Boston Magazine critic Jolyon Helterman pays a visit to Prairie Fire, a haven of wood-fired cooking in Brookline. The co-owners have read the needs of the neighborhood and are serving up a “casual, not-too-challenging selection of small plates, salads, artisanal pizzas and pastas, and vegetable sides elevated to starter-level glory,” he writes. One highlight is the roasted vegetable chopped salad, which “isn’t a looker” but is “plainspoken and sturdy.” Another favorite: the broccoli greens, “a criminally underused ingredient” that works well with the “intensity of silky bagna cauda redolent of anchovy and roasted garlic.”
The pizzas at Prairie Fire have a “chewy, reasonably flavorful crust,” Helterman writes, and he describes the mushroom pie as a “molten dairyscape of oozy fontina and béchamel.” On the pasta side, chef Brendan Joy’s squid ink campanelle “is a dish worth crossing town for.” Helterman gives the restaurant two stars out of four, “good.”
Boston Cream Pie Banana Pudding
For the Dig, Marc Hurwitz checks out the newly opened Magnolia Bakery, which has finally secured a presence in Boston after years of capturing New York’s attention with decadent banana pudding. Some patrons may know the bakery best for its cupcakes, and Hurwitz attests that the Quincy Market shop’s selection has “the same great quality as those found in the West Village shop.” With a rich buttercream icing, rotating flavors include vanilla, chocolate, lemon, marble cake, black forest, s’mores, coconut, caramel, and more. Other items of note include brownies, mini cheesecakes, and of course the banana pudding, of which this location offers a special Boston cream pie flavor for the local crowds.