Well, look at that: this week's review by alt weekly food critic-in-chief Ian McNulty looks at the Bywater's new hotspot, Maurepas Foods, capping off a solid two months of almost-universally high praise for the place.
McNulty follows suit, calling Michael Doyle's restaurant "a very social spot. If it were in your neighborhood, you'd be here eating and chatting all the time too." As it happens, "Maurepas Foods feels particularly at home deep in the Bywater." In terms of actually eating, he recommends a build-as-you-go approach:
Doyle's menu is designed for quick service and low prices, and it achieves both. Most dishes are under $10, and while you'll likely have to wait for a table (this restaurant has been rolling from the get-go), orders come out at the rapid clip of bar food. This makes it feasible to build a meal as you go. That's good, because the standard appetizer/entree format doesn't work. Most of the dishes are somewhere between appetizers, sides or really small entrees in size. My advice is to order three dishes for two people and take it from there.The alt weekly man gives special praise to several different dishes, including the kohlrabi and the romanesco, the steamed mussels and the cheese boards. He tempers his generally glowing review with the note that "the menu doesn't give much description" of the plates, leading to an unfortunate situation where he ordered the fish and chips and got something that "didn't satisfy the notion of fish and chips for anyone at our table." (To which Maurepas Foods says, "Chef stands by his fish and chips. It's a playful thing, not meant to be authentic English seaside cuisine.")
And back to the "social" thing: McNulty calls the dining room "boisterous and lively," which he says makes it "the wrong choice for an intimate dinner." But these two pieces of soft criticism almost feel inevitable, as though McNulty was obliged to pull out something to temper an otherwise-glowing review.