Win/Fail Fridays: Yay for Catalyst, Nay for All Things Red Sox

Welcome to Win/Fail Fridays, where food editor Donna Garlough mouths off about her latest dining-out adventures.

This week’s WIN : Better bar dining at Catalyst

Enjoying a sit-down meal at chef William Kovel’s Catalyst restaurant in Kendall last night was a complete delight — attentive but not intrusive service, elegant dishes with familiar flavors (beef tournedos with taleggio ravioli and chard; crisp roasted cod with mussels, smashed potatoes, and cream) and a terrific dessert (passionfruit pudding with pistachios). But despite the great privacy of the high-backed booths, I found myself getting a bit jealous of the folks eating at the bar. As a spot close to lots of offices and tech parks, the restaurant has smartly made bar dining a priority, with a long granite-topped counter that snakes through the space and offers one of the area’s best spots for spur-of-the-moment meals. As I sipped a Grey Dawn cocktail at the bar before dinner, the fellows next to me swilled pints and devoured plates of Kovel’s homemade corn-filled ravioli. The feeling was casual yet polished, with a mood that suits the food. I’ll be back to try the Catalyst burger and a beer—and next time, you’ll find me at seated at a barstool, not a banquette.

This week’s FAIL: Sox-themed dining

I don’t need to go into the details of why this week sucks for Boston baseball fans. And during weeks like these, I just have to shake my head at any restaurant that thinks it’s a good idea to name their dishes after anything Fenway. What are you supposed to do, change your menu if we don’t make the playoffs? Kickass Cupcakes has already retired its Green Monster cupcake for the season. But what can Jerry Remy’s do about its Green Monster plate of wings and sliders? What can UBurger do about its Big Papi burger? What other unfortunate Red Sox-themed fare is out there?

Stay tuned for next week’s Win/Fail!