Eva Restaurant | Melrose/ Beverly/ Fairfax | American, California, New American, Small Plates, Specialties | Restaurant
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Occupying what until recently housed Hatfield's, Eva is the creation of Mark Gold (no relation), a veteran of Joachim Splichal's armies of the night, who dreams of a new kind of neighborhood restaurant. Eva is an intimate bistro friendly to kids and regulars, neither too loud nor too brightly lit, with a gently priced wine list, and a market-driven seasonal menu of Cal-Med cooking at popular prices, nudged but not driven by advanced techniques: black cod with seawater glaze; burrata-stuffed ravioli; foie gras with summer melon. If the idea of linguine with clams reinterpreted as stretchy Japanese soba noodles tossed with sliced garlic, littlenecks and a generous handful of chunky bacon sounds good - and it should - you're probably in the right place. Sunday nights see not just family-style dinners but epic family dinners: braised brisket with frizzled broccoli rabe; sweet-corn risotto; and perhaps a spoonful of frisée salad in a lightened Green Goddess dressing, all for $39 ($20 for kids), including wine and a dessert or two. Last Sunday after dinner, Gold brought ripe musk melon to the table, whacked it apart with a big knife and scooped seeds onto the pristine tablecloth. Antonin Artaud might have approved; my 6-year-old certainly did.

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Reservations: Accepted

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