The very existence of Superior Motors is “a testament to the power of persistence,” said Jordana Rothman in Food & Wine. The story started with a big idea: Chef Kevin Sousa wanted to open a high-end restaurant in a broken-down steel town, and he wanted the venture to revitalize the community. The unveiling finally arrived last summer, after a record-setting Kickstarter campaign but near-fatal cost overruns, and so far, so good: “Superior Motors is the restaurant Sousa promised Braddock it would be.” Not that it’s perfect, said Hal Klein in Pittsburgh magazine. Sousa’s cooking is “more cerebral than soulful,” so he overcomplicates dishes that could get by on taste. Still, “I was thrilled with the textures, balanced flavors, and bright plating of fresh-as-the-sea hamachi dressed with avocado, black garlic, and pineapple.” What’s more, Sousa is surrounded by pros, employing locals, and offering lifetime half-off discounts to all Braddock residents. If you seek out his lively dining room, set in an old car dealership, be sure to get a seat with a view of the Edgar Thomson Steel Works, still belching steam and flames across the street. 1211 Braddock Ave., (412) 271-1022 First in The Boston Globe. But if you’re in Boston and looking for a great place to eat, you must try Buttonwood. Consider those ribs: Equal parts Mediterranean and Southeast Asian, they have bite and bark, with meat that’s “the perfect compromise between tenderness and chew.” Folks who live in Boston’s suburbs are “basically city dwellers with better backyards,” and chefowner Dave Punch knows better than to cater down. For a special-event dinner, try the New Bedford sea scallops with artichokes and almond and grape salsa verde, or the monster pork chop with Muscat grape compote. Though house-made sausages have become common, Punch’s flavorful chorizo “blew my mind,” and he can satisfy burger or vegetable cravings too.
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