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Restaurants & Bars

GioMatti; A Lighter Fare; Oasis

hiddenboston | Jun 1, 200806:50 PM

I hit three restaurants over the weekend, with the common thread being that none of the meals really stood out, but none were all that bad, either...

Started out at an old-school Italian joint on Route 53 in Braintree called GioMatti. The interior looked like it hadn't changed in 50 years, and the clientele was mostly salt-of-the-earth types. The menu held no real surprises, but the prices were good and the food wasn't bad overall. The highlight might have been the minestrone soup, as it had a thick, hearty tomato base with just the right amount of salt and seasonings. The pollo sorrentina had some promise, as the ingredients sounded pretty yummy (chicken, grilled eggplant, prosciutto, porcini ravioli, and chopped tomatoes, all in a white wine sauce), but the whole wasn't quite as good as the sum of its parts. Still, it was a tasty dish, and was better than the quattro formaggio pizza, which had way too much cheese on it. It congealed rather quickly as it cooled down, making for not-so-good eats. In short, GioMatti was good for what it was--an old-fashioned neighborhood Italian restaurant--but I'd rather go to Gennaro's up the street in Quincy for this kind of food.

Sunday morning we went to A Lighter Fare in East Milton Square for the first time in a few months. I've always liked this place, as the help is nice, the food is often excellent, and the atmosphere is mellow. This time, my meal wasn't quite up to par, as my grilled blueberry muffin was extremely greasy and the bacon, which I had asked to be well-done, was undercooked and rather limp. The home fries were outstanding as usual, however--perhaps one of the two or three best in the Boston area, in my opinion.

I went over to Oasis in South Medford for a late Sunday lunch. The place was packed, with many folks opting for the buffet, while others were ordering off the regular menu. I was doing takeout and wasn't all that hungry, so I went for the "Vegetarian I" plate, which had fried plantains, fried yucca, black beans, rice, and collard greens. The black beans were excellent and the rice was nicely seasoned, but the yuccas was so greasy that it was falling apart in the grease, and the collard greens, while good, weren't the best I've had by any stretch. The plantains grew on me, even though they were a little on the dry side and slightly tough. I know you can't judge a Brazilian restaurant on veggie items, so I'll hold off judgment until I try a couple of their meat dishes (or do their buffet).

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