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Top-Grade Cuban Dishes Shine at New Porter Square Restaurant

A local critic reviews Gustazo Cuban Kitchen & Bar

Churros stick out of a metal pail lined with paper, alongside a spicy chocolate dipping sauce, at Gustazo in Cambridge
Churros at Gustazo in Cambridge
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Welcome back to Week in Reviews, an occasional round-up of the formal, starred restaurant reviews recently written by Boston’s food critics at publications such as The Boston Globe and Boston Magazine.

Gustazo’s Owners Bring Their A-Game

Colin Kingsbury reviews Gustazo’s new Cambridge location for Boston Magazine, declaring that owners Patricia Estorino and Adolfo de la Vega have brought their A-game to the new restaurant, an expansion of a Waltham restaurant that was originally located in Belmont. At the new location, the owners consulted with Sam Treadway (of Backbar fame) to showcase some of the “most interesting cocktails to debut around here in some time.”

As for the food, there are rare misses on the menu, but they’re fortunately “easily forgotten” and overshadowed by dishes like the Cuban-style squash fritters — “reminiscent of an old-fashioned doughnut” — and chicharrones that are “perfectly crispy on the outside and lusciously tender within.”

Another winner, according to Kingsbury, is the mariscada, “a triumphant take on a traditional fishermen’s stew”; he recommends ordering extra yuca fries or rice for broth-sopping.

Overall, Kingsbury awards Gustazo three stars out of four — “generally excellent.”

It’s the only formal review of Gustazo’s new location so far, although The Boston Globe granted it a “quick bite” overview in early May, with Kara Baskin giving some preliminary praise to the “array of dazzling tapas.”

“The food is excellent, the service is outstanding, and the prices are fair,” she wrote.

Dining Out: Gustazo Cuban [BM]
Gustazo Cuban Café in North Cambridge, for an Array of Dazzling Tapas [BG]
Gustazo Cuban Kitchen & Bar Coverage on Eater [EBOS]

Gustazo Cuban Restaurant & Cafe (Cambridge)

2067 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02140 Visit Website

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