Welcome back to Week in Reviews, a (usually) weekly round-up of the restaurant reviews recently written by Boston’s food critics at publications such as The Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, and Boston.com.
MC Slim JB provides an early look at Shy Bird in Kendall Square (1 Broadway, Cambridge) for Boston.com. The new restaurant, which opened in August, picks up some threads from its Watertown sibling Branch Line and runs with them, creating a casual breakfast and lunch spot during the day as well as a dinner destination at night, providing service somewhere between fast-casual and full, with diners ordering at a counter but food delivered to tables. Slim is “thrilled” to find the same snap pea salad from Branch Line on the menu at Shy Bird, along with a “beautifully composed” arugula salad with ricotta and blistered tomatoes. There’s also a baked artichoke dish that is a “creamy, cheesy (in a good way) mess,” Slim writes.
As for the entrees, there’s a “terrific” lasagnette and a “sturdy” roasted salmon, as well as the signature a la carte rotisserie chicken Slim calls “the paragon of the style” with “crackly, mahogany-toned skin, the rich fragrance of garlic and herbs, and exquisitely juicy flesh.” He finds the optional accompanying sauces unnecessary, letting the bird stand on its own. The “sweetest surprise on the menu,” he writes, is prime-grade beef brisket in a juniper-spiked tomato sauce, which has “awe-inspiringly deep beef flavor and melting tenderness.” Ultimately, Slim writes, the restaurant is “polished and diverting” and worth a trip.
“Decadent and Sinful” Detroit-Style Pizza in Somerville
Marc Hurwitz reviews Avenue Kitchen & Bar in Somerville for the Dig. The restaurant’s Detroit-style pizza “helps make Avenue Kitchen & Bar stand out,” according to Hurwitz, who writes that the pizza has heavy caramelization on the crust that makes it “a completely decadent and sinful pizza that will fill you up in a hurry.” The other menu items include new American fare like black garlic hummus, maple chile duck wings, and beer-steamed mussels, and there’s an impressive local beer list, Hurwitz writes.
• Shy Bird Brings Versatility and Oven-Roasted Genius to Kendall Square [Boston.com]
• Shy Bird Coverage on Eater [EBOS]
• First Look: Avenue Kitchen & Bar in Somerville [Dig Boston]
• Avenue Kitchen & Bar Coverage on Eater [EBOS]