Food & dining

Where a restaurant critic eats, off the clock

Wendy Maeda/Globe staff
A cheeseburger at Eastern Standard.

As the Globe’s restaurant critic, eating out multiple times a week, I rarely ventured away from my own kitchen when I was off the clock. But there were exceptions. Here are some places I went to regularly on my own time:

The Baldwin Bar I love Sichuan food (and spice in general). I love well-made cocktails. This place combines the two, in an offbeat location both cozy and swank. The bartenders are the best, and the Chengdu dry hot chicken wings are something I dream about. 2 Alfred St., Woburn, 781-935-8488,

Pasta at Bottega Fiorentina.

Bottega Fiorentina The perfect little neighborhood joint. It serves a range of Italian fare, but I come for the pasta. Pick your own shape — it’s always al dente — and sauce, from the trademark Fedora (tomato, garlic, rosemary, and cream) to the spot-on puttanesca. On Wednesdays and Sundays, the pasta is $4.99. 313B Harvard St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline, 617-232-2661,


Eastern Standard This is probably the restaurant I recommend most frequently, because it suits many people’s needs. The room is so appealing and convivial, with its burgundy banquettes and tile floors. This is how a restaurant is supposed to look and feel. I will forever want to come here for oysters, burgers, and drinks. 528 Commonwealth Ave., Kenmore Square,Boston, 617-532-9100,

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Myers + Chang For birthday parties, date nights, and lunch meetings, Myers + Chang is a perennial favorite. It’s been doing the Asian small plates thing for years, and it shows in craveable dishes like tiger’s tears and nasi goreng. Always a good time. 1145 Washington St., South End, Boston, 617-542-5202,

Redd’s in Rozzie Not to knock dinner, but this place does a great brunch, with free-spirited specials and ridiculous sticky buns baked in-house. It also could not be kid-friendlier. There’s a lovely space to sit outside, and all kinds of fun to be had (bingo nights!). 4257 Washington St., Roslindale, 617-325-1000,

Winsor Dim Sum Cafe It’s possible I’ve been here more than any other restaurant in the city. When dim sum calls, I answer. I can eat my weight in shrimp dumplings, rice noodles, and custard buns, and the bean curd sheet rolls are my favorite. 10 Tyler St., Chinatown, Boston, 617-338-1688


Food editor Sheryl Julian says goodbye