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Celeste Serves ‘Simply, Thrillingly Good’ Food, Writes Globe Critic

Plus, initial thoughts on Bates Bar & Grill in Braintree and Zo Greek in Somerville

A white plate sits on a white table, full of cubes of marintaed beef with peppers and tomatoes. A glass of red wine sits to the right.
Lomo saltado at Celeste
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Dining at Home, at a Restaurant

The Boston Globe’s Devra First visits Celeste in Somerville’s Union Square for her latest review, writing that it “feels like eating in the home of partners JuanMa Calderón and Maria Rondeau,” rather than at a restaurant. Theirs is a place where “extremely interesting people continually rotate through, something good is bubbling on the stove, and there is always a bottle of wine ready to be opened.”

The 600-square-foot restaurant has an open kitchen and 24 seats, and it’s a spinoff of the pop-up restaurant the owners ran in their home. The small menu features plenty of specials and simple-sounding dishes that “taste simply, thrillingly good.”

A meal must begin with ceviche, First writes, which is “bright and refreshing, with a mellow heat.” She also calls attention to the causa de avocado and tomato, or a terrine of mashed potato, and the lomo saltado stir-fry with juicy beef and vegetables. Both desserts (a suspiro limeño and a dulce de leche custard) are worth ordering, she writes. First gives the restaurant an “excellent” three-star rating out of a possible four: “Like everything Calderón and Rondeau create, Celeste is a collaboration. It is a restaurant, but it is an art project, too.”

“Simple, Unpretentious Dining” and “Top-Tier” Greek

For Marc Hurwitz’s latest “first look” pieces in the Dig, he visits Bates Bar & Grill in Braintree and Zo Greek’s new-ish Somerville location.

At Bates, the menu is mostly full of comfort food, like “tasty” pizza and a steak tip plate with “tender” tips, nicely marinated with “just a hint of char.” Hurwitz also calls out the Saloniki burger, which has feta, onions, tomato, and tzatziki sauce. Overall, he writes, Bates is “a simple, unpretentious dining and drinking spot that’s good for everyone from couples to families to work groups to those who might want to simply hang out and catch a game while sipping a drink at the bar.”

Zo, meanwhile, might be “a new top-tier Greek restaurant in the region,” Hurwitz writes. The feta and olives plate is a “simple but very impressive option” for a starter, and the restaurant also serves an “excellent version” of avgolemono soup. He also recommends the “tremendous” wings.

The Union Square Restaurant That’s More Like a Dinner Party Thrown by Friends [BG]
First Look: Bates Bar & Grill [Dig Boston]
First Look: Zo Greek [Dig Boston]

Celeste

21 Bow Street, , MA 02143 (617) 616-5319 Visit Website

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