* La Morra, Brookline Village, Brookline
Subtle touch of gorgozola in the fried gnoccho (a soft rectangular block that reminded us of turnip cake); great match with the bitter grilled radicchio and fruity aged balsamic. Less successful with the steaky rather than tender octopus salad; chickpeas in in were nice though.
Lots of flavour in the saffron risotto, more or less al dente, although I prefer pearly hard centres in the grain of rice, this was a little past that. Decent shortrib with it, the sauce a bit oversalted.
Superb rack of venison (2 huge ribs worth!), succulent, full of flavour, outstanding value too at $26. A fine but not great bordatino (a loose polenta with seafood, a bit heavy on the salt). Tender veal with very sweet roasted beets.
Satisfying mascapone cheesecake, elevated by the sharp sweetness of candied orange.
* Cafe Cakes, Watertown
A fairy tale of a dessert. The milk tea pudding is as evocative, deep and aromatic as I remember. Simply magical.
* 400 Highland, Davis Sq., Somerville
Citrusy and fluffy meyer lemon tart, a creamy but otherwise inert scoop of blueberry ice cream. Not much of a flavour combination, but the tart was delicious on its own with a berry (raspberry?) sauce.
* Gargoyles on the Square, Davis Sq., Somerville
Hefty and pleasant gingerbread with great whipped cream. Crisp peach slices make for a very nice textural contrast, but are otherwise bland; ordinary blueberries (no surprise, peaches and blueberries aren't really in season).