Here are some excerpts from recent Dining Out reviews by Globe West correspondents. Full reviews appear in the Sunday edition.
95 Elm St., West Newton, 617-965-6444
You'll find typical pub-grub appetizers like nachos, buffalo wings, and skins, as well as steak, chicken, and seafood dishes, and changing specials at Paddy's.
A standard menu of pizzas and calzones, salads, sandwiches, and burgers is also available. Pizza and calzones are served after 4 p.m. Pizza prices range from $8.50 for a plain cheese, up to $13.50 for the chicken primavera or sliced tomato basil versions.
You can also create your own calzone, priced from $6.50 for one filling, up to $8.50 for a Paddy's special, with meatball, onion, pepper, mushroom, sausage, and pepperoni.
An order of crispy potato skins ($6.50) were better than average, and very filling.
The Caesar salad with grilled marinated chicken ($8) arrived without a trace of dressing, and the chicken was cold, not warm and freshly grilled. The croutons were overly salty, and the dressing -- when it finally arrived -- was mediocre. The fish and chips was a much better choice. The delicate haddock was flaky and very moist, and the batter golden and light.
The baked stuffed flank steak au jus ($10.50) was just OK. The meat was stuffed with cheese, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and spinach, and although tasty, it arrived medium rare, not medium as ordered. The horseradish dill-crusted salmon with homemade orange zest ($13.25) sounded enticing, but was unremarkable.
116 Main St. (Route 109), Medway, 508-533-1343, www.mickeycassidys.com
For dinner, my Irish friends chose shepherd's pie -- ground beef and vegetables topped with mashed potatoes and cheese, piped on in a pretty design ($10) -- and a Black Forest T-bone steak special ($20), loaded with mushrooms in a rich brown gravy. The shepherd's pie got a thumbs-up for flavor and additional points because the potato topping was piping hot, which is not always the case, my friend said. The steak was flavorful but a bit overdone.
A chicken and dumplings special ($10) was loaded with chicken, and the dumplings were properly bland, according to another diner familiar with Irish cooking. I had grilled swordfish with lemon butter ($14), a good piece of fish for the price.
148 East Central St., Natick, 508 907-6262, www.maxwells148.com
Since Maxwell's 148 opened, diners have embraced chef Mitchell Mitchell's self-styled "Mediterrasian" concept, which blends southeast Asian and European cuisine.
The eclectic menu allows one to start with an order of baby spinach escargot won tons ($10), proceed toward a rich French-cut ribeye steak ($35), and end with a sweet and crispy apple egg roll with vanilla ice cream ($8).
We particularly enjoyed the pho Max soup starter ($9), a spicy crab soup with shrimp dumplings and Thai basil, and a Hamachi sashimi ($13) appetizer.
The wok lobster entree ($29), a wok-seared Maine lobster served in a rich, spicy sauce, was nothing short of hedonistic, and the presentation made it seem like far more than 1 pounds of lobster meat.
We were impressed with the roasted duck breast ($24), a traditional rendering of the classic with a fig and port reduction, paired with Brussels sprouts and a mascarpone-spiked polenta side dish. Other popular dishes include the Balinese street noodle ($18), an Indonesian noodle stir-fry with shrimp and vegetables; and the clay pot lamb shank ($26), braised lamb served with polenta and wild mushroom.
Dessert selections are more continental than Asian, such as warm chocolate Napoleon pudding and coconut creme brulee.