C'est la vie. Eater Boston notes via Chowhound that Sel de la Terre at the Natick Mall will close on January 1. There were once three locations of the French restaurant; the other two, both in Boston, closed over the past couple of years. Boston Restaurant Talk reports that owner Frank McClelland's other enterprises, L'Espalier and Au Soleil Catering in the Back Bay and Apple Street Farm in Essex, will stay open.
Boston Restaurant Talk prowls Hungry Mother chef Barry Maiden's Facebook page with enticing results: Apparently Maiden's new restaurant, State Park, did a soft opening over the weekend and should officially open tomorrow. It's a self-proclaimed "dive bar" with Southern touches, like pickled eggs, and quirky amusements, like shuffleboard. It's
on a cruise ship in the old Think Tank space at One Kendall Square.
Cambridge news: New restaurants in UpStairs on the Square, Tamarind Bay spaces; Shake Shack soon to come
The legendary UpStairs on the Square will close at the end of the year, and a new restaurant will take its place at 91 Winthrop St. Denise Jillson at the Harvard Square Business Association tells me that the replacement spot will open this spring, helmed by a respected French-trained chef from the United Kingdom. She also says that a new restaurant will soon replace Tamarind Bay, which closed this summer, at 75 Winthrop St. Those who fear change shouldn't fret: Neighboring restaurant Grendel's Den, which opened in 1971, will stay put.FULL ENTRY
Boston Restaurant Talk reports via Eater that Davis Square's 10-year-old Martsa on Elm is back in business. The cozy Nepalese-Tibetan-Himalayan restaurant had shut their doors in October, with promises to reopen. Nice to see that they actually did. It's the perfect weekend to warm up with a toasty bowlful of pumpkin curry.
Martsa on Elm, 233 Elm St., Somerville
Roxy's owner James DiSabatino tells me that his first brick-and-mortar shop is on track for a late January opening. It will be at 485 Cambridge St. in Allston, a friendly spot near Deep Ellum and Lone Star Taco Bar. DiSabatino says to expect grilled cheese (naturally) but that he'll also experiment with non-cheesy menu items. "We'll evolve as we should," he tells me. "We're getting out of our comfort zone a little bit." New Year's resolution 2014: Eat more sandwiches.
Take Strip T's creativity and El Pelon Taqueria's spiciness, and you have one memorable New Year's Eve bash, provided you don't drink too much. They're partnering for a NYE dinner menu that you can also order for delivery (which champagne pairs properly with pig's head posole?). Dine-in is at Strip T's. See the luscious-looking menu ahead, and reserve here.FULL ENTRY
Somerville's favorite neighborhood Chinese restaurant might reopen after a massive collapse ... in the most literal sense. Zoe's facade suddenly disintegrated this fall, but Eater notes a Facebook post declaring that repairs are underway. Also affected: Lovely Latin American nook Mixtura.
Clover Food Lab returns to its original stomping grounds near MIT on Thursday (MIT'er Ayr Muir launched his truck there in 2008). Their brick-and-mortar opens at 11 a.m., conveniently located at the entrance to Google Headquarters at 5 Cambridge Center. Opening day is “pay what you want,” and all proceeds go to Lovin' Spoonfuls food rescue organization (they want to raise $10,000). This restaurant will be a test kitchen for the rest of the Clover empire. Exhibit A: an "experimental" sandwich with brussels sprouts, smoked cheddar, toasted hazelnuts, and pickled cabbage.
Brookline's Ribelle snagged four stars from Devra First a few weeks ago; North got a glowing review from her this summer. ("Dishes mess with your expectations in delirious fashion," she enthused.) Perhaps not a coincidence: Chefs Tim Maslow and James Mark worked together at David Chang's momofuku. The duo will unite on New Year's Eve for a multi-course Chinese dinner, served family-style at tables of eight. You're encouraged to make new friends (and if you go the wine pairing route, this seems inevitable). Tickets are $180 per pair — surely not cheap, but a worthy holiday gift for the harried gourmand who keeps meaning to get to Ribelle (or North) but hasn't yet, and they'll donate some of the proceeds to the Greater Boston Food Bank. See the menu ahead, and order tickets here.FULL ENTRY
Zagat is reporting that superchef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Market at the W Hotel will close on December 21, after four years in business. Nightlife writer Luke O'Neil isn't surprised: "Weird, for some reason, despite good food and service, W just never seemed busy," he Tweets. And it's true: The place always felt a little bit subdued, despite the big-name chef and, at times, excellent cuisine. JGV really tried to make a go of it, though: In an interview with former Market chef Matt Barros (now at Forum), he told me that he was whisked to New York City for a stressful audition at Vongerichten's Spice Market, cooking foods from a "mystery basket" alongside chefs who had no idea why he was there.FULL ENTRY
Harvard Square's nightlife might be on the upswing, but Tommy Doyle's pub will close on December 22, according to their website and Twitter. "We had a wonderful run and met so many friends along the way," they write.FULL ENTRY
Harvard Square's new Beat Hotel launches lunch and brunch service starting on Monday, December 9. Here's the menu. In accordance with the bohemian vibe, there's a "flower children" kids section:
Boston Restaurant Talk reports the gratifying news that Merrill & Co. will open in the old 28 Degrees space at 1 Appleton St. Former KO Prime'r Jason Cheek will be the executive chef, and jm Curley's talented Kevin Mabry will be the beverage director.FULL ENTRY
Once upon a time, Chowhound hosted a sad, ongoing thread chronicling the unfortunate state of Metrowest dining. Things have changed out there, with the ascendance of Concord's 80 Thoreau and Bondir, Sudbury's 29 Sudbury, and now a new Il Casale. The Belmont staple, run by chef Dante deMagistris and family, will open up in Lexington Center this spring, says his rep. This version, called Il Casale Osteria, will have a similar menu to the Belmont location and the same excellent patio.FULL ENTRY
Local craft distillery Bully Boy launches a limited-time-only pop-up bar tomorrow inside Fenway restaurant Sweet Caroline's. The cocktail menu is designed by mixologist Noon Inthasuwan-Summers, who's drawn a following at Moksa. You'll find barrel-aged martinis, beer cocktails, a whiskey flip, and seasonal specials made with Bully Boy herbal infusions. See the menu ahead (and swill freely through the beginning of next year).FULL ENTRY
A source tells Eater Boston that the Barcelona Wine Bar tapas franchise has plans to move into the old Sibling Rivalry space at 525 Tremont St. in the South End. But is the neighborhood big enough for more small plates?FULL ENTRY
A rep for Ostra tells me that they're officially open for business. Ostra's the latest from Jamie Mammano (the man behind Mistral, among other special-night destinations). Here, you'll find Mediterranean seafood and a piano bar — an oceanic alternative to Legal Sea Foods up the street.
Ostra, One Charles St. S., Boston
First the Shake Shack invasion, and now this: A rep tells us that the first Boston-area Smashburger opens at Natick's Sherwood Plaza on December 11. The Denver-based chain sells build-your-own burgers, Haagen Dazs shakes, salads, and local craft beer. There's also Boston-themed treats like a "New Englander" burger topped with cranberry sauce, grilled onions, and cranberry stilton. More Boston-area shops are planned. Now, if only In-n-Out would look eastward.
A couple of months ago, I wrote about the team behind Island Creek Oyster Bar opening a spin-off restaurant, Row 34, in Fort Point. At the time, restaurateur Garrett Harker tantalized with tales of local brew and fresh seafood influenced by "a world approach to flavors and spices," concocted by Francisco Millan, who was the sous chef at Island Creek. Well, Row 34 is now open, just in time for all your Thanksgiving bivalve and beer needs.FULL ENTRY
Ward 8 replaces Nebo at 90 N. Washington St. on Monday. Expect frisky cocktails from Eastern Standard veteran Mike Wyatt, craft beers, comfort-food shareables, and a very on-trend raw bar. The restaurant is run by Nick Frattaroli, whose family owns North End standbys Lucia, Filippo, and Ducali.FULL ENTRY
Since September, they had the cheese and meat boards — just not the beer. But, as of Saturday, Newton's Hopsters Brew & Boards restaurant and brewery has something that makes a lot of sense: a liquor license. Expect a rotating list of local brews, and eventually craft cocktails. Cheers!
Hopsters Brew & Boards, 292 Centre St., Newton
In one of his final acts as mayor, Tom Menino welcomed France's PAUL bakery to its first Boston location at One Boston Place today. Per a release, Menino was presented with a "commemorative bread creation" to mark the unveiling. The Downtown Crossing, Parisian pâtisserie has 6,000 square feet, including a 2,770 square foot mezzanine and an outdoor patio, plus areas to watch the bread being made from scratch. It opens in summer 2014. Menino is quoted by the release as saying that PAUL will "enhance Downtown Crossing’s growing culinary and fresh food landscape," serving breads, pastries, and sandwiches.FULL ENTRY
Boston Restaurant Talk reports that 02 Vegan Cafe is now open inside Cambridge's 02 Yoga studio. According to their site, they're exclusively vegan. You can get sandwiches, soups, smoothies before or after your contortions, plus gluten-free sweets. Full menu is here. Best-named menu item: The Hyper Monkey, a peanut butter smoothie spiked with coffee ice cubes ... probably best enjoyed after working out.
Below, their pumpkin smoothie, cutely presented in a mason jar:
02 Vegan Cafe, 1001 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
The Highball Lounge at the Nine Zero hotel opens this evening, per Urban Daddy, who says the space resembles a "1960s attic." As such, expect accoutrements like vintage vinyl, retrolicious board games, and that favorite Woodstock treat: cocktails topped with Rubber Duckies.FULL ENTRY
Finally! The adorable-sounding Farm & Fable is officially open, according to their Facebook page. The shop sells rare cookbooks dating from the 1800's, out-of-print tomes containing offbeat recipes, and works from the occasional boldface chef for good measure.FULL ENTRY
About this blogWith Boston's growing restaurant scene, we're keeping up with important and interesting changes -- from anticipated openings to surprise closings, to the latest news about local chefs. More »