The Other Critics

Red Lantern Often Shines; Everyone Loves Jody Adams

• Devra First visits Red Lantern, which sometimes serves very good food despite its profusion of Buddha statues. On her initial visit to the Back Bay slinkfest, lobster rangoons were “expertly fried”; a scorpion bowl was “candy-sweet.” On later visits, though, she saw “glimpses of that initial greatness, but never the full potential.” Beef and broccoli also includes asparagus, but it’s no better than what you’d pay much less for at your “neighborhood takeaway.” And chow fun noodles are “slicked” in fat. The atmosphere’s slick, too; cocktail waitresses sport “revealing” black corsets, leading First to dub the spot an “R-rated PF Chang’s.” [Globe]

• Across the way in Brookline, Ike de Lorenzo finds homespun happiness at Bottega di Capri. Gregarious waiter Iván Conill looks like comedian Jonah Hill and has “advice for everyone,” about everything, especially off-menu items. Basic pastas and sauces are “solid,” but the real winner is pumpkin tortellini with sage.[Globe]

• Redd’s in Rozzie sent an open letter to Devra First in advance of its Globe review; no word on whether the chef did the same for Robert Nadeau at the Phoenix. No need, regardless: Nadeau gives the place three stars, though his review reads more like a two-star experience. Deep-fried avocados come with a “terrific” peppery dip, but peach crisp is “sour on the peaches,” while five-hour baked beans are “oversalted” and dirty rice is “pretty clean.” [Phoenix]

• Steve Miller goes to “sleek Asian eatery” Ginger Exchange in Inman Square. The lounge-meets-meat-market vibe is a “hot mess,” and the sushi pizza kind of sounds that way, too. (Cream cheese and eel sauce on tempura-crusted rice? Mayyybe…) Anyway, he does like Joe’s Bao Bao, with juicy teriyaki chicken tucked into “soft, white, almost foamy buns.” The mochi sampler comes complete with cherry tomatoes carved into rabbit shapes. [Phoenix]

• MC Slim JB also visits Red Lantern; like First, he didn’t have high hopes for the nightclubby spot; like First, his opinion changed with dishes like the “crisp”lobster rangoons. Slim also savors a “head-turning” broken lobster, a “gorgeous stir-fry of mostly shelled lobster.” Singapore Street Noodles, prepared front-and-center by a wok master, is “deeply satisfying,” studded with “scary-hot” whole dried chilies. [Stuff]

• The Improper gets around to visiting Marc Orfaly’s Remick’s out in Quincy; B.N. Lee deems it a “semi-fancy place with reasonable food where you can take your parents.” Stay away from anything “Asian-inspired,” and do note that the whole-roasted rib eye for two is often sold out. “Soft, creamy” sole oreganata is the best entree. [Improper]

• In other news, pretty much everyone from Joanne Chang to Gordon Hamersley loves Jody Adams: Erin Byers-Murray compiles a smile-worthy round-up of praise from her colleagues, just in time for Trade’s impending opening. [Boston]

Red Lantern Often Shines; Everyone Loves Jody Adams