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.
“Settle in and Get Messy”
Erin Kuschner provides an early look at chef Sarah Wade’s Stillwater in downtown Boston (120 Kingston St.) in her latest review for Boston.com. The restaurant is an ode to comfort food, with classics like Ritz cracker-encrusted chicken and an “incredibly delicious” smoked pork mac and cheese. Kuschner particularly calls out the dishes rooted in Oklahoma cooking (Wade’s an Oklahoma native), like the chicken fried ribeye that “begs you to settle in and get messy,” with tangy cherry pepper relish.
Kuschner writes that “some dishes need a little finessing,” like the biscuits (they dry out once cool and thus should be eaten quickly) and the flat patty burger that she finds “bland despite the Cajun aioli.” Kuschner writes, though, that she’ll “definitely come back for that chicken fried ribeye.”
Stillwater opened in late August in the former Townsman space downtown. This is Wade’s first solo venture, which she comes to after winning the Food Network’s cooking competition show Chopped. Wade previously led Lulu’s Allston.
It’s Always Soup Season
For the Globe, Devra First dives into the menu at Soup Shack (779 Centre St., Boston), an unassuming but endlessly flavorful restaurant in Jamaica Plain. “People often ask me what my favorite food is, and the answer I give most frequently is: some kind of spicy noodle soup from Asia,” First writes. She explores a variety at Soup Shack, starting with khao soi, where “the broth is rich with coconut milk, fragrant with curry spices, and just fiery enough.” She also calls out the tonkotsu ramen with a “cloudy, deeply flavored pork-bone broth,” noting this and the khao soi are her favorite items at Soup Shack. First also calls the chicken pho restorative and ultimately writes: “Everything I’ve ordered at Soup Shack is either good or very good.”
• Every Season Is Soup Season [BG]
• Stillwater Is a Gravy-Smothered Ode to Southern Comfort Food [Boston.com]
• A Giant Den of ‘Redefined Comfort Food’ Opens in Downtown Boston [EBOS]