices. The place is cash only, and the Italian cookies rival those found in the North End, according to Hurwitz.
• Button Pusher [IB]
• Italo, Medford: Bakery Slices and Bread on the Cheap [Dig Boston]