The Other Critics

Four Stars for Il Casale; Pairings Is Just Pretty

The minestra soup at Il Casale
The minestra soup at Il Casale Photo: Regan Communications

• Robert Nadeau is the latest to offer up a rave for Il Casale, giving it four stars: “Il Casale will have its dissenters, because it has little novelty and costs more than some other Italian restaurants. But you’re buying consistency, reliability, and a kind of general excellence associated more with a family business than a star chef.” [Phoenix]

Pairings gets a C from Mat Schaffer: “Bean turns out extraordinarily pretty food but his fondness for unusual ingredients will have diners scratching their heads about what’s on their forks.” [Herald]

• Devra First gives The Regal Beagle two enthusiastic stars, in a review peppered with Three’s Company jokes: “The neighborhood has everything it needs in the way of sushi, burritos, Thai food, falafel, and Indian restaurants. But it needed a joint. (Mr. Furley, listening at the door: “Did somebody say they needed a joint? I’m calling the police!’’) Or at least a joint like this, with wallet-friendly American bistro food for brunch, lunch, and dinner, serving late; rotating specials to keep regulars from getting bored; plenty of bar snacks, and the bar to go with them.” [Globe]

• Patrick Main has three stars for the brand-new Barlow’s: “I can’t decide whether Barlow’s is a good pub with an exceptional menu, or a good restaurant with an exceptional bar, but either way you’ll be well served by checking it out.” [Dig]

• MC Slim JB visits Eastie’s Taqueria Jalisco, which is a great way to start the new year: “A standout in a neighborhood with multiple worthy Mexican options, I’m hopeful that Taqueria Jalisco is an auspicious omen for many more great cheap eats in 2010.” [Phoenix]

• Cheap Eats finds a good basic at Lee’s Place Burgers in Newton where the pleasures “are simple: Perch atop a tall stool, munch on burgers and fries, look through the picture window at bundled bodies navigating the fresh snow.” [Globe]

Four Stars for Il Casale; Pairings Is Just Pretty