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Pete Wells Goes For Botequim's Brazilian Fare, Plus Praise for Upland and More

A roundup of the week's restaurant reviews, including a solid seafood shack and Steve Cuozzo's biggest pet peeves.

Daniel Krieger

Eater's critics are taking a break from reviews this week, but plenty of others aren't. So here's a roundup of what the other critics are talking about this week:

Pete Wells visits Botequim, Marco Moreira's new Brazilian restaurant in the basement beneath the Fourth: "When I imagine feijoada, it looks the way it did my first night at Botequim, when it was loaded with smoked pork and sausages and the black beans tasted as if they, too, were on the verge of turning into meat." Two stars [NYT]

Tejal Rao is pleased with what she finds at Justin Smillie's Upland: "[A] bit of smoked cabbage stole the show for me when it arrived with the sea trout, whiffing of a campfire at the end of the night, the outer layer crackling like chicken skin and the inside melting and sweet. Like many of Upland's best dishes, it was rich and deeply flavored, without carrying any unnecessary weight." Two stars. [Bloomberg]

Zachary Feldman visits Red & Gold Boil, a simple fish shack on St. Mark's Place specializing in seafood boils: "A boil is best judged on quality of catch, and Red & Gold's close ties to its purveyors translates to supremely fresh offerings. Of the two crab options, the goldens yield more meat...Whatever you choose, you'll welcome the restaurant's restraint when you crack the shells of your dinner: A light hand with the spices allows the flavor of the seafood to pervade." [VV]

Steve Cuozzo marks the end of the year by listing the 11 worst dining trends of 2014. Among them, ramen: "Ivan Ramen, Ippudo ramen, and the pop up-turned-brick-and-mortar Mu Ramen in Long Island City are burning up the blogs. Enough, already. It's noodle soup — a complex one full of secrets, history and infinite variation, true — but still noodle soup. Do we really need a Ramen Lab, opening next month, to 'educate' us?" [NYP]

THE ELSEWHERE: Ligaya Mishan checks out the Halal Guys East Village outpost. Gael Greene lists the restaurants that only just missed the cut for her top 10 of the year, including Marta, Upland, M. Wells Steakhouse, and Russ & Daughters Cafe.

THE BLOGS: Andrew Steinthal is not totally sold on Dirty French, The Pink Pig finds classic French food with few healthy twists at La Village, Chekmark Eats is a fan of Martha in Fort Greene, NY Journal is happy with the basic bistro fare at the newly reopened Le Jardin, Chopsticks + Marrow eats the Venezuelan Christmas specials at Tu Arepa Pizza Cafe in Rego Park,