“Effing Brilliant” Rohan Duck
MC Slim JB reviews Shore Leave in the South End for the Improper Bostonian. The subterranean tropical oasis builds on a Tiki legacy: Beverage manager Ryan Lotz’s cocktails “riff on the Tiki canon while preserving the Groovy Serving Vessel trope,” Slim writes. There are also plenty of snacks to complement the drinks. Slim calls the pork rinds with scallion cream cheese a “perfect drinking food” and recommends all the steamed bao, which are filled with pork, shiitake, or fried clams. He also suggests the Tandoori fish collar and the Rohan duck, the latter of which is “effing brilliant,” he writes.
Slim also samples the tasting menu at No Relation, a sushi bar built into the back of Shore Leave, calling it a “smashing bargain and testament to [chef and co-owner Colin] Lynch’s skill with raw fish.”
A True Modern Irish Pub
Devra First makes her way to Needham to review the James Pub & Provisions for the Boston Globe. Waiting until St. Patrick’s Day to eat here would be a mistake, she writes, that would leave a diner without “great food, drink, and hospitality” while reducing a genuine Irish pub to a caricature. Don’t skip out on the soda bread: Load it up with Irish butter sweetened with honey before tucking into what First dubs “one of the best Scotch eggs” she’s ever eaten. But the bar moves past a traditional conception of Irish pub fare, also featuring dishes such as an oyster roll with white kimchi, grilled jerk prawns, and “tender and mild” octopus atop lemony chickpea puree — all of which First labels “proper pub food circa 2019.” The desserts are simple satisfactions, the brunch is worth going out of your way for, and “there’s something for everyone, and friendliness for all.”