Restaurant Reviews

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Review: BonChon

What am I doing in this basement in Harvard Square, reviewing the second location of a multi-national franchise chain?
The real KFC (Korean fried chicken)
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  August 10, 2012

Review: Tonic

Bad restaurant idea number 16: let's do a neighborhood bar-bistro where there already is one.
JP’s brilliant but erratic new bistro
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  July 06, 2012

On the Cheap: Mixtura Latin Fusion Cuisine

Mixtura has the look and feel of a quick meal at your favorite aunt's house.
A casual but serious take on regional Latin favorites
By CASSANDRA LANDRY  |  June 22, 2012

Review: Happy’s Bar and Kitchen

In a year of bad restaurant ideas, one of the better bets is to have a successful fancy-food chef try a downscale restaurant.
The retro diner gets a little lost
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  June 22, 2012

Review: Thelonious Monkfish

The name bit flipped all the cats and kitties and the squares and the cubes, but it ends up jive; don't jibe with the vibe.
Sure-handed sushi, all jazzed up
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  May 18, 2012

Review: Vito’s Tavern

This column often deals with good ideas gone wrong. Vito's Tavern, in yet another proof of subatomic symmetry, is a cascade of bad ideas gone largely right.  
A sports bar grows in the North End
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  April 06, 2012


Review: The Cottage

So what makes a one-star restaurant?
Cal-Mex meets New England in Chestnut Hill
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  March 30, 2012

Review: Trade

What works at Trade is the hard part: transforming a difficult industrial space on a street without foot traffic or parking into a lively dining room that lightly alludes to the mercantile past of Boston's Waterfront area, and invites the chatter of the
Ride the energy and go with what works
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  February 24, 2012

On The Cheap: Lone Star Taco

While the food at Allston's Deep Ellum occasionally plays second fiddle to its stand-out list of libations, the plates and tequila concoctions found next door at Lone Star Taco, the latest Texan ode from Aaron Sanders and Max Toste, are perfectly in ste
Another outstanding ode to Texas from the Deep Ellum crew
By CASSANDRA LANDRY  |  February 24, 2012

Review: Q Restaurant

You be careful what you ask for, and I'll be careful what I write.
 A New Kind of Hot
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  February 17, 2012

Review: Blue Nile Restaurant

Either this is the best Ethiopian food in Boston, or the whole scene has advanced greatly since the last time I got to review in this genre.
Tasty new flavors from Ethiopia
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  January 06, 2012

b street list

Review: B Street Restaurant & Bar

B Street was formerly Pie Bakery, but the same owner has kept only one sweet pie and no savories.
Nothing too clever, but it's all pretty good
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  July 15, 2011
Trina's Starlite Lounge Waffle Chicken

Review: Trina's Starlite Lounge

Trina's Starlite Lounge is not so easy to describe. It's noir — as in dark (they only put in windows a couple months ago). It has craft cocktails, but not classics; draft beers, but only six taps; 17 bottled beers, but that's including Miller High Life,
Unorthodox goodness shining through the dark
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  July 08, 2011

C. Tsar's

It can be very good when a fine chef moves downmarket, adding focus and financial discipline to pure talent.
The former Ariadne goes back to basics
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  November 12, 2010


Umami is a confusing name for a bistro with touches of Asian fusion, especially in Brookline, where there seems to be a sushi bar for every 15.3 residents.
A fusion bistro finds its crowd
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  November 05, 2010

Bleacher Bar

A touristy sports bar with occasional pop in its bat
A touristy sports bar with occasional pop in its bat
By MC SLIM JB  |  November 05, 2010


J'Way Café

Not long after I dug into a plate of J'Way Café's heartfelt soul food, I felt guilty for grumping the night before, when I showed up for dinner according to posted hours, but found them closed.
A taste of Southern home-cooking in a bookstore basement — savor it before it's gone
By LINDSAY CRUDELE  |  October 22, 2010

Anthem Kitchen + Bar

The original Anthem (RIP, 2007) was half bistro, half sports bar, all competent in a way that made it the best oversize restaurant ever between the Department of Mental Health and the variously named Boston Garden.
Half bistro, half sports bar, all quality
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  October 22, 2010

Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen

Never mind the juicy back story here — just order the "country fried chicken wings."
A winning return back to the old corner
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  October 15, 2010

Al Wadi

A wadi is a dry creek — until it rains, and then it becomes an oasis.
An oasis of outstanding Middle Eastern cuisine
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  October 08, 2010


A trip to the spa used to mean you were getting a sandwich.
Pan-Asian sandwich spot delivers well-being via the stomach
By LINDSAY CRUDELE  |  October 08, 2010



As the auteur of multiple restaurants on three continents, Jean-Georges Vongerichten has avoided many of the traps for unwary superstar chefs, such as overpriced pizza, videos of himself at the front of the restaurant, or a signature line of frozen entré
Chef Outhier's spiritual son misses the point
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  October 01, 2010

Restaurant Review: East by Northeast

There are a lot of ways to look at Chef Phillip Tang’s mod variations on the Taiwanese-American food of his youth — Chinese tapas, small plates, locovore noodles and dumplings, tea-house nouvelle, dim sum gone upscale and gone wild.
Modern, minimalist Chinese cuisine
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  September 17, 2010

Mandy and Joe's Restaurant

Keeping it real in Brighton Center for more than 60 years
Keeping it real in Brighton Center for more than 60 years
By MC SLIM JB  |  May 29, 2010


I rely a lot on my lumberjacks, as Dylan called them — specialists who can fill in my culinary ignorance.
Earning its ethnic loyalty
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  May 14, 2010

Tallulah on Thames

The buzz about any new restaurant often takes a few months to circulate. For Tallulah on Thames, it took just a few days.
World-class dining in Newport
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  March 26, 2010

Food Fight

I don't think food critic Robert Nadeau knows very much about fine dining and what it means to cook good seafood.
Letters to the Boston editor, March 19, 2010
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  March 19, 2010

Symphony 8 Restaurant & Bar

Everyone wants to have a gastro-pub with comfort food, but you have to be able to cook a little bit to sustain one. It also helps to draw a clean draught beer, maintain a quality wine list, and sweep the floor.
Time to face the music
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  March 19, 2010

Edgewood Café

The Edgewood Café's slogan is "casual neighborhood dining with a gourmet touch," and every adjective is scout's honor true.
For neighborly gourmands
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 05, 2010

Lord Hobo

What act could follow the B-Side Lounge, beloved home of craft-cocktail scholars? Well, how about a bar-restaurant for beer geeks?
This convivial corner of Hell is actually beer Heaven
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  February 19, 2010