Clover opens an Alewife branch on Monday, according to their website. Apparently there's "no area that’s had more requests for a Clover truck." The menu is limited to $4.67 chickpea fritter sandwiches, and hours are from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Not prime commuting time, but perhaps worth a trip if you're hankering for chickpeas?
Clover Alewife, VECNA Parking Lot, Cambridge
All good things must come to an end. After 21 years in business, John Furst and Neal Solomon have sold Johnny's Luncheonette in Newton Centre. But all isn't lost: The luncheonette will stay in tact. According to Wicked Local, the new owners are Kevin and Karen Masterson, who used to run Nourish in Lexington Center. They'll keep the old menu and staff. Chef Dante de Magistris is reconstructing the Nourish space and turning it into Il Casale Cucina Campana, sister restaurant to Il Casale in Belmont.
Legal Sea Foods's downtown branch, Legal Crossing, opens tonight. Legal Crossing, LX for short, is a big ol' 4,900-square-foot hybrid of every Legal concept: Legal Sea Foods, Legal Test Kitchen, Legal C Bar and Legal Harborside. It's open for lunch, dinner, and late- night; there's also a large bar. Check out the menus.
Next up from the Legal crew: an "oysteria" in Charlestown to replace Todd English's Olives.
Legal Crossing, 588 Washington St., Boston
Devastating generations of late-night munchers, Wicked Local reports that Hi-Fi Pizza and Subs has closed. However: A call to the 40-year-old Central Square pizzeria reveals that they're "figuring things out." An employee told me that they weren't yet sure whether or not they would close. Tragedy averted? We'll see.
They've kept it secret until now — experimenting with dishes until the very end, and scrapping hush puppies at the last minute — but here's a copy. It's small but powerful: There's baked crab spread (pictured below), uni french bread, bone-in ribeye with beef butter, egg creams, and lots of sherry. The South End restaurant opened last night.
See the full menu here.
Menu training with Chef Cheek. pic.twitter.com/sSQoBHVMWi— Merrill & Co. (@MerrillAndCo) March 2, 2014
I'm told that Bostonia, the double-bar destination designed by HGTV's Taniya Nayak, will now open in early April at the Board of Trade Building, conveniently perched at the corner of Broad and State streets. The chef is Kyle Ketchum, an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu who has also cooked at Woodward at Ames, Michigan's The Lark and Rhode Island's Spiced Pear.
Precinct Kitchen + Bar will bring a charcuterie station and New England cuisine to Loews in late March
Here are some more details on Precinct, the upcoming restaurant inside the newly revamped Back Bay Loews. The restaurant will have charcuterie station serving local, artisanal cheeses and cured meats from family-owned farms, plus a seafood-focused menu: feast on oysters, Wellfleet clam chowder, seared scallops, or a whole clam bake. The restaurant opens at the end of March, and it seems like it'll be a prime post-work hangout come summertime: A patio overlooking Berkeley Street with two fire pits opens at the end of April.
Strip by Strega will open at the Boston Park Plaza in the coming months, in the old Whiskey Park space. Last night, this ad made the social media rounds (it was snapped by Erbaluce's Charles Draghi, whose restaurant is nearby); an uproar promptly ensued. It was a curious marketing choice: The most charitable interpretation I've heard is that the woman appears to be awaiting a gynecological exam. Adding insult to injury, the word "allure" appears to be spelled incorrectly.
A stroll by the Back Bay spot early this morning reveals that the ad seems to be MIA. All that remains is a crimson stiletto, stepping on a steak.
Run by restaurateur Nick Varano, Strega has branches in the North End, the Seaport, and Woburn. I reached out to their p.r. team on the ad situation; no word yet.
What do you think of the ads?
Update from Strega's p.r. team: I reached out to Strega's team and received this response: "The particular image you are referring to, was
replaced with a different panel shortly after being put up over the weekend; it was one of several panels installed to cover the windows during the redesign of the space. The image did not meet the standards of the owners of the restaurant; in addition to that, the panel had a typo on it. The intent of the series of images was to be alluring, not offensive."
Here's a photo of the $6 mystery late-night burger at Boston Chops, coated in what Chris Coombs calls "government cheese." Looks good, right? It debuted over the weekend. Anyone try it?
The team that has cured and caused countless hangovers at Somerville's Trina's Starlite and Parlor Sports are coming to Boston. Beau Sturm, Jay Bellao, Josh Childs, and chef Suzi Maitland will open a neighborhood bar and restaurant called Audubon, which will replace the Audubon Circle restaurant. I'm told that the team hopes to "continue the establishments' deep-rooted commitment and connection to the community." Hopefully they'll also continue a commitment to amazing chili cheese dogs. I'm also told that Tyler Wang from Kirkland Tap & Trotter will tend bar, in addition to Mary Stout from Coppa.FULL ENTRY
Boston sometimes gets a bad rap for being sleepy. Perhaps sensing this, Mayor Marty Walsh is floating the idea of keeping some bars and restaurants open until 3:30 a.m., in select neighborhoods. "We have a lot of companies, high tech, bio tech, financial services companies in our city and we have a lot of international folks living in our city. And a lot of these folks are used to living in cities that stay open later at night," he told WBZ. Now for the bureaucracy part: He's creating a task force to look into it, though he does hope to create a pilot program in time to coincide with late-night MBTA service.
Which restaurants would you like to see stay open late?
Good morning; I've just learned something intriguing. South End cocktail lair Wink & Nod's mystery culinary team are the chefs behind North End pop-up restaurant Whisk. I'm told that chefs Philip Kruta and Jeremy Kean will serve New American plates and bar snacks, starting in mid-March. Whisk is known for its funky combos: carrot and coconut panna cotta, duck bruschetta, and avocado mousse are a few of the curiosities that have popped up on previous Whisk menus. When the Globe checked up on them back in 2012, they called their concept "a place for you if you’re a foodie and can’t afford to spend a lot of money on fine dining." They'd originally planned a restaurant in Jamaica Plain, where they started out, but the South End isn't too shabby. Wink & Nod is managed by Curtis McMillian, a man who is serious about cocktails: He's vice president of the United States Bartenders' Guild's Boston Chapter.
Wink & Nod, 3 Appleton St., South End, Boston
The Bancroft, which is billing itself as an "urban-inspired steakhouse and lounge," has hired a ve-rry promising executive chef: Mario Capone, pictured below. Capone opened Scampo and Towne with Lydia Shire, and he was also Shire's executive chef when she reopened the late, lamented, legendary Locke-Ober in 2006. The Burlington restaurant has a solid pedigree: It's from the Webber Group, the same family of restaurants that run Groton's tasty Gibbet Hill Grill and Harvard's Fruitlands Museum. Also promising: a 32-seat bar with four separate "interactive" bartending stations.
The Bancroft, 15 Third Ave., Burlington
Huge news for Cambridge's culinary scene: Former UpStairs on the Square chef Susan Regis has partnered with Hi-Rise Bread Company's Rene Becker to open a restaurant in the former Chez Henri space outside Harvard Square, which will be "French in spirit," she tells me. It seemed "like a natural step for the both of us. We both live in the neighborhood and have loved Chez forever, not to mention the fact that [Chez Henri's] Paul [O'Connell]
is one of my oldest culinary friends in Boston, and I feel like I'm a logical person to pass the
baton to," she e-mails. She says the restaurant will be "French in spirit, sort of the way Chez Panisse is French in spirit, local and seasonal." UpStairs on the Square and Chez Henri each closed at the end of 2013 after decades in business.
Cambridge's Mount Auburn Cemetery will host a Death Cafe on March 23. According to the cemetery's site, "Death Cafe is an opportunity for people to eat [angel food?] cake, drink tea, and discuss death. The goal is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives."FULL ENTRY
A rep tells me that Bricco Salumeria and Pasta Shoppe has opened at 11 Board Alley, next to Bricco Panetteria. The shop sells more than 100 types of freshly made pasta, homemade sauces, homemade mozzarella, cured Italian meats and cheeses, olive oil, and vinegar. There's also a sandwich menu with classic Italian, Italian tuna, oven roasted turkey, chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan, and more. It's run by North End restaurateur Frank DePasquale, who also owns Bricco, Mare Oyster Bar, Quattro, and Trattoria il Panino.
The Merchant opened over the weekend at 60 Franklin St. The brasserie's run by Shane Smyth, a co-owner at Newton's well-respected Sycamore; the chef is Matthew Foley, who used to work at the equally respected Craigie on Main and at Sycamore, too. There's a 40-foot bar, 36 beers on tap, and an oyster bar that's open from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m., with its own late-night menu. (Food is served until midnight Sunday through Wednesday and until 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.) Check out the menu here, and take note: They even have $6 validated parking.
The Merchant, 60 Franklin St., Boston, 617-482-6060
This is going to be a big spring for openings, and there are a few particularly juicy ones slated for March. Here are the five that you should be most excited about (in my humble, hungry opinion): Neapolitan pizza in Fort Point, a serious speakeasy in the South End, grilled meats in Somerville, seafood from Downtown Crossing's swankiest steakhouse, and authentic Sonoran in Belmont, of all places. What are you psyched about?
Ester will replace the Ledge, home of the city's best patio, says the Dorchester Reporter. They'll serve standards like burgers and salads, plus offer an al fresco barbecue buffet, pig roasts, and different regional cuisines to reflect the diversity of Lower Mills. "We actually want to do things that people don’t necessarily cook at home. Like you might not take the time to make lamb shanks or lamb stew," owner Eleanor Arpino told the paper. Arpino handled operations for Davio's for 16 years. Look for the restaurant to open in April.
Ester, 2261 Dorchester Ave., Lower Mills, Dorchester
According to a press release, Somerville catering service Cuisine en Locale has opened the "world’s first-ever locavore function hall." Every Saturday from 10 until 3, they'll do a healthy brunch with locavorean delicacies, custom-crafted "produce forward" drinks, and live jazz. They'll also host pop-up dinner events. See the inaugural menu, ahead.FULL ENTRY
Joe Cassinelli plans to turn Davis Square's gorgeously neon Rosebud Diner into a pan-American roadhouse this May, says Eater Boston. Cassinelli runs Posto and the Painted Burro in the same neighborhood, and he's also opening a Painted Burro downtown in the coming months.
Sullivan's hot dog stand in Southie has thrown caution to the (frigid) wind and decided to open on Saturday, meaning that spring has unofficially arrived. Breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m., with their full menu launching at 10:30 a.m. Plus: hot dogs are half price all week long, according to their Facebook page.
It was just a matter of time, really. Wahlburgers, the Hingham burger restaurant run by Mark, Paul, and Donnie Wahlberg, will open a second location in Lynnfield, according to last night's juicy episode of A&E's Wahlburgers. BRT's Marc Hurwitz says he's heard whispers that the second location will be at MarketStreet Lynnfield, home to Legal C Bar, Kings, and Davio's.
Here are the burger-lovin' brothers pictured with their mom, Alma.
This is perhaps my favorite, most gratifying Restaurant Hub blog post to date: Xi'an Famous Foods plans to open in Boston, says DNAinfo New York. The Chinese noodle shop opened in Flushing in 2005; since then, it's gained a cult following throughout New York City for its tinglingly spicy, hand-ripped noodles. Noodles (strappy, chewy, delicious) are typically seared in hot oil and commingled with delicacies like stewed oxtail and cumin lamb. Xi'an also make an excellent, hand-held cumin lamb burger. A half-decade seems like a long time to pine, but really, as any New Yorker will tell you, these noodles are worth waiting for (and people do wait, often in line for hours at a time). Drool over the full menu here.
It's the Oscars of the food world: the James Beard awards. Today, the 2014 semi-finalists were announced. Ribelle is basically this year's American Hustle: The restaurant (which earned four Globe stars) is a best new restaurant semi-finalist; chef Tim Maslow is also in the running as a rising star chef. Here's the full list of hometown contenders.FULL ENTRY
I just talked to Kristen Kish, the outgoing chef de cuisine at Menton. She'll stay on at Menton until March 8, and even then, she isn't planning on fleeing Boston. ("I just bought a condo," she says. "Boston is my home.") Also, she's not opening her own restaurant—at least not yet. For now, she's calling her departure a self-exploration. "I just really want to do big things, outside of restaurants. I'll still be cooking, and one day I'll have something of my own. But it won't happen without that exploration part," she says. "This is going to help me build my own future as a chef. I'm going to build 'me,' and whatever that process takes, I'll do it."FULL ENTRY
According to a press release from the Barbara Lynch Gruppo, chef Kristen Kish—who won Top Chef season 10—is leaving her chef de cuisine post at Fort Point's swanky Menton to pursue other opportunities. She'll be replaced by Scott Jones, who's now the chef de cuisine at Lynch’s flagship, No. 9 Park. Kish became chef de cuisine at Menton in June 2013.
Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff
Chef Dante de Magistris reveals some more details about his forthcoming Lexington center restaurant. He tells me that the new spot, which replaces Nourish, will be called Il Casale Cucina Campana + Bar (not Il Casale Osteria, as was previously thought). His Belmont restaurant, Il Casale Cucina Italiana + Bar, focuses on food throughout Italy. As the name suggests, this branch is different: Here, he'll spotlight food from Campania, with a Neapolitan emphasis. Construction begins next Monday, de Magistris says. Stay tuned.
Chef Jeff Fournier sent me a letter yesterday outlining new plans for his flagship Newton restaurant, 51 Lincoln. (He also owns the new-ish Waban Kitchen.) Inspired by chef Alice Waters, owner of California's iconic Chez Panisse, Fournier says that he wants to own a restaurant would make his infant son proud someday. "My ultimate goal is to not feel that I have compromised my principles in exchange for profit," he writes. "51 Lincoln House Rules will apply: no hormones or antibiotics; no GMO products; no artificial colors, preservatives or sweeteners (see you later, Splenda); no processed ingredients; grow everything we can; source ingredients in the most sustainable way possible; respect plants and animals by using all of their parts."
What this means for you: He's scrapping his old menu in favor of a four-course prix fixe every night (guests can also order the prix-fixe dishes a la carte); the set menu will change once every couple of weeks. Standbys like watermelon steak will linger for a week or so more, but then they'll vanish until they're in season. (Winter isn't great for watermelon.) The restaurant's vibe will change, too: "We will treat guests as we would like to be treated: we’ll encourage guests to enjoy a dish as it is designed unless they have an allergy, we’ll honor reservation times and expect guest to do the same; if a guest is insulting to staff, they will no longer be welcome," he writes. See his full letter, ahead. What do you think? Get that watermelon steak while you can!FULL ENTRY
Sad news in Brookline: Jimmy's Bar & Oven at 1653 Beacon St. will close on or around February 23, says an employee of the restaurant. More details to come. Currently, it's home to a very fine chicken parmesan pizza and a nice beer selection. It opened in 2011; before that, it was the B&D Deli.
Update: Owner James Hamelburg tells me that he'll reopen Jimmy's in Downtown Boston in the coming months, location TBD. He also says that the current Jimmy's will stay open a bit longer, into March, and that a new restaurant isn't taking its place (sorry, friends).
National chain Noodles & Co., which carries an international medley of noodle dishes, plans to open at Burlington's Middlesex Marketplace. There's pasta alfredo, spaghetti and meatballs, pad thai, beef stroganoff, Tuscan linguine, and a separate menu devoted solely to pork toppings. I've eaten at various locations across the country, and I'm pleased to report that it's a high-quality place, sort of the Epcot Center of carbohydrates.
Dave Becker tells me that his Wellesley restaurant should open in about three months, and it'll be called Juniper. He says the name seemed like a logical culinary counterpoint to his Needham restaurant, Sweet Basil. Naturally, he's also entertaining the idea of multiple gin cocktails on the menu. It replaces Wellesley's Milestone.
Juniper, 13 Central St., Wellesley
The DooWee & Rice team will return to their old digs at 868 Broadway in Somerville for a little bit, according to a new Facebook post. They're bringing back a menu of their favorites, including bao and chicken heart fries, Monday through Wednesday.FULL ENTRY
Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette have done well in New York City: Their new Toro got a very enthusiastic review from The New York Times recently. Now they're bringing some Manhattan-only menu items to Boston. Grab 'em at Clio's bar for a limited time.FULL ENTRY
The swank Seaport restaurant inside the Renaissance Boston Waterfront opens next week, I'm told. On the menu: M.C. pizza with grapes, fennel, arugula, and mozzarella; roast suckling pig with housemade sausage; and a handsome spit-roasted chicken with prosciutto ("Spiedo" refers to "spit" or "skewer" in Italian, not embarrassing bathing suits). Chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier (that's where the "M.C." comes in) owned Ogunquit's Arrows for many years.
MC Spiedo, 606 Congress St., Boston
Spicy, delightful news for fans of Medford's Tenoch taqueria. They'll open their highly anticipated North End branch on Monday, February 10, owner Alvaro Sandoval tells me. Look for a similar menu of tortas, enchiladas, tacos, and specials (best accompanied by their hurtingly addictive chile de arbol).
Tenoch, 3 Lewis St., Boston
For those eagerly awaiting Roxy's first standalone grilled cheesery, an update: Owner James DiSabatino tells me that his Allston restaurant should open at the end of this month. "Expect all the major food groups," he says. "Grilled cheese, burgers, beer, and poutine. Working on vegan items as well." Poutine?!
Roxy's Grilled Cheese, 485 Cambridge St., Allston
Last week came news that acclaimed New York chef Daniel Boulud would open a restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Today, a representative for Boulud says that it will be a branch of the ever-swanky Bar Boulud, which has outposts in New York and London. The French bistro and wine bar, known for its excellent charcuterie and wine program, will open this fall. It's Boulud's first Boston restaurant.
Bar Boulud, 776 Boylston St., Boston
1. Prices were too high (why pay $30-plus for dinner at a restaurant that normally charges $20?).
2. Menus were limited (many restaurants offered ho-hum set menus without their more expensive signature dishes).
3. Higher-end restaurants found themselves losing money with the price restrictions, forced to undercharge for certain ingredients.
4. Often, diners were only allowed to order three courses. Three courses for $30-something can be divine, but only if you can choose what you want to eat.
5. The promotional meals weren't generating return business. In general, people going out to a high-end restaurant for Restaurant Week, prowling for a bargain, aren't going to return time and again — especially if the meals they're eating during RW don't represent the restaurant's true spirit.
6. Discount sites like Groupon made Restaurant Week, which launched in 2001, obsolete.
With this in mind, Dine Out Boston will try a different recipe for success: New organizers have rebranded it with versatile pricing formats and more menu options. The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau — which runs the promotion — said there will be a range of prices for the two-week event, scheduled for March 16 to 21 and 23 to 28. Have dinner for $28, $33, or $38, or try lunch for $15, $20, or $25. Unlike before, there will be no requirements for the number of courses.
What do you think? Will it work? Will you give Dine Out Boston a try?
Huge news for those of us who went to college in the Pioneer Valley: Amherst's Antonio's Pizza has plans to open a branch in Boston. They announced the news on Facebook this weekend, along with plans to open other locations in Lowell and Worcester. They're known for wacky toppings combinations that only a tipsy college student could love: Nutella, avocado quesadilla, potato bacon, beef taco, grilled calamari with spicy mayo (below), and my personal favorite, buffalo chicken bleu cheese.FULL ENTRY
A reliable source informs me that after some successful friends and family meals, Michael Scelfo's long-awaited Alden & Harlow plans to opens this evening in the old Casablanca space at 40 Brattle St. in Harvard Square. Scelfo used to be the chef at the Russell House Tavern nearby. He's also an avid and tempting Instagrammer, so if you want to get a sneak peek at the types of food you'll enjoy at his restaurant, visit him there.FULL ENTRY
Strega sent me a statement about their newest project, a steakhouse in the old Whiskey Park space at the Park Plaza Hotel:
"We are in the very early stages of planning our expansion into the Back Bay and are excited about the potential opportunity of bringing the Strega brand to the former Whiskey Park space. At this time there is not much more we can say, as we are closely working with the Bay Village Neighborhood Association on our plans for occupying this location. We are aiming for an early fall 2014 opening."
Strega already has branches in the North End, Seaport, and Woburn.
Eater confirms the long-standing rumor that New York City superchef Daniel Boulud will take over the Mandarin Oriental's Asana in September, with Cafe Boulud and Boulud Sud's Aaron Chambers running the kitchen. Asana has had a series of esteemed chefs lately, including Nicolas Boutin, who trained in Michelin kitchens in France, and Rachel Klein, who will open the Back Bay's Liquid Art House this spring. Hopefully the Boston hotel restaurant world is kinder to Boulud than it was to fellow New York celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who closed his Market at the W Hotel late last year.
Delightful news for everyone who mourned the closing of Cambridge's Chez Henri: It's back! According to a Facebook post, they'll hold a pop-up dinner on February 28 at Mariposa Bakery (424 Mass Ave.). They'll have empanadas, conch fritters, French onion soup, and those famous Cuban sandwiches. Call 617-642-1722 for reservations; they're expecting it to fill up fast.
The suburbs are about to get spicier. A rep for Mexican favorite El Centro tells me that the newest branch, El Centro Tres, is slated to open at 66 Leonard St. in Belmont Center in late March. Chef-owner Allan Rodriguez is in possession of a rare Belmont liquor license, too, so let the fiesta begin. El Centro has other locations in the South End and Brookline.
Bostonia Public House opens next month, a rep for the restaurant tells me. It's designed by Taniya Nayak, the TV designer behind Abby Lane and Petit Robert Central. It'll have bars on two floors, an exposed kitchen, private dining rooms, and furniture in hues of "coffee and cognac."
Excellent news for Burlington. A rep confirms that the Webber Restaurant Group — the team behind Groton's succulently rustic Gibbet Hill Grill — is on track to open The Bancroft steakhouse this spring. Webber has cornered the market on cozy: They also run Hingham's Scarlet Oak Tavern, Harvard's Fruitlands Museum, and New Hampshire's Fireside at LaBelle Winery.FULL ENTRY
Zagat reports that MAST' Restaurant and Drinkery will serve "Mediterranean-inspired fare and Neapolitan street food" at 45 Province St. this spring. (45 Province is a luxe, 30-story condo building.) Zagat says to expect modern "Boston twists on a Mediterranean menu of Southern Italian, Spanish and Greek fare" coupled with big plates of charcuterie, oysters, and handmade pasta.FULL ENTRY
Chef Todd Winer's authentic Neapolitan pizzeria, Pastoral, opens on February 20 in Fort Point, complete with a 6,000-pound oven. We have a sneak peek at the (very large, very lovely) menu, ahead. Feast your eyes!FULL ENTRY
If you're a football fan with unlimited cash, Nookie Postal is your man. For a nominal fee, his Commonwealth will host a lavish soiree for you and up to 300 of your closest friends. Per Nookie: "Looking to throw the most amazing Super Bowl Party your friends have ever seen? But you don't want your peeps coming over to your mansion and peeing in your bidet? Take over Commonwealth." Sound tempting?FULL ENTRY
Last night, the local interwebs swirled with sadness as news broke that the South End's much-loved Delux Cafe had closed, complete with an alarming "RIP" sign on the door. Is nothing sacred? But don't despair: It appears the stalwart hangout is simply changing hands. "Gone, but not for long. Sold to a long-time employee and will reopen in February," the restaurant Tweeted (for the first time!) late last night. Look for it to reemerge with a makeover in the next few weeks, hopefully addressing all of your grilled cheese-and-hangover needs once more.
Well, this is interesting: Boston Restaurant Talk bears news of Korean-Mexican fusion downtown. InBoston serves crispy Korean fried chicken (wings, drums, and strips available), and the mysterious K-tacos, featuring bulgogi or spicy chicken placed in corn tortillas, perhaps topped with corn salsa. It's at 85 Bedford St.
Michael Scelfo opens Alden & Harlow soon (very soon!) in Harvard Square. (Read all about it here.) In the meantime, he slipped me info on a few favorite dishes along with cocktails from bar manager Seth Freidus.FULL ENTRY
Here's a delicious new addition to JP: Aurum, newly opened at 377A Centre St., serves Lebanese meat pies and Syrian dough pockets — treats that owners Matthew Virzi and manager Andrea Belanger ate growing up. The owners told Boston.com that they “couldn’t think of a better idea than adopting that memory evoking dough and adding fillings with fresh and wholesome ingredients." Agreed.
Urban Daddy reports the happy news that JP has a new Cuban restaurant. Old Havana serves pressed Cubanos, plantains, and even fried chicken. It replaces the tasty, long-lived Tacos El Charro at 349 Centre St.
Another big-name chef has closed a Fenway restaurant: A week after Michael Schlow closed Barrio, Ken Oringer has shuttered taqueria La Verdad. In a statement to Boston, he said that the reason behind the closure was "pretty simple: nice run, time to concentrate [on] other projects. Sold to a friend to do another project." He's probably busy with his New York city tapas parlor, Toro; it's not yet clear who the friend behind the new project is. Hopefully it's up and running by Opening Day.
Todd English's daughter, Isabelle, has closed her Beacon Hill cupcake shop for renovations, according to a Tweet from writer Leah Mennies. Unlike her dad's restaurant, Olives, the closure isn't permanent: Apparently she's just renovating. Yesterday news swirled that Todd English's other restaurant, Figs, was closing. (It's still open for now, but it's not serving beer and wine.)
Michael Schlow's Barrio Cantina has closed. The restaurant originally opened in 2012 as Happy's, a sort of upscale comfort food kitsch-en with a deli twist. He then turned it into Barrio, which served Mexican food.
"We're very sad to close Barrio. We want to thank all of our staff, our loyal guests, and our landlord. We're disappointed to be in this position, as we love being a part of the exciting, emerging Fenway neighborhood. We still believe whole-heartedly in the location, but obviously we were unable to execute the right concept to drive enough business. We are confident that as this neighborhood continues to grow as a dining and shopping destination, that the next tenant will be a great success," Schlow said in a statement.FULL ENTRY
Saddest words I've typed all day: The luscious South Indian-Sri Lankan restaurant Biryani Park has shuttered, hopefully temporarily. According to their website, the lovely, welcoming owners are on the prowl for a new home. (They also have a food truck.) Read the mouthwatering Globe review here. Thanks to local scribe MC Slim JB for imparting the somber news. Hope they find a new place quick.
The North End cannoli haven will probably open in Cambridge, reports Boston Restaurant Talk. According to a Harvard Square Advisory Committee page on the City of Cambridge website, they say, Mike's Pastry is looking to open a new shop at 11 Dunster St. in Harvard Square. Which begs the question: Who will have longer lines, Mike's or the new Shake Shack?
In April, I reported on a rumor that Todd English's Olives would make way for a Legal Test Kitchen. Now, according to a City of Boston licensing document, Olives has petitioned the Licensing Board to transfer their alcohol license to Legal C Bar. So, it seems Olives will indeed become Legal. (Ironically, Todd English owns an oyster farm.) English has said that he'll reopen Olives elsewhere with his son Oliver, in a "new and shiny" location. The Charlestown restaurant closed in June 2013, having reopened in May 2012 after a fire.
A rep for Todd Winer's Fort Point restaurant, Pastoral, tells me that doors open on February 20. All of the hot dishes on the menu will be finished off in a Neapolitan pizza oven, so there will be a healthy component of roasted vegetables, chicken for two, and (of course) pizza.FULL ENTRY
More promising restaurants are suburb-bound: I'm told that Lexington's Inn at Hastings Park opens on February 3, and the inn's restaurant, Artistry on the Green, will debut a few weeks later. The executive chef is Mathew Molloy, who has a swanky pedigree. He apprenticed at Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin in New York City, and he's worked at Newton's Lumiere and Boston's Beacon Hill Bistro. The restaurant's website describes a prime place to enjoy a "romanting, long, lingering meal."
Artistry on the Green, 2027 Mass Ave., Lexington
"I don't want to be someone's butler," Dave Becker tells me. The jovial Becker says that his new Wellesley restaurant will be as casual and welcoming as Needham's Sweet Basil. Expect new twists on Greek, Lebanese, Israeli, and eastern Mediterranean food, with his own special cubed cous cous recipe. "I'm not trying to follow two thousand years of history," he tells me. "I'm just borrowing flavor profiles." The unnamed restaurant will replace Milestone at 13 Central St., run by Charlie Papakonstantinou. His family will continue to run Wellesley's Maugus restaurant. (No hard feelings: "I'm delighted to pass the torch," Papakonstantinou says.)
Zagat reports that Peruvian restaurant La Brasa is slated to open in March on Broadway. It’s helmed by Chopped winner Daniel Bojorquez, who was chef de cuisine at Natick’s Sel de la Terre, which closed on January 1.FULL ENTRY
Boston Restaurant Talk imparts the sad news that Enso Sushi closed on Saturday. The Kneeland Street restaurant featured mobile sushi, wherein customers could pluck their chosen morsels from a conveyor belt that stretched through the dining room.
A pretty crab, cucumber, eel, and mango roll at Enso SushiFULL ENTRY
They're back! Sort of. Viet-bao parlor DooWee & Rice just announced on Facebook that they'll cater a Patriots playoff party on Saturday night with Wonder Bar, featuring a menu of their old Powderhouse Circle favorites.FULL ENTRY
You could. The oceanfront Quincy bar is for sale, reports WCVB. The property consists of 1.38 acres and includes a 2,876-square-foot building, an outdoor patio, and a 40-space parking lot. Priceless? The bragging rights. Jay Leno performed here before he got famous, and Louis Armstrong and Linda Ronstadt once wooed audiences here (not together).
More lunchtime options downtown: Boston Restaurant Talk reports that Falafel King is opening a third location in Downtown Crossing, in the old Qdoba spot at 62 Summer St. It's slated to open sometime next week.
I've always enjoyed Magoun's themed-menu months. Not content to exist merely as bar, Magoun's Saloon often plays fast and loose with new cuisines, from French to Spanish to mac 'n cheese. This month they're focusing on the original superfood, bacon, and the menu looks especially divine for those of us who have resolved not to hit the gym. See it ahead, and enjoy it every Wednesday evening throughout the month.FULL ENTRY
Alvaro Sandoval tells me that he’s just a couple of city inspections away from launching the North End branch of his hit Medford taqueria, Tenoch. Expect it to open by the middle of January at 3 Lewis St.FULL ENTRY
Au revoir, Upstairs — the Harvard Square legend throws its final, farewell fete this evening after 31 years in business. According to their Facebook page, there are still a few seats left for their black-tie-optional dinner soiree.FULL ENTRY
Yalonda Howze, owner of the adorable chocolate and nut shop outside Harvard Square, tells me that she's about to open a cafe inside her candy store. It'll sell Stumptown coffee, hot chocolate, and pastries. She hopes that the cafe will serve as an evening pitstop for people leaving Giulia and Temple Bar. Look for it toward the end of next week.
Evelyn & Angel's, 1702 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
Check out this succulent year-end round-up by Globe critic Devra First, featuring her 2013 favorites. (Spoiler alert: Ribelle is her restaurant of the year.) Then browse this delectable Cheap Eats column, wherein Globe food editor Sheryl Julian and others pick the year's most luscious dishes for frugal diners. (I can't wait to try La Catrina Fonda and Seta's.) It was a terrific year for dining out, don't you think?
It's a holiday miracle! Harvard Square's Shake Shack opened today. It's a soft opening. They'll only serve desserts — shakes, custards, and concretes — until the new year. This report comes from PigTrip via Eater Boston, which notes that all Shack locations are closed on Christmas (sorry). P.S.: They have a fireplace.
Shake Shack, 92 Winthrop St., Cambridge
The BNV team, who run restaurants like Forum and Griddler's, originally planned to call their new South End restaurant Blind Tiger. No more. Their rep e-mails us some updates about the space and the concept, slated to open early next year. Here's details from BNV president Euz Azevedo:
The team here at Boston Nightlife Ventures are getting one step closer to announcing our newest venue which is going in the former Noche space in the South End. The venue has been referred to as "Blind Tiger," but that was just the project name for our speakeasy, not the final name. In the end, we decided against that name after hearing feedback from people who thought that Blind Tiger was going to be an Asian restaurant. During our renovations and as our concept became more clear, we thought that the name Wink and Nod sounded more in line of what we are trying to create in the space. The chic, new restaurant and lounge is going to have a serious craft cocktail program with a dinner menu that can be paired well with the inspired drinks and are encouraged to be shared. The interior hues will combine rich reds and golds with wood and marble to make for a mysterious yet enticing vibe.FULL ENTRY
Chowhounds note that Pinxto Pincho just opened in Woburn, and early reports sound delightful. "What nice people. Couldn't make you feel more welcome if you were in their own living room!" one Hound glows. Croquetas, empanadillas de verdura (zucchini, spinach, and cheese turnover), pinchito moruno, and chicken with leeks and garlic get high marks. Yelpsters agree, calling it "incredible" and "authentic." It replaces the long-running Woburn Caffe & Pizzeria.
Pintxo Pincho Tapas Bar, 385 Main St., Woburn
Photo: Woburn Patch
After roughly 30 years in business, Turner Fisheries will serve its last bowl of chowder tomorrow night. A staffer at the Westin Copley Place confirms that tomorrow marks the seafood restaurant's final evening in business; Zagat reports that the hotel will "reposition" the space "based on current market dynamics and dining trends," which all sounds very serious.
Coppa and Toro chef Jamie Bissonnette now has his very own beer, PureBiss. His rep tells us that it's an "unconventional witbier featuring spruce tips, grapefruit zest, and kaffir lime leaves." Bottles are on sale for $13 at Coppa and Toro, and on tap at Sonny's in Dover, New Hampshire. Pure...bliss.
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.
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
The Renaissance-style Italian restaurant originally called M.C. Medici has been rechristened M.C. Spiedo, a rep tells me. It will open at the Seaport's Renaissance Hotel in February. M.C. is a nod to chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier, and "Spiedo" refers to "spit" or "skewer" in Italian. A 40-inch steel spit will be used to roast locally sourced duck, chicken, and suckling pig.
MC Spiedo, 606 Congress St., Boston
Worst news I've read all day: Somerville's luscious and tiny DooWee & Rice, home to smoked salmon bao baos and crispy chicken heart fries, has closed, Eater Boston reports. True, the Powderhouse Circle location was a bit quiet and the space was slightly cramped, but still. What will the Tufts students say? Now Somervillians will have to cross the river for their magical Vietnamese eggrolls and white sauce: Owner Duy Tran plans to partner with Allston's Wonder Bar, adding a menu of more than 20 creative bao. Less conveniently, he's also considering a shop in London.
A rep from Ostra, the newest restaurant from the Columbus Hospitality Group (Mistral, Teatro, Sorellina, Mooo and L’Andana), tells me that they're now looking at a late November opening date. Ostra replaces Avila at One Charles St. The restaurant specializes in Mediterranean-inspired seafood, with chef/owner Jamie Mammano and executive chef Mitchell Randall (also of Mistral) at the helm. There's also a piano bar. A piano bar in the Theatre District that isn't at Jacob Wirth? Swanky!
The big day is almost here: Chef Jason Bond tells us that the 100-seat Concord branch of Bondir opens on November 21. The restaurant is now taking reservations on OpenTable. Read more about the Cambridge location here.
Bondir, 24 Walden St., Concord
In May, chef Paul O'Connell told me that the rumored sale of Cambridge staple Chez Henri to Green Street's Dylan Black wasn't a done deal. Now, it seems, the time has come for him to move on (sad timing, given the recent news about UpStairs on the Square). The 19-year-old French-Cuban restaurant on Shepard St. will close on Sunday, Cambridge Day reports.FULL ENTRY
Boston Restaurant Talk picks up on an intriguing Chowhound scoop: The Abbey on Beacon St. in Brookline will open a Porter Square branch. The Abbey is known for its late-night menu, served 'til 1:30 a.m. Boston.com previously called the comfy American spot a "neighborhood sanctuary," so our hopes are with Cambridge.
Last night on The Arsenio Hall Show, Donnie Wahlberg announced that his reality show about Hingham's Wahlburgers premieres on January 22, on A&E. Chef-owner Paul Wahlberg will appear alongside celeb brothers Mark and Donnie and their mom, Alma, who works at the burger joint. (Alma Nove, Paul Wahlberg's other restaurant, is named for her.) Watch Donnie make the big announcement below. Sad fact: As a kid, he was taunted with the name "Ronald Wahlburger," but he insists that he's gotten the last laugh.
A lovely sentiment, but perhaps not the most appetizing restaurant name. Nonetheless: Chowhound reports that Dirty Water Dough Company has replaced the Proper Slice (formerly the Upper Crust) at 222 Newbury St. in the Back Bay. Eater notes that the restaurant is named after an IPA that Cape Ann Brewing Company custom-made for the shop, which is served on tap and also used to make the dough. The pizza toppings are funky: Fenway franks, Doritos, mustard, ketchup, Sriracha buffalo sauce, and even Cheez-Its conspire to make ordering a possibly delicious, possibly heartburn-inducing challenge. What do you think: Too much? Or so tasty?
Barbara Lynch is transforming her Fort Point restaurant Sportello from an Italian diner and bakery into a wine bar in honor of its fifth anniversary. The essentials:
It's a new concept. Expect "trattoria-inspired Italian dishes alongside a supremely approachable artisanal wine list," we're told. Lynch says that Fort Point has "come alive" since Sportello opened five years ago and the neighborhood now has plenty of prime options for coffee, bakery items, and sandwiches. Sportello will focus on fresh pastas, polenta, soups, and (of course) wine.
There's a new menu. Dine on buratta with fig, speck and rosemary oil; cauliflower and leek Salad with anchovy, mustard bread crumbs, and minzuna; octopus with olive lemon and potato; corzetti with shrimp, lemon and bread crumbs, and braised veal cheeks with celery root puree, brussel sprouts, and prune.
The bakery counter is going away. Boo-hoo.
There's modified, expanded eating arrangement. There's now two-, four- and six-top tables, along with the counter service and tables with room for large parties of up to 10 wine lovers.
The menu's bigger than at Drink. Sportello's six-seat wine bar will offer the complete Sportello menu, not just a small-plates menu, like downstairs at Lynch's Drink.
The beer and wine selection is small and thoughtful. Experiment with craft beers and Italian wines from small vintners, selected by Wine Director Cat Silirie. There won't be a full bar, at least not right away.
They have new hours. You can commence sipping at 11:30 a.m. Last call is 11 p.m.
It's closing for a revamp at Thanksgiving. The restaurant will close during Thanksgiving week for the makeover, but you can still escape your vexing relatives downstairs at Drink (or take advantage of their largesse next door at Lynch's Menton).
Ahead, check out a few photos of their new dishes.FULL ENTRY
Fans of Jeff Fournier now have a good reason to skip out of work midday: The chef, who also runs Newton's 51 Lincoln, launches lunch service at his popular new spot, Waban Kitchen, starting on November 19. The menu will be served at the bar and in the dining room, Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. You can also pop in after 3:30 for small plates, served 'til dinnertime.
Margaret Li tells us that her family's Chinese-American restaurant, Mei Mei, opens on Monday for lunch. (Read all about her family's Kickstarter campaign here.) Mei Mei is the brick-and-mortar version of the popular Mei Mei Street Kitchen food truck. She says they'll start off with lunch and soft dinners for their Kickstarter backers, followed by public dinners the following week. Congratulations, Mei Mei!
Mei Mei, 506 Park Dr., BostonFULL ENTRY
Chicago restaurateur and chef Charlie Trotter has died, reports the Chicago Tribune. Until last year, he ran an eponymous, award-winning restaurant in the city's Lincoln Park neighborhood; in 2012, he won the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award. The Tribune reports that the famed chef "was found unconscious and not breathing" at home and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Boston chefs have been expressing their shock and sorrow on social media. "One of my heroes. So sad to hear he is gone. I obsessed over his cooking when I was younger. Huge loss to our community," tweeted Alden & Harlow's Michael Scelfo. "Our thoughts & prayers go out to Charlie Trotter's family. His influence can be found in kitchens throughout the world. Rest in Peace," tweeted the staff at West Bridge. Trotter was 54.
Lovin' Spoonfuls food recovery plans to stage an elaborate charity dinner on November 21 with, well, a killer lineup of excellent chefs from buzzeries like Union Square Donuts, Puritan, the new Mei Mei, and Daddy Jones. Harvest chef Mary Dumont and pastry chef Brian Mercury will host the 12-course feast at the Cambridge Boat Club. See the roster and get your tickets ahead.FULL ENTRY
The owner of Amelia's in Teele's Square has decided that it's time for a change. Delio Susi has rechristened his restaurant West 7 Bistro and acquired a handy full liquor license. The Somerville cognoscenti gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony this weekend.FULL ENTRY
Brookline's favorite Jewish deli has gotten a mini menu makeover. Yes, Michael's still has the lox and pastrami you know and love, but they're also trying out new, signature "Dirty" sandwiches, topped with Dirty potato chips. Owner Steve Peljovich took over Michael's in 2012, and he's getting experimental: Enjoy a "Disheveled Brisket” (brisket with horseradish sauce topped with Jalapeno Heat chips), the “Unkempt Tuna Salad” (tuna salad coated with Maui Onion chips, pictured), or perhaps the “Sloppy Hot Roast Beef” (hot roast beef and cheddar cheese, crowned with sweet and smoky Mesquite BBQ chips).FULL ENTRY
Heads up: Chef Steve "Nookie" Postal's new Kendall Square restaurant-market, Commonwealth, opens on Tuesday, according to his Facebook page (and confirmed by Urban Daddy). Check out our early look at the menu here. Good luck, Nookie!
It'll be an epic celebration tomorrow, and we'll need to eat. For those of you heading into town for the game, we've rounded up several terrific dining and drinking options on the parade route, especially along Boylston St, the epicenter of the festivities. Stop in during or after the party.FULL ENTRY
We can dream. The business section of today's Globe bears the hopeful news that even though Mario Batali's plans for a Boston Babbo fell through, he's still trying to build a presence in the city. The latest rumblings indicate that he might try to open a branch of Eataly, the massive Italian marketplace with branches in New York and, soon, Chicago. We reached out to his reps, who can't confirm specific plans yet. Faneuil Hall-Quincy Market is an area of interest for his operations team (and it would be fantastic to have something new at Quincy Market), but they're also scoping out buildings in the Back Bay and elsewhere. Chicago's Eataly, opening at the end of the month, will have a Nutella bar and its own version of Babbo, called Baffo, inside the marketplace — so maybe we might just get our own Babbo yet.
Where would you want to see an Eataly? Quincy Market? Someplace farther from the North End, like Harrison Ave. in the South End? Anywhere else?
It's a good week for Steve "Nookie" Postal. The former executive chef for Fenway Park is reveling in the Sox's big World Series win, and he's about to open a brand-new restaurant. Kendall Square's Commonwealth debuts next week, and we have the menu, which features a range of sins from waffles to duck fat fries to homemade fluff.FULL ENTRY
A post on BostonChefs.com announces that the Merchant will open on Franklin St. in December. It's a 200-seat brasserie headed by Matthew Foley, who used to be sous chef at Craigie on Main (hopefully this bodes well for the food). "In true Brasserie style, the Merchant will be open 7 days early 'til late," says the post. According to their website, they'll also have lunch and dinner service, a raw bar, and 36 beers on tap. BRT notes that the liquor license comes from the Theatre District's now-closed Pigalle.
The Merchant, 60 Franklin St., Boston
Just in time for your celebratory Red Sox needs: A new branch of Belmont's fantastic, thoughtfully sourced Craft Beer Cellar opens today in Newton Centre, reports BRT and Facebook. They'll specialize in New England beers and under-the-radar breweries. They also stock sauces, cheeses, beer-friendly snacks, and wine.FULL ENTRY
A contemporary American restaurant with a Middle Eastern twist opens today in Washington Square, conveniently close (but not too close) to Fenway Park. Fairsted Kitchen is at 1704 Beacon St. We're told that it's inspired by the estate of Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed much of the neighborhood. Prepare for posh surroundings: a communal table complete with a Revolutionary War era footrest; 19th century chandeliers; period wallpaper; and antique china. Oh, and sturgeon.FULL ENTRY
After news broke that UpStairs on the Square plans to close on New Year's Eve, many people were worried about the fate of neighboring Winthrop St. bar Grendel's Den. Happily, it's not going anywhere, even though the building is changing hands. The 41-year-old watering hole's lease lasts through 2017, says Cambridge Day. Grendel's owner Kari Kuelzer says she's sad to see her longtime neighbors say so long.
Babson College's entrepreneurs-in-residence and TV stars Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre Foods) and Gail Simmons (Top Chef) were at Needham's Volante Farms last night for Culinary Experience on the Farm, part of Babson Food Sol's Food Day festivities. An all-star crew of chefs — Rialto's Jody Adams, O Ya's Tim Cushman, West Bridge's Matthew Gaudet, Menton's Kristen Kish, Tico's Michael Schlow, and Alden & Harlow's Michael Scelfo — cooked dishes with veggies straight from the farm for a hungry crowd of food industry luminaries. Island Creek Oysters also had a stand. We caught up with Zimmern for a few minutes, who declared Scelfo's beef neck with spaghetti squash "amazing" and proudly posed with his custom-designed orange and purple glasses.FULL ENTRY
Thanks a lot, Miley: Dick's Last Resort at Faneuil Hall will host its first annual (yes, this will be annual!) twerking contest on October 26, with an array of covetable awards. Per a release, contestants can win three prizes: First place gets $100, second place gets $50 "Dick Dollars," and the third-best twerker earns a ... gently used foam finger. (We're not sure where it was used previously.) They're also serving food specials, including fried crabmeat BOO! balls for a mere $7.99, and bloody Marys for $7.75 (Robin Thicke not included). Of course, Dick's is known for its sarcastic service, so better have those moves down. The judging begins at 7 p.m.
Dick's Last Resort, Faneuil Hall, 4 N. Market St., Boston
Urban Daddy reports that Ikura sushi opens on Newbury Street today. It's run by a former sushi chef for the New England Patriots (Tom Brady deserves only the freshest fish), and it features more than 100 varieties of maki. Most intriguing is a Playboy Roll with shrimp tempura and tuna, reportedly "dripped with whiskey and blowtorched tableside," which sounds nearly as dramatic as many recent Pats games.
Ikura, 254 Newbury St., Boston
While MC was slated to open this fall, we have two updates: First, it's going to open in early 2014. It also won't be called MC Medici any longer. (Was that the name of an ancient Florentine DJ?) We're told to expect a brand-new moniker for the hotel restaurant that will replace 606 Congress, which closed in August. Name or no name, the upcoming restaurant at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront is ambitious: It's run by James Beard award-winners and Top Chef Masters stars Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier, the team behind Ogunquit's venerable Arrows, and they're going for an "Italian renaissance theme," we've been told, in both cuisine and decor. In other news, they're selling Arrows after 25 years so that they can focus on the Boston venture. Ideas for a name?
Competition for the Border Cafe around the corner? Felipe's is moving to the abandoned Bertucci's space on Brattle Street, reports the Harvard Crimson. They also say that Felipe's, which is now inside the Garage, will broaden their menu with fish and shrimp dishes, and even booze.FULL ENTRY
The wild, wild Metrowest is set to welcome another higher-end restaurant alongside new spots like 29 Sudbury, Bondir, and 80 Thoreau. Acton's Red Raven, helmed by former KO Prime chef Josh Buehler, opens next month.FULL ENTRY
Harvard Square's landmark restaurant UpStairs on the Square, known for its zebra-print dining room and afternoon tea, will close on New Year's Eve after 31 years, we've learned via an e-mail from owners Mary-Catherine Deibel and Deborah Hughes. "The current landlord has decided to sell the iconic Harvard Square landmark building at 91 Winthrop Street," they write.FULL ENTRY
The it restaurant of the moment, Tim Maslow's Ribelle, has introduced a "Shotgun Tasting Menu" on offer from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. nightly. Get three courses — which include hefty dishes like garlic knots with duck fat and honeycomb tripe with potato gnocchi — for a reasonable $30. View the menu (which will change regularly) straight ahead. And prepare to leave work early.FULL ENTRY
Our pals at Urban Daddy report that Gather opens today at the Innovation District's District Hall. District Hall, which opened this summer, is designed to be the "hub" of the new neighborhood, hosting public events, training groups, and business meetings. In a Globe article a few months ago, Mayor Menino called it a place for entrepreneurs to "gather, innovate, and create jobs." Now they can eat well, too.FULL ENTRY
A week after 32-year-old Piccolo Venezia said ciao, we're learning that a really old spot, Ida's, is also shutting its doors.FULL ENTRY
A rep tells us that Harvard Square's Osushi will now be known simply as "O," and it's open for business. The sushi, Japanese, and Korean restaurant serves lunch, dinner, and $10 late-night snacks highlighting ever-important ramen, plus sake and cocktails. We're also told that they plan entertainment in the coming months. Executive chef is James Park, chef-owner of Brookline's Minsok for 20 years. Check out the full menu here.
O Sushi Restaurant & Bar, 1 Eliot St., Cambridge
Somerville's destination for pre-Prohibition swills announces that it will serve brunch starting on October 20, from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. What better reason to start drinking early? We have the $9 cocktail list and meat-focused menu, ahead.FULL ENTRY
Fans of mashed avocado, your day has finally come: Eat Boston stages Guacaholics Anonymous on November 4 at Barrio Cantina (1363 Boylston St., Boston) featuring the finest guacamoles in all the land. Here's your chance to sample the wares from Mexican restaurants throughout the city, including the much-missed Villa Mexico Cafe. You can even get a T-shirt!FULL ENTRY
You know her and love her from various farmers' markets around the area, and now Seta Dakessian has her very own shop in Belmont. Seta's Mediterranean Foods has a permanent home at Seta's Cafe, which opened this week, according to her Facebook page.FULL ENTRY
Chef Jason Bond tells us that the highly anticipated, 100-seat Concord outpost of his Cambridge restaurant is just a couple of weeks away from kickoff.FULL ENTRY
The famous steakhouse might close October 20, but that doesn't mean its enormous cactus has to die, does it? Enterprising designer Craig Silva tweets an image of the iconic plant perched atop the ICA. "Contemporary" indeed. And just the thing to welcome visitors! Thanks to Universal Hub for noticing this glorious design. (Maybe the cows can go to the MFA?)
The friendly coffeehouse that's lured countless Arlingtonians and Minuteman bicyclists is getting a makeover. It'll be taken over by the Kickstand Cafe, says the Arlington Advocate; Kickstand's owners also run the cute little Cafe Zing at Cambridge's Porter Square Books.FULL ENTRY
Row 34, the highly anticipated Fort Point restaurant from the Island Creek Oyster Bar team, shows signs of activity: They're hiring! They'll hold open interviews Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week at Eastern Standard. (The interviews start at 10 a.m., if you're so inclined.) When the doors do open, expect seafood with international flair and local beers from ICOB sous chef Francisco Millan.
Row 34, 383 Congress St., Boston
The iconic Saugus steakhouse, which has beckoned generations of diners with an enormous decorative cactus and friendly plastic cows, will close its doors on October 20, The Boston Business Journal and Boston Restaurant Talk report. The restaurant had been in business for 52 years; years ago, lines were out the door.FULL ENTRY
This is sad: The Broken Yolk, a mainstay breakfast haunt near Powderhouse Circle, has shut down after nearly a decade in business. Boston Restaurant Talk reports that it'll be replaced by Noor Mediterranean Grill, offering native delicacies like shish kebab, shawarma, and falafel (competition for Amsterdam down the street?).FULL ENTRY
We knew the food would be good with former Russell House Tavern chef Michael Scelfo in charge, but now we have high hopes for the cocktails too: We've learned that Eastern Standard bartender (and whiskey fan) Seth Freidus will manage Alden & Harlow's bar program.FULL ENTRY
Today Esquire's John Mariani reveals his list of the best new restaurants across the country, and two local spots managed to enchant him. This is no small feat since, as he writes, "There are just too many exciting phenomena happening in the world of American dining right now," including Cronuts. He managed to whittle the roster to an "astonishing" 20.FULL ENTRY
People magazine notes that Bryan Cranston dined at Harvard Square's Zinneken's over the weekend. The Breaking Bad actor currently stars as Lyndon B. Johnson in the ART's All the Way. The actor gamely posed for photos with BB fans and, according to one staffer, behaved like "just a regular guy." Walter White's alter ego enjoyed blueberry, strawberry and banana waffles — not fried chicken.
"After 32 years we have closed our doors. Thank you to all our loyal customers over the years." So reads a sign at Piccola Venezia, a North End mainstay for three decades. Server Not Servant's Patrick Maguire and Boston Restaurant Talk confirm the closure. The restaurant has gotten some shaky Yelp! reviews of late, with one disgruntled diner lamenting that "If you enjoy the Olive Garden, you'll like the food here. If you enjoy Italian cuisine, you won't."FULL ENTRY
As with so many things, it all comes down to booze and rodents: Cambridge's License Commission voted 2-0 against allowing Tasty Burger to move into the old Lyndell's Bakery space at 74 Prospect St., because a place serving late-night booze could disrupt the residential character of the neighborhood. Cambridge Day says "neighbors were concerned about trash, rodents, noise and the alcohol license."FULL ENTRY
New York Magazine's food site, Grub Street, puts Toro at the top of their weekly restaurant power rankings for the second week in a row. (Full disclosure: I used to be the Boston editor at Grub.) Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette opened their Manhattan outpost a couple weeks ago, and people down there seem to love it just as much natives enjoy the Boston branch. "Have you been to Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette's Chelsea tapas spot yet? A glimpse at Twitter will tell you that the entirety of New York's food media world has, and they are all very much in love with it," they write. Nice work, sirs!
Get ready, Magoun Square: food truck Pennypacker's opens a storefront this Saturday, says Facebook and Eater. Expect a rotation of soups, salads, and sandwiches, particularly of the garlicky porchetta variety. They promise a menu later this week.
Pennypacker's, 514C Medford St., Somerville
Nebo at Atlantic Wharf starts serving pizza tonight, declares Boston Restaurant Talk. The ovens at the new location (moved from the North End) had been out of commission for a while. Prep for an assortment of old standards, like the Gino (cherry peppers and spicy sausage) and new twists, like the Lardo (lardo, sage, caramelized onions, and wild mushrooms).
Nebo, 520 Atlantic Ave., Boston
Urban Daddy shares the news that long-awaited Roka has made its debut at 801 Mass Ave. On offer: tuna sashimi martinis, cocktails from a 40-foot double-sided bar, black sake, and a private room where filet mignon ishiyaki is seared tableside on the requisite hot stones. View a slideshow of the airy, lime-green-looking space here.
Chef Ana Sortun tells us that her newest restaurant, Somerville's Sarma, will open at 249 Pearl St. by the end of next week. We interviewed Sortun back in August about what it takes to open a second restaurant (she also runs the lovely Oleana and Sofra bakery). More recently, Boston magazine offered a preview of the Winter Hill mezze parlor's exotic cocktails. Oleana's Cassie Piuma will run Sarma's kitchen, and Island Creek Oyster Bar veteran Vikram Hegde will handle the bar program.
Hardee's plans a return to Massachusetts within the next 12 to 18 months, reports BusinessWire. According to their reps, "We’ve heard from residents all across the region for years, begging us to bring our food back to them."FULL ENTRY
Our favorite place for Hell Night plans to stay open even later on Thursdays and Fridays beginning October 17. They'll serve until 1 a.m., reports Facebook via Eater, with "an abundance of delicious cocktails, beer and wine for all. Yes, we will be offering raw bar, pulled pork nachos, wings and more." Grab the Tums!
East Coast Grill, 1271 Cambridge St., Cambridge
Boston's newest outpost of London export Pret a Manger opens on Monday at 855 Boylston St., but you can get a sneak peek on "Guinea Pig Day." It's not as scary as it sounds: Their focus is on fresh, natural ingredients. Swing by today for coffee and get a voucher to come back later for a free lunch, while supplies last (likely until 2 p.m.). Hurry!
Don your finest cocktail attire and sample the seafood creations of Boston's top chefs tomorrow night. Trade's Andrew Hebert, Erbaluce's Charles Draghi, dante's Dante de Magistris, Tavern Road's Louis DiBiccari, West Bridge's Matthew Gaudet, Taranta's Jose Duarte, Puritan's Will Gilson and more will craft an oceanic dinner tomorrow evening on Fish Pier for the Boston Seafood Gala, which kicks off this weekend's Boston Seafood Festival.FULL ENTRY
New York City has Katz's Delicatessen; we might have one for cats. Universal Hub posts the intriguing ruminations of a young entrepreneur who wants to open a feline-oriented cafe in Boston. "I'm very serious about this and determined to have be created by the end of 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. I've had this idea for a while now ever since learning about them through the internet a couple of years ago. Cat cafes are a type of small restaurant originating in Japan where patrons can eat meals and have beverages in the company of felines," the cat-lover writes of
his her pet project. The cafe will be called Miaou Boston.
Forum takes one more step in recovering from the Marathon bombings: The revamped restaurant debuts lunch service today. They'll serve soups, salads, and sandwiches from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Browse the midday menu here.
Forum, 755 Boylston St., Boston
Exciting news in other cities: Toro has a sibling! The New York City branch of Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette's tapas parlor opens today. The 100-seat restaurant has a prime Chelsea address next to Tom Colicchio's Colicchio & Sons and Mario Batali's Del Posto. Our chums at New York Magazine's Grub Street have a photographic look at the menu and decor, which include gooseneck barnacles a la plancha and an enormous mounted bull's head, respectively. Below, their signature Congratulations, chefs!
Toro, 85 Tenth Ave. (entrance on 15th St.), New York City
Still more stylish restaurants for Southie: Stephi’s in Southie has plans to open on Tuesday, confirms a restaurant spokesperson. It's the newest from restaurateur Stephanie Sokolove, the force behind scenester havens Stephanie's on Newbury and Stephi's on Tremont. Her 150-seat Southie outpost will serve lunch and dinner, plus a late-night menu and brunch. The dining room has two interesting twists: its very own wine bar, as well as a ceramic-tiled, floating fireplace. Cozy! The restaurant is adjacent to the Broadway T stop at 130 Dorchester Ave. Scope the dinner menu, ahead.
Stephi's in Southie, 130 Dorchester Ave., BostonFULL ENTRY
The Charles River Food Truck Festival happens on Saturday, so plan your weekend eating accordingly. More than 20 trucks will be there, including the brand-new, artery-tickling Bacon Truck. Check out the full line-up ahead, and gaze below at a meaty treat from Gabi's Smoke Shack.FULL ENTRY
Big Night Entertainment Group has replaced their SHRINE Asian Kitchen at Foxwoods Casino with a second Red Lantern, their Buddha-festooned pan-Asian restaurant in the Back Bay known for its delectable lobster rangoon and Singapore street noodles. (SHRINE nightclub will remain open downstairs). They've also revamped the menu at both locations, says a rep. Have a look at it ahead.FULL ENTRY
The Italian neighborhood hangout celebrates its birthday on Sunday with a party. Stop in between 5 and 7 p.m. for free appetizers and live music, then stick around for their three-course, $22 Sunday supper from former Rialto chef Nuno Alves. We're told they'll be serving 'til late. Congratulations!
Tavolo, 1918 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester
Bar Louie, serving basically anything you've ever wanted to eat, opens near Fenway Park on Saturday at 121 Brookline Ave. The menu is huge, a true snacker's delight: You'll find popcorn doused in truffle butter, pretzel sticks with cinnamon butter, wings, sliders, tacos, burgers, flatbreads, meatballs, and even a breakfast burrito stuffed with tater tots. Why not?FULL ENTRY
Another day, another shiny beautiful Whole Foods: The rapidly expanding market launches its newest branch at 808 Mass Ave. in Arlington this morning, confirms the Patch. (They've added Brookline and Melrose branches recently too.) The shop hosts a bread-breaking ceremony at 9:45 this morning, and doors open at 10. In the meantime, they've posted plenty of lush shots on their Facebook page, like these vibrant veggies.
Tomorrow the Boston Licensing Board holds a hearing to decide on plans to convert an empty space at 45 Province St. into a wood-fired pizzeria called Strada 45, says Universal Hub. Owner John DeSimone owns the optimistically named Muscle Maker Grill health-food chain. Hey, maybe we could use more pizza, now that Batali's not coming to town.
It's a marvelous Monday in Central Square: Patty Chen's Dumpling Room is open for business, says their website. (We're assuming "Open Today! Open Today! Open Today!" is confirmation.) Boston Restaurant Talk also confirms the opening. Enjoy sweet and savory dumplings until midnight, seven days a week. As we previously reported, Patty Chen will also host a roving dumpling school.
Patty Chen's Dumpling Room, 907 Main St., Cambridge
Boston Restaurant Talk reports that Chopps, run by Meritage chef and Boston Wine Festival founder Daniel Bruce, will open at the Burlington Marriott. The hotel is currently home to suburban find Summer Winter. (No word on whether Chopps will replace it.) Chopps is not to be confused with Chris Coombs's South End steakhouse, Boston Chops, though it does borrow from the steakhouse tradition of Boston's Mooo.... by adopting extra letters.
Cook opens at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow at 825 Washington St. in Newton. It's the newest restaurant from Paul Turano, who also runs Arlington Center's reliable rendezvous spot, Tryst. The menu aims to please, skipping from Vietnamese pork ribs to cavatelli to Udon noodles. (Read our preview here.) There's also a wood-fired stove with nine bar seats and an open kitchen, so you can chat with the chef while ordering flatbreads and other toasty snacks. Check out Turano's menu, and the cocktail list, ahead.FULL ENTRY
Brookline's cutest restaurant in a gas station, Cognac Bistro, shutters on September 22, confirms BRT. (Read the Globe review here.) The Brookline Tab says that the owner, Nelson Cognac, is decamping to Jay Peak, Vermont, where he'll open a new restaurant.FULL ENTRY
You know and love the South End's Beehive: Now meet the hippie-inspired Beat Hotel, their sister restaurant in Harvard Square that recalls the neighborhood of yore, a hangout for restless spirits like Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Edie Sedgwick. The bar-brasserie-live music venue opens tonight at 5 p.m., a rep tells us. Expect a "wholesome" menu with plenty of veggie options, small-batch wines, and a roster of live blues, world music, and jazz. Their mission is to satisfy residents and "vagabonds passing through." We're intrigued. The restaurant is at 13 Brattle St.
Eater bears the news that Warehouse Bar & Grille tentatively plans to open at 40 Broad St. this weekend. At the helm is Nathaniel Durost, who was executive sous at swanky Stephanie's on Newbury. Their newly formed Facebook page promises a "neighborhood gathering place for business lunches, after-work cocktails, dinner dates, weekend brunch and large group events" that's part sports bar, part "upscale eatery."
Warehouse Bar & Grille, 40 Broad St., Boston
Innovative Union Square restaurant Journeyman announced that they're abandoning menus. Instead they'll offer a $75 surprise prix-fixe. This requires a sense of trust and adventure on the diner's part. What do you think — a hefty price for a mystery meal, or worth the risk? (They'll slash prices to $40 starting at 8:30 p.m., and they'll also maintain a regular vegetarian menu.) "We promise you will not leave hungry. We hope each meal will be a purer reflection of time and place," they write on their website. Owners Diana Kudayarova and husband Tse Wei Lim are known for taking chances: Three years ago, they bravely chronicled the experience of opening a restaurant during a recession for the Globe. The gamble paid off. Will it now? Would you rather see a menu and strategize your meal in advance, or would you rather be surprised?
Journeyman, 9 Sanborn Ct., Somerville
Nantucket bistro Lola 41 will open in the Back Bay, says Boston Restaurant Talk. The swanky island boite maintains a hybrid menu: On the lighter side, there's sushi; for those not fretting over beaches and bathing suits, foie gras gravy fries make an appearance.FULL ENTRY
Great news on a long Monday: Tony Maws's new restaurant, the Kirkland Tap & Trotter, opens a week from tonight. The restaurant begins serving dinner at 5 p.m. with longtime Craigie on Main employee Danny Scampoli in the kitchen. Expect a slightly lower price point than at Craigie, with dishes coming from a wood-fired grill in the center of the dining room. When we last talked to Maws, he was thinking about grilled spice crusted chicken wings; grilled red chile salmon head; and grilled sardines Provençale. (Stay tuned for more menu updates.) As for the wine list: "funky wines made by real people." Below, a photo of Maws's red chile salmon head, served with a radish salad.
Union Square, Davis Square — they get plenty of locavore love. But what about good ol' East Somerville? The quiet(er) neighborhood has plenty of succulent, diverse restaurants, and you can try them all tomorrow night at the East Broadway Foodie Crawl. Nosh on treats from Haiti, Ethiopia, El Salvador — and even groove to live Peruvian music.FULL ENTRY
PSA for torta, burrito, and enchilada lovers in the Davis Square vicinity: The very tasty Tenoch Móvil food truck will enjoy a limited-time engagement at the corner of Summer and Elm streets Monday through Wednesday at lunch and dinner. Check their full menu here.
Chowhound and Boston Restaurant Talk report that the temperature has cooled at the South End's 28 Degrees. The restaurant closed on September 5, leaving a note on the door that they're on the prowl for "an exciting new space on Appleton Street." They also left a note on their Facebook page, thanking customers for "eight wonderful years in Boston's South End; however, all good things must come to an end." In memoriam, a shot of their comfy patio.
Boston Restaurant Talk shares the sad news that Kenmore's Boca Grande has shuttered. Fans of their awesome tofu chile adobo burritos and tamales shouldn't fully despair, though; their Brighton Center, Brookline, and Cambridge locations are still open.
Lunch break in Allston! Eater Boston reports via Facebook that Shanghai Social Club starts serving lunch on September 9, seven days a week. In addition to dinner delicacies like lion's head meatballs, they'll also serve daily lunchtime specials for under $10.
Shanghai Social Club, 1277 Commonwealth Ave., Allston
Owner Marc Shulman writes that his dumpling parlor "hopes to open this week." The restaurant's Facebook page notes that they're undergoing inspections today. Still, if you can't control your dumpling desires, there's good news: They've already launched delivery service.FULL ENTRY
The Thai chainlet, with branches in Newton and Medford, shuttered their Arlington Heights branch this summer for renovations. Now a phone call to the restaurant reveals that it's closed for good, to be replaced with another Thai spot. The windows are papered over now, but the restaurant's voicemail states that the new restaurant will open "very soon." The Newton and Medford locations carry on. (Friendly tip: Their pungent hot-and-sour "Tom Yum Koong" soup with shrimp and chili can cure even the most persistent colds.)
Could be the perfect burger in the perfect place. We mentioned that Tasty had its eye on Central Square a few weeks ago, and now Boston Restaurant Talk reports via the Cambridge Chronicle that the mini-burger-chain wants to open at 74 Prospect St.FULL ENTRY
The newest Boston-area Pinkberry opens at 263 Elm St. in Davis Square on Friday, doubtlessly to the delight of incoming Tufts students. To celebrate, they'll throw a fro-yo fete on Thursday evening from 5:30-8:30 p.m. with free samples, a DJ, and giveaways. They'll also present a donation check to the Somerville Homeless Coalition. They plan to partner with the charity year-round on various events.FULL ENTRY
Is your Facebook feed flooded with back-to-school photos? Are you feeling liberated? For parents who really want to celebrate their fall freedom (or non-parents who just want to toast autumn's arrival), Newton's tasty Farmstead Table has a deal. Stop in for lunch any day until September 13, and get a free glass of red or white wine with your meal. Cheers!
Farmstead Table, 71 Union St., Newton
Before we take off for the long weekend, something to plan for come September: The South End's Tremont 647 will become a Japanese izakaya for one night only on September 16. Boston's short on izakaya (think: Japanese pub food) options; sensing this, Chef Andy Husbands will concoct small sharing plates paired with sake. Tickets are on sale now for $30; scope the full menu ahead.FULL ENTRY
Frost Ice Bar, Faneuil Hall's first-ever bar outfitted in ice, opens tomorrow, according to their Facebook page. Frost Ice Bar charges $19 for a 45-minute visit; drinks are $11 apiece. Interestingly, kids are allowed at the bar before 5 p.m., when it shifts to 21-plus, says Eater Boston. Helpfully, admission includes access to a cape and gloves.
Wahlburgers — the burger shop run by chef and celebrity brother Paul Wahlberg — plans to expand to Canada, says his rep. Brothers Donnie and Mark, who according to the release have a fondness for the city, are also partners in the venture. The newest Wahlburgers will open at Toronto's SoHo Metropolitan hotel in early 2014. The menu will be similar to their Hingham branch (although a poutine addition wouldn't be a bad idea).
Potbelly Sandwich Shop is awesome: Live guitarists, tasty shakes, and toasty sandwiches called things like "Wreck" (every type of meat imaginable) and "Hammy." They even make a darn zingy coleslaw. Service is typically great, too. Their newest area location is now open at 1 Porter Square, says their website. You'll also find a roster of their daily soups and music schedule.
Universal Hub notes that Todd English will relinquish the liquor license for his now-closed Olives in Charlestown, writing that a swanky new place will replace it. In April, I heard rumblings that the spot could become a LTK. Later, Eater Boston wondered if it could become a hotel. English, meanwhile, plans to reopen Olives in a "new and shiny" Boston location.
Boston Restaurant Talk notes via BostonChefs that the Renaissance Boston Waterfront's 606 Congress shuttered this weekend. A rep tells us that chef Rich Garcia remains on staff as executive chef at the Renaissance. The hotel soon welcomes MC Medici, with an "Italian renaissance theme." The restaurant will be run by the successful team behind Ogunquit's upscale Arrows, James Beard award-winners Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier. A rep tell us today that MC Medici should open mid-fall.
Mario Batali's PR reps confirm to us that the chef definitely isn't opening Babbo Pizzeria at 320 Summer St. in Fort Point. The statement:
B&B Hospitality Group is saddened to announce that the project called Babbo Pizzeria and Enoteca originally slated for a fourth quarter open date in the exciting Fort Point district in Boston will not come to fruition. We will continue to look for the perfect location to serve the exciting and vibrant Boston community.
On the plus side, former MET chef Todd Winer's pizzeria, Pastoral, is slated to open in October around the corner at 345 Congress St.
No need to panic yet, but ... BostInno unearthed a weekend Tweet from Mario Batali wherein he declared that Babbo Pizzeria's Fort Point opening isn't "looking good right now." What? His reps confirmed the 320 Summer St. opening to me back in April, and, at the time, Batali was downright effusive on Twitter, exclaiming "Babbopizzeria! Wheeeeeeeeee!" No reply from Babbo's reps yet, but stay tuned. Hopefully it's a logistical issue, and Mario isn't permanently pulling his pizza from Fort Point.
Update: No Babbo at all. Now this, from the chef's Tumblr:
"B&B Hospitality Group is saddened to announce that the project called Babbo Pizzeria and Enoteca originally slated for a fourth quarter open date in the exciting Fort Point district in Boston will not come to fruition. We will continue to look for the perfect location to serve the exciting and vibrant Boston community."
September will be a busy month for Whole Foods. They'll launch a Somerville location on September 4 (45 Beacon St.), followed by an Arlington location on September 18 (808 Mass Ave). Both stores were once Johnny's Foodmaster supermarkets; Whole Foods is in the process of remaking several former Johnny's locations throughout the area. Dry your eyes and save up for that inevitable, delicious salad bar binge.
Oh, Somerville, you are hip indeed, with your pastry pop-ups and tricycle coffees! Hometown chocolatier Taza Chocolate hosts a pop-up series starting next weekend with elite local pastry chefs. Each week, chefs will sell their Taza treats inside the shop; outside, the Coffee Trike will sell George Howell Coffee. The pop-ups start at 10:30 a.m. each Saturday, all month long, beginning September 7. In order of appearance: Harvest's Brian Mercury; Flour's Nicole Rhode; Oleana's Molly Rabideau; Craigie on Main and Brown Butter Bakery's Jessica Porto; Hungry Mother's Rachel Sundet; and Eastern Standard/Island Creek Oyster Bar's Lauren Kroesser.FULL ENTRY
Just in time for the flood of college students, Shanghai Social Club debuted over the weekend in Allston. The restaurant serves classic Chinese food with some daring twists courtesy Bob Botchie, who used to work at Myers + Chang.FULL ENTRY
The ramen craze rages on: Davis Square's Snappy Sushi is now Snappy Ramen, Eater Boston reports. The owner of Snappy Ramen also runs the South End's Yakitori Zai, which is closed now but will soon reopen with a ramen-happy menu as well. Don't worry, Snappy still sells sushi, too.
Snappy Ramen, 420 Highland Ave., Somerville
Hell's Kitchen chef Jason Santos — the busy guy behind Blue Inc. and Abby Lane — adds a third project to his resume in September. Back Bay Harry's opens next month, replacing Geoffrey's at 142 Berkeley St. Zagat has a look at the full (and very creative) dinner menu, which contains pastrami mac-n-cheese, Sichuan calamari, "jalapeno wiz," and atomic horseradish. We also have the lunch menu, both ahead.FULL ENTRY
A rep tells us that Union Square sausage sanctuary Bronwyn now has a late-night "wurst and bier" menu with hot dogs, currywurst, and lagers. The menu kicks off September 9 and is available Sunday through Thursday, 10:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. Check it out below.
Boston's new Bacon Truck has released a sample menu. It's somewhat sinful, but not nearly as artery-clogging as we'd dreamed. Check it out ahead. Oh, and as for an opening date? Facebook now says to watch for the truck "this fall," not this summer as we'd originally hoped. Plenty of time for a pre-pork cleanse.FULL ENTRY
Eater Boston notes that juice and smoothie stand Fruitata has opened inside the Prudential Center. At what cost health? Prices start at $5.95 for a single serving of fruit juice; special mix-ins like wheatgrass and hemp protein run $1 to $3 extra. Perhaps aware that their prices are a bit steep, their website offers a top-ten list of compelling reasons to pony up.FULL ENTRY
Both Boston Restaurant Talk and a press release from Bertucci's confirm that their Brattle Street location will close today after 25 years in business. According to the release, the landlord decided to opt for another retailer, though the pizza chain would've made changes or renovations to hang on to the prime space. Any guesses about this new mystery retailer? Urban Outfitters? H&M?
Island Creek Oyster Bar is known for bivalves, but this Thursday the restaurant morphs into a late-night pizza parlor. Chef Jeremy Sewall and New York City food photographer Michael Harlan Turkell join forces for a pizza throwdown, and proceeds bolster the Island Creek Oysters Foundation's efforts toward promoting sustainable aquaculture. But don't expect simple things like pepperoni and mushrooms. For $15, you'll feast on curiosities like bahn "mizza" and bacon-and-egg pie.
Today in peculiar dining news: A popular Italian restaurant in Arlington Center has been "abandoned" and the owner has left the country, although the place is apparently operational nonetheless. Boston Restaurant Talk reports via the Arlington Advocate that Scugnizzi, once a very respectable spot for lamb ragu and margherita pizza, might be shuttered by the town because the owners haven't paid rent in several months. The Advocate reports that owner Francesco Martini has moved to Mexico and that the restaurant has been operating without a license. Town selectmen will meet this evening to determine the neighborhood restaurant's fate, which could mean a permanent shutdown.
Alberto Sandoval tells us that he'll open a second branch of his Tenoch Mexican restaurant at 3 Lewis St. in the North End within the coming weeks. Right now, Sandoval operates a popular Medford sit-down restaurant as well as a food truck that serves tortas. A message on Facebook makes the news even more official: "We're excited, we hope you are, too!" they write. Here's why everyone should be excited: Sandoval's tortas just might be the best deal in town — it's tough to go wrong with the signature Choriqueso with Telera bread, melted Oaxaca cheese, chorizo, chipotle mayo, beans, onions, avocado, lettuce, and tomatoes for a cool $6.50. (Check out their Best of the New write-up in last year's Globe!)
Eater Boston reports via Chowhound that Cancun Taqueria has opened in Harvard Square. The second-generation family business serves tacos and traditional Mexican plates from western Mexico's Cuautla Jalisco region. Spice-heads on a budget will be happy here. Says one Yelper: "If you are price sensitive, you will be very pleased. The restaurant has an authentic feel." Also nice to note: salsa that really "pops." Just one drawback — they don't serve booze. They're open for lunch and dinner.
1055 Mass Ave., Cambridge, 857-242-3344
Patty Chen's Dumpling Room will soon replace the interestingly named Pu Pu Hot Pot. The original opening was slated for July, but now the restaurant's Facebook page indicates that a soft opening is imminent and the restaurant's voicemail, which thanks eager dumpling-eaters for their patience, reveals that it will open "soon."FULL ENTRY
Forum restaurant reopens tonight with a private party — exactly four months after it was ravaged in the Boston Marathon bombings. It's the final Boylston Street business to reopen after the attacks.FULL ENTRY
A "reliable tipster" whispers to Eater Boston that a Shake Shack just might open at Faneuil Hall. The very same tipster notes that a Harvard Square Shack is just a few weeks away from opening at 57 JFK St. It's an exciting time for Shake Shack: They just redid their French fry recipe, upgrading from frozen crinkles (seen below) to fresh-cut spuds.
Downtown's venerable Barking Crab has big changes in store. A rep for the seafood shack says that they've added a raw bar and slashed their menu in half, going for a smaller roster that spotlights local fish. At the svelter Crab, you'll find Maine lobsters, Atlantic scrod, Rhode Island squid, and Cape cod clams. They'll also sell $1 oysters at the raw bar and add a variety of local beers, many from Harpoon down the street. Why the switch? Maybe it's because Ben Korman, a longtime manager at Jasper White's Summer Shack, has taken over GM duties.
The Barking Crab, 88 Sleeper St., Boston
In what is surely a blow to Barry Manilow fans everywhere, Cambridge's very own Copacabana has closed after a year in business, laments Boston Restaurant Talk. On the plus side, the Latin spot will be replaced with an Indian restaurant, coming soon, at 2378 Massachusetts Ave.
Urban Daddy reports that Davis Square's cozy Five Horses Tavern will open in the South End next week. UD paints a broody picture of secluded leather booths, antique mirrors, and exposed brick walls, enhanced by pork belly mac and cheese and fried-chicken pizza. (Spy the full menu here.) It replaces the Columbus Cafe at 535 Columbus Ave.
French fry lovers, your prayers have been answered: Boston is now home to a French Fry Heaven. The national chain, known for creative and unusual fry combinations, has launched the first of several Boston-area locations at the Natick Mall.
A4, the 36-seat artisanal pizzeria new from the Area Four team, officially opens tonight at 4 p.m., and we've got the menu. Expect a compact roster of creatively topped pizzas (basil walnut pesto with zucchini; exotic mushroom and egg), plus antipasto. They'll also sell cold late-night slices at half price beginning at 11 p.m., nightly, which could be delicious or dangerous, depending on your perspective.
A4, 445 Somerville Ave., Somerville
Eater Boston reports that Caribbean restaurant Some 'Ting Nice plans to open in Winter Hill, Somerville. Eater says they'll open on August 15 with a lofty motto: "Feed yo' senses," specifically with delicacies like cow heel soup and goat curry.
Chef Michael Leviton confirms to us that his newest project, A4, opens today. Area Four chef Jeff Pond is at the helm at this smaller pizzeria on Somerville Ave.; he'll mix popular pizzas from Kendall Square's Area Four with quirkier, experimental pies. They're open from 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. today and tomorrow, with a formal opening happening on Monday. Track 'em on Twitter for more information. And do note: Eater Boston reports that the restaurant is outfitted with Atari.
A4, 445 Somerville Ave., Somerville, 617-764-4190
Oh, happy day! Ribelle, from Strip T's Tim Maslow, has soft-opened. (It officially opens on Monday.) We've got the first look at their finalized menu, which includes lamb tartare; scallops, eggplant, and chocolate; and sourdough passatelli with fermented hot peppers. We've got the cocktail list, too. What do you think? Anxious to try it out? They're still working on a website, but you can follow their opening progress and plan your next meal on Twitter.
It's a tough job, but someone has to do it: Bon Appetit restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton logged "countless hours and traveled thousands of miles" to unearth the country's 50 best new restaurants. Two Cambridge spots made his list: Will Gilson's Puritan & Company (love that swordfish pastrami) and Matthew Gaudet's West Bridge, known for its signature "egg in a jar."
Ribelle held a soft-opening meal for friends and family couple of nights ago, Tweeting "Let's do this!" The new project from Strip T's Tim Maslow is slated to officially open on August 12. Apparently the soft opening wasn't without some drama; industry vet Patrick Maguire took to his popular Server Not Servant blog to blast an attendee who posted an extremely critical review of the (presumably private) meal on Eater Boston. At any rate, hopefully they'll iron out the kinks by Monday. One thing is for sure: With the hype surrounding Strip T's since Tim Maslow took over the kitchen after working in New York City under Momofuku's David Chang, Ribelle has captured the curiosity of Boston's culinary cognoscenti. Judge for yourself when they formally open at 1665 Beacon St.
Eater Boston reports via blogger BosGuy that Back Bay Harry's will take the place of Geoffrey's at 142 Berkeley St. HGTV designer Taniya Nayak redid the space, which opens in September. Bos Guy says that drinkers can look forward to an expanded bar and that there will be plenty of comfy banquettes and high-tops. Expect "affordable American fare" at brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Back Bay Harry's, 142 Berkeley St., Boston
Davis Square's Gargoyles closed in 2011, leaving many loyal cocktailers homeless. The place was like Cheers — if Cheers had bologna fries, birdbath-sized martinis, and a disco ball. Some regulars settled into nearby watering holes (Spoke, Foundry on Elm); chef Jason Santos went on to open Blue Inc.; and beloved bartenders, like Craig Estee, found homes throughout the city (Estee, always a friendly face behind the bar, is now at 75 Chestnut). But Gargoyles might return after all.FULL ENTRY
Eater Boston reports via the Back Bay Patch that Watertown nut shop Fastachi plans to open at 83 Charles St. this fall. The boutique nuttery offers gift baskets, nuts and seeds, and various nut butters. And, for the sweet tooth, they also sell handmade chocolates stuffed with nuts. Here's their Beacon Hill storefront:
Johnny D's Carla DeLellis has big news: She's opening a sister restaurant next door to her beloved Davis Square pub. But instead of beer and burgers, DeLillis will focus on handcrafted tonics, accompanied by a vegetarian menu concocted by "gypsy" chefs.FULL ENTRY
Time to feast your eyes on the new menus at Fenway's Church, debuting this week from chef John Rush, who used to be at Dorchester's Ashmont Grill. He's changed up their brunch, dinner, and dessert dishes. Strategize your meal of ramp pierogies and chilaquiles, ahead.
Liberty Mutual recently debuted a swanky office tower in the Back Bay, and their in-house restaurant opens today. Cafe Columbus is accessible to the non-insurance-peddling public and traffics in quickie lunch fare: salads, soups, sandwiches, and cappuccino. A one-stop shop for your lunch and insurance needs!
Cafe Columbus, 157 Berkeley St., Boston
Brookline's Naked Pizza is no more: Boston Restaurant Talk reports that the papered-over pizzeria shuttered on August 1; a call to the restaurant confirms the closure. Naked prided itself on serving super-charged healthy pizzas without "freaky chemicals" and breadsticks stuffed with pre- and post-biotics.
For me, it was the vanilla ice cream. There was something about the Howard Johnson's vanilla that was just creamier than anything else I'd ever tasted as a kid growing up in Rhode Island. The toys in the lobby were always cool, too.
What's your favorite HoJo's memory or story? Share it here.
We'd love to hear your memories or stories, and will run a few of the best in an upcoming "G" section of the Globe, along with a short excerpt from the book.
Just browsing the book sparks lots of fun questions. Do you know where the first HoJo's opened, back in 1929? Or his first ice cream stand? Good stuff. We might chuckle at the orange roofs we see today, but the story behind them looks pretty interesting.
Forum, the Boylston Street restaurant that had been greatly damaged by the Boston marathon bombings, is slated to reopen on August 16 with an updated menu and revamped interior. (Read about the rebuilding process here.) They'll launch lunch and brunch service in the near future, too. The restaurant is at 755 Boylston Street.
Competition for Mike's Pastry? Pinkberry's rep tells us that the North End shop plans to officially debut tomorrow, with a soft opening happening this evening. A Davis Square outpost remains in the works. The national chain has a cadre of devotees across the country, but we're told that local Pinkberries plan to play up its neighborhood sourcing, working more closely with regional ingredients, including using milk from dairies in Maine. Stop by tonight for free fro-yo samples.
Pinkberry, 285 Hanover St., Boston
Always fun when a bar branches out, especially when octopus tacos and scorpion bowls are involved. Olde Magoun's Saloon launches a seafood-and-tiki-themed menu this month, served every Wednesday evening, to say so long to swimming season. Can you find octopus tacos at your favorite beach's clam shack? Probably not. Here's the menu.FULL ENTRY
Comfort food haven Max & Dylan's at 15 West Street is now a Papagayo, says their website. The restaurants share ownership, so the switch was an easy one — these days, maybe margaritas are more popular than meatloaf? A few months ago, Charlestown's M&D's also morphed into a Papagayo, bringing Boston's total Papagayo count to three. (The original location is at 283 Summer St. in Fort Point, and it's a buzzy little happy hour spot.)FULL ENTRY
It's a dignified holdover from a dustier, grittier Seaport — a bastion of elegance run by an immigrant family that has lured generations of celebrities, travelers, and everyday couples with the promise of broiled scrod and popovers with a view. But today, Anthony's Pier 4 shuts its doors. Earlier this month, Mark Shanahan wrote about the legendary restaurant's decline. Things are different by the water now.FULL ENTRY
Whisk's concept is terrific: The pop-up employs hopeful chefs who've spent time in correctional facilities and trains them for productive culinary careers, placing them at kitchens throughout the city. The restaurant works with Haley House’s Transitional Employment Program to source employees, who then get hands-on experience working in a real restaurant kitchen with pedigreed chefs. (Owners Philip Kruta and Jeremy Kean have cooked at heavy-hitters like L'Espalier and Rialto.) On August 1, Whisk opens semi-permanent digs at 351 Hanover Street, in the North End. The new restaurant is called Whisk at 351.FULL ENTRY
Craigie on Main's Tony Maws is putting the finishing touches on The Kirkland Tap & Trotter, slated to open outside Inman Square next month. Maws has launched a Twitter account and Facebook page so fans can track his progress (and find jobs: he's hiring!) He's shared some details about the space, including his hope that patrons feel comfortable playing the air drums while dining at Craigie's more casual counterpart.FULL ENTRY
Eater Boston reports that Kung Fu Tea is "slated for a space next to Red Mango by the Symphony T station," according to signage. The tea parlor also has plans to open in Chinatown, and an Allston location opened in February. The New York City-based chain is known for martial-arts-themed beverages. On offer at the Allston branch: Kung Fu coffee, Kung Fu green tea, Kung Fu bubble tea, and slush.FULL ENTRY
Last month, we noted that a new restaurant called "Fenmore" had plans to open, logically enough, between Fenway and Kenmore Square at the Hotel Buckminster. That day is finally here. The restaurant announces via Facebook that they open at 4 p.m. today. They're open for lunch and dinner daily, from 11:30 a.m. until midnight. They'll start serving breakfast on August 12. Inside, it looks a bit like a mod diner. Check it out at 645 Beacon St.
Strip-T's chef Tim Maslow will open Ribelle at 1665 Beacon St. in Brookline in the next few weeks. A sure sign of progress: The restaurant has joined Twitter. They've posted a few shots of their move, and they've also revealed snazzy signage. Maslow, who gained a loyal following at Strip-T's after modernizing the menu, worked at New York City's Momofuku Ssam Bar for seven years. The restaurant used to be Tamarind Bay.
The venerable Lowell Folk Festival happens this weekend. It always draws crowds to downtown Lowell for arts, crafts, and music — but it's also a great way to enjoy the city's diverse food scene.FULL ENTRY
If you're a fan of noodles served in minimalist surroundings, you're in luck! Wagamama, the U.K.-based, cafeteria-style ramen bar with branches in Faneuil Hall, the Pru, and Harvard Square, plans to open a location in Lynnfield, says Boston Restaurant Talk. In fact, Wagamama really loves Boston: We're home to the only stateside locations.FULL ENTRY
Look out, Dunkin' Donuts: Five Guys is getting into the breakfast game. The 58 Summer St. location will be the first Five Guys in the Northeast to offer breakfast service, starting on July 29. Here's the menu:
Egg Sandwich $2.99
Egg and Cheese Sandwich $3.49
Bacon Egg Sandwich $3.49
Bacon Egg and Cheese Sandwich $3.99
Add a Burger Patty $1.50
They'll also serve coffee and OJ.
Clover's grand reopening has been pushed back a day, their reps tell us. All restaurants will open tomorrow with a previously promised free coffee at breakfast or free fries at lunch. Trucks will hit the streets again on Monday. The restaurants and trucks had been closed for several days due to a salmonella outbreak. The Clover team says that they're waiting on further employee tests, hence the delay. Track their progress here.
Hmm. Boston Restaurant Talk reports via Twitter that a "board game cafe" called "Knight Moves" will open in Coolidge Corner. The owners have the greater good in mind: According to BRT, "[Th]e folks behind it are 'a collection of Board Game Geeks' who have 'lamented the inconveniences Board Gamers face in Boston' such as 'wobbly tables, noisy venues, and that the city seems to roll up the streets at 9 o'clock.'"FULL ENTRY
Superb summertime marketing strategy: Time your ice cream stand opening with a massive heat wave! Retro Burger & Ice cream opened on Saturday at 795 Mass Ave in Arlington, says their Facebook page. Hours are great: They're open seven days a week, 11:30 a.m. until 9 p.m., and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Feast your eyes on the full menu, ahead.FULL ENTRY
Clover Food Lab's motto is "everything will be different tomorrow." Make that Wednesday: A rep for Clover tells us that all locations will reopen on Wednesday morning, after having shut down for several days due to a salmonella scare. As a thank-you to their loyal patrons, Clover will offer free coffee during breakfast and free rosemary fries during lunch at all locations on reopening day. Has the scare changed your opinion of food trucks at all, or will you line up for those (tasty!) rosemary fires come noontime just the same?
Fenway Park has gotten a little tastier: The growing Tasty Burger chain now serves burgers on the Yawkey Way Concourse, says Adam's Hospitality. It's just down the street from the original Tasty Burger at 1301 Boylston St. Last month, owner David Dubois told me that he has changes in store for his Southie branch too: outdoor seating, delivery service, and onion rings. Here's a Facebook shot of the newest Tasty.
Frost Ice Bar, which originally planned to open this spring, confirms to the Globe that they'll open next month in Faneuil Hall. (Kind of wish it were this week, given the heat.) It boasts a bar that's constructed almost completely out of ice, complemented by ice stools and ice glasses. It’s $19 to get in and $11 for a cocktail, and customers are only allowed to stay inside for 45 minutes. Not cheap, but it's only fair: Admission includes use of "insulated capes and gloves." And, of course, it'll be quite easy to give a bad date the cold shoulder. What do you think: great or gimmicky?
Why settle for an everyday pepperoni pizza when you could order a pie with spam and pineapple? It's a fair question. Thankfully Vine Brook Tavern chef Chris Frothingham will launch a takeout pizza program at his downtown Lexington restaurant soon, with unusual specialties like the aforementioned spam Hawaiian and béchamel and brussels with caramelized onions. Order the to-go pizza during regular restaurant hours (it's not available for dine-in). Frothingham used to run a pizza parlor in Seattle, so this isn't new territory for him. Here's a shot of his sopressata pie, another favorite. Get your spam on starting July 25, and see the full menu ahead.FULL ENTRY
Clover Food Lab's collection of restaurants and trucks remain closed in the wake of a statewide salmonella outbreak that sickened several of their customers. Globe health reporter Deborah Kotz has more on the origins of the outbreak today. Meanwhile, Clover's Ayr Muir is constantly updating the Clover site with his personal take, saying those who might have been exposed ate either the chickpea fritter or the egg and eggplant sandwich.
This place has everything: Coffee, tea, and pastries in the morning; straightforward salads and sandwiches at lunch; and by night it turns into a full bar with pub snacks and flatbread pizza. Simpli opened last week at 3840 Washington St., and the response has been enthusiastic thus far. "Coffee shop in morning + bar at night = genius," writes one Facebook fan. The hours are great, too—breakfast starts at 6 a.m., ideal for early morning commuters. Plus: There's a patio! Check out the menu here. I'm curious about the "pretzel pucks."
The doors are locked. Stacks of mail have piled up outside. Their website is down, and nobody's answering the phone. All signs point to last call at Flash's, the Back Bay cocktail lounge and restaurant known for succulent garlic fries.FULL ENTRY
Craigie on Main's p.r. team tells us that the restaurant, which had shut down for a kitchen revamp to accommodate more customers, will reopen for dinner on Friday night at 5:30 p.m. And if you're partial to porcine delicacies, call for tickets to their Whole Hog dinner on July 24. Chef Tony Maws will prepare six pork dishes for $98, complete with "swine-friendly" wine pairings for another $55. Contact the restaurant for reservations.
Clover has shut down all of their locations until further notice due to a statewide salmonella outbreak. According to their website, a few of the confirmed cases ate at Clover in recent days. "This is something we take very seriously. Clover has never been responsible for any food poisoning or food borne illness that we know of. That’s because we operate clean and take this sort of thing really really seriously," they write. They'll reopen once they learn more, but in the meantime, find your chickpea fritters someplace else.
Update: Globe health reporter Deborah Kotz has more information about the statewide salmonella outbreak and Clover's precautionary closure on her Daily Dose blog. According to her report, CEO Ayr Muir won't reopen his restaurants until the culprit has been pinpointed by the state health department.
Note: The headline was modified after its initial posting to reflect that the salmonella outbreak is statewide and not specific to a Clover location.
Central Square's popular All Asia restaurant and nightclub shuts down on July 21, and a farewell "liquidation party" happens this weekend. If you're looking for stylish nightclub mementos, head on down and haggle. Says their Facebook page: "We are selling everything because the club is going to be torn down. Everything must go!!" They're taking extreme measures because, as Boston Restaurant Talk and Cambridge Day report, the space will be upgraded to a completely new restaurant and club called the Prospect Lounge, which promises high-quality, "global bistro" fare. All Asia and the Prospect Lounge are run by the team behind Pu Pu Hot Pot (soon to be the Dumpling Room), just down the street. The bartering party starts on July 20 at 5 p.m.
Chef Brian Poe (Poe's at the Rattlesnake, Estelle's, The Tip Tap Room) comes to the Revere Hotel on July 30 for their Reel Chefs series. The monthly series features dinner tailored to a favorite movie — in this case, it's 1979's The Muppet Movie — all in sweet, blissful air-conditioning. See Poe's Muppet-themed menu ahead, hopefully concocted with help from the Swedish chef.FULL ENTRY
We've got the details on Paul Turano's upcoming Newtonville restaurant, Cook, opening next month. (Turano's the guy behind Arlington's perpetually packed Tryst.) He says that Cook is an "approachable, fun and introspective look at the process of being a restaurant. There’s a lot of bells and whistles in the industry, and this is kind of the opposite of that. I really wanted to make it a destination and second home for my customers. I want it to be comfortable and something that they can understand and be a part of. ... It’s different from Tryst in that it’s more casual, and the concept is a little more open-ended."
What do Beantown Taqueria, Hit Wicket, Otto, Park, and Tasty Burger have in common? They'll all be at tonight's Taste of Cambridge, happening at University Park and Sidney St. Tickets are still available for tonight's food-fest. Basically every great restaurant in the town is participating. See the full list ahead and hurry — the sales end in about an hour.FULL ENTRY
The New York-based Korean chicken sensation Bon Chon is nearly ready to unveil its third Boston-area location. A rep from Bon Chon tells us that they'll open a restaurant at 1075 Westford St., near Chelmsford's Drum Hill Rotary, in late July or early August. Have you tried the Bon Chon chicken in Allston or Harvard Square? Their wings, drumsticks, and strips are crunchy, numbingly spicy, and sometimes addictive. They also maintain an interesting menu of Korean specialties — their tteokbokki (rice cakes in a fiery red chili sauce) are excellent. And this chicken looks pretty tasty, right?
In the ever-changing, turbulent world of online restaurant venting, one thing remains consistent: Over at Chowhound, a 2006 thread lamenting the lack of good restaurants in Concord and Acton simply won't die. Things have changed since 2006, of course. There's now 80 Thoreau, and new spots from Stella's Evan Deluty and Bondir's Jason Bond are on their way. And today there's news via this thread that Acton will get its very own gastropub, helmed by KO Prime's old executive chef, Josh Buehler.FULL ENTRY
There was a time, not long ago, when Mantra was the hottest Downtown Crossing destination. Those days are gone: The Boston Business Journal notes that the glitzy, empty French-Indian fusion restaurant will head to auction next week. It's a swanky space, a 9,323-square-foot former bank with a restaurant and bar on first floor and a "modern stylish bar on the lower lever for private parties that features decorative marble and moldings." Who should buy it? Here's a shot of Mantra's bar in happier times. (Also note Gossip Girl in the background, a sure sign of its datedness.)
Neptune Oyster chef Michael Serpa, noted for his way with lobster rolls and other fresh seafood, took to Twitter to declare his neighborhood a culinary joke after nearby restaurant Pauli's debuted a hulking $49.99 lobster roll called the USS Lobstitution. "This is why the North End is a joke. Restaurants here are so sad," he Tweeted. Agree or disagree, the honesty is downright refreshing. Maybe because it's a slow food-news week in July, Serpa was lambasted by residents and local media and actually moved to issue a statement about his Tweet. Yup. There's even a hashtag: Lobstergate2013.
Newton's Farmstead Table launches brunch service this Sunday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. (Check out Devra First's review here.) We've got the first look at their new menu, straight ahead. Happy brunching!FULL ENTRY
We just chatted with Gene Wu, owner of Xi'an cult hit Gene's Flatbread Cafe. He's a busy guy lately: He's juggling operations and pulling noodles at his Chelmsford shop, and he's prepping his Boston location to open next week. (I profiled the tiny restaurant last year and gained about five pounds in the process.) Wu tells me that he's hoping to open early next week at 86 Bedford St., in the old Burritos Express space. He'll be open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., serving lunch only. He'll use the same authentic menu as in Chelmsford, and he's in the process of training his staff to make his signature Xi'an chilled noodles in tingly broth and lamb stew. Another lunchtime hit: incredibly juicy beef or pork flatbread sandwiches. They're just $4 each. Timid diners can seek solace with spring rolls and crab rangoon. But really: Here, dining adventurously is the best way to go. Stay tuned for an official opening date.
Well, this place will either make you feel horrible about your Allston-induced hangover or help you recover even quicker. Root, a plant-based restaurant and juicery, launches today in the old Peace o' Pie space at 487 Cambridge St. They specialize in quirky veggie dishes, unusual juice combos, and somewhat sinful brunch items like donut bites and fudge pancakes — plus a few tofu-propelled plates, naturally.FULL ENTRY
Boston Hospitality and Tourism says that the Theater District's fast-casual concept Vapiano has closed. And there seems to be some signage confusion at that: "One sign on the door indicates that the restaurant was set to be closed for the holiday weekend and another indicates that it is closed for renovations," reports BHT. (Nobody answered when we called.) A 2010 Globe review notes excellent artisanal-style pizzas, soggy pasta, a largely female clientele, and employees who prefer to be called "Vapianisti."
Boston Restaurant Talk first noted rumblings about a new seafood spot from the team behind Mistral, and today the Columbus Hospitality Group — powerhouse restaurateurs behind Mistral, Teatro, Sorellina, Mooo, and L'Andana — confirms to us that they'll open Columbus Fish & Oyster this fall in the old Avila space at 1 Charles St. (Avila closed last week).FULL ENTRY
Don't worry, the closure isn't permanent. Tony Maws's team tells us that he'll close his Central Square restaurant for 10 days as he's in full-on construction mode with his upcoming spot, Kirkland Tap & Trotter. While closed, Maws will make some upgrades at Craigie, too. We're told that Maws is in the process of installing a new "cooking suite" to accommodate more customers. (The restaurant was originally built to cook for roughly two-thirds of its current volume.) Craigie shutters today; look for Kirkland Tap & Trotter to open in late August near Inman Square with a slightly lower price point and long-time Craigie employee Danny Scampoli in the kitchen.
A visit to the Belmont Craft Beer Cellar is a rite of passage for any true craft beer lover. The shop, known for its vast collection of rare and local brews, opened a new branch in Winchester on Monday. Owner Kate Baker tells the Patch that the debut was "fantastic" and that locals have been shocked and delighted to discover a craft beer shop in their town. "Some people have walked right in with a purpose while other people have just walked by going about their business and you see them stop dead in their tracks, turn around and be like 'There's a beer store in my town now' and they will stick their heads," she said. There's a special emphasis on Massachusetts beers — and just in time for the Fourth of July.
Ian Just has released a statement to us about the future of both Les Zygomates and Sorriso, which are rumored to be undergoing a sale. Says Just: "Les Zygomates and Sorriso aren't going anywhere! We are committed to staying open in the neighborhood and providing a continued service of consistency, delicious food, and fun times to our neighbors, friends and family and most loyal patrons. We look forward to seeing you all soon and hope that you also check out our newest addition to our family - Society on High at 99 High Street." His statement doesn't deny that the spots could be sold, though — but for now, Just refers to himself as "owner" in his note.
Sad news from the North End this morning: North End Waterfront reports that Boschetto's Bakery will shutter after 110 years in business, due to a rent hike. The neighborhood institution's last day is July 6. They'll continue to sell some of their wares to commercial customers from Parziale’s Bakery on Prince Street.
We've received a statement from Todd English's team addressing the closure of Olives in Charlestown. Spoiler: He says it will reopen in a "new and shiny location" and calls the move a "rebirth." He'll also bring his son, Oliver, aboard. Read the statement ahead.FULL ENTRY
Several months ago I reported a rumor that Olives Charlestown would close. At the time, Todd English's empire issued a statement: "In response to the April fools day rumor that Olives in Charlestown is closing, I want to reassure our customers and let everyone know that Olives is most certainly not closing. We are open for business and Chef James Klewin and our entire staff are looking forward to welcoming all our loyal customers. So, come by for a drink, dinner or plan your next special event in our newly redesigned dining room. We look forward to seeing you.” Today an observer, Andrew Flatley, tweets, "Olives in Charlestown closed 'until further notice.' Notices in (papered-over) windows direct inquiries to building owner." Could it be so? The restaurant re-opened after renovations last spring. We've reached out to his reps; stay tuned.
Updated: Here's my photo of the papered-over restaurant, with signs saying: The Premises Is Closed Until Further Notice.
Despite the sluggish weather, massive Bruins loss, and Aaron Hernandez drama, it's been a very good week to dine out around town. If you haven't been reading the Restaurant Hub faithfully (and you should), we've compiled the five things you absolutely need to know about eating out in this town, right now. We'll do it weekly. Are you dining anywhere fun this weekend?FULL ENTRY
The Cronut craze swept the nation at the beginning of the summer, and now there's a new permutation: the Bronut. Yes, the bronut. It's a collaboration between the sinister minds at Union Square Donuts and Griddler's Burgers & Dogs. Imagine: a Griddler's burger patty, topped with a fried egg, encased by a maple-bacon glazed donut. Makes that Dunkin' Donuts donut-bacon sandwich seem tame, really. Fittingly (and fortunately), they're only available on weekends. Try one beginning on July 6 at Griddler's, if you dare. They're $6 apiece.
Rumors swirl that Les Zygomates and sister restaurant Sorriso are being sold by owner Ian Just, who also runs the newly opened Society on High (see the menus here). The chatter has raised questions about the fate of both spots. Les Zygomates Manager Samir Agchariou tells us that no changes are on the immediate horizon for either restaurant, saying that there's been no "formal" news about a sale, just talks. And the bottom line, for fans of both Leather District mainstays, is that neither restaurant will close. "We're not going anywhere," Agchariou tells us.
Michael Schlow's flagship restaurant, Radius, shuts down on Saturday after a 15-year run. Bid adieu with free food after 9 p.m., including Schlow's signature Radius burger (a juicy half-pound patty topped with Vermont cheddar, horseradish, and crispy onions). No tickets or reservations necessary; just swing on by.FULL ENTRY
Not only is Arlington getting a Retro Burger, they're also getting a brand-new Common Ground Bar & Grill. The neighborhood pub is known for local beers, trivia nights, and pub food like deviled eggs and disco fries, plus late hours — a big change for a town like Arlington that used to be dry. (Things are getting more hedonistic over there: Menotomy Grill & Tavern opened a couple weeks ago, and there's often a wait.)FULL ENTRY
If you've had a few too many potent cocktails at the Hawthorne — or maybe you met someone at the bar and need a hotel room fast — the Hotel Commonwealth, upstairs, is offering up $199 rooms. The package comes with morning room service from Eastern Standard, overnight parking, and (this is crucial) late checkout. Book at the Hawthorne's host desk after 10 p.m. High-thread-count sheets help hangovers, right?
What do you get when you combine "Fenway" with "Kenmore"? Well, "Fenmore," of course. Boston Restaurant Talk reports that Fenmore American Bistro will open inside the Hotel Buckminster in Kenmore Square. According to Craigslist posts, the restaurant will be "stylish" and "casual." It will also have to compete with Island Creek Oyster Bar, the Hawthorne, and Eastern Standard just across the street. But the restaurant does seem willing to play ball. The motto: "Fabulous American Cuisine in a casual atmosphere," per their new Facebook page. They even have a fabulous logo! The upcoming restaurant is at 645 Beacon St.
Central Square's excellent Thailand Cafe at 302 Mass Ave. shutters this weekend, says a poster on Chowhound, who reports via a staffer that the restaurant's last day will be Sunday. This is bad news for locals who relied on the spot for spicy, authentic Sichuan (no, not Thai) meals. "Thailand Cafe is an amazing place. The potatoes with hot peppers, the fish with cabbage, the spicy prawns. the bamboo shoots, are all wondrous. I've never had a cold dish, or an under seasoned dish. I've brought many Chinese friends there and they are consistently amazed," laments one Hound. Depressingly (from a food perspective, anyway), it'll be replaced by labs and office buildings, says the Cambridge Chronicle and Boston Restaurant Talk. But there's happy news, too.FULL ENTRY
Attention, romantics who also happen to love beer: Sam Adams sells their limited-edition Brewlywed Ale tomorrow for one day only, complete with on-site wedding ceremonies (yes, wedding ceremonies) at their brewery in Jamaica Plain. Several couples will be married on site, and affable founder Jim Koch will serve as best man. Of course, you don't need to make a major life decision just to enjoy the Belgian ale, which is tropical, floral, sweet, and spicy. Anyone can buy it, so long as you show up early enough.FULL ENTRY
Clover Food Lab launches its Brookline Village location today, and they're celebrating with free sandwiches from 11 a.m. until they run out, so hustle on over. The newest Clover is at 6 Harvard St. Can't get to Brookline? They'll open a Burlington location on June 27. Doesn't this fried falafel sandwich look tempting?
Tim and Bronwyn Wiechmann's Eastern European sausage emporium, Bronwyn, opens its patio this weekend. The patio will have the same menu and beer list, plus a custom pit-smoker where Tim smokes his sausages. It'll be open from 5 p.m. until 10:30 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Read Devra First's early take on the Union Square restaurant right here, and see their meaty menu here. Oh, and plan ahead: We hear that waits have been long.
As we mentioned last week, Nebo has a huge new menu planned for their Atlantic Wharf digs. Try an array of pizzas and seafood delights beginning this weekend at 520 Atlantic Ave., says BRT. As for their former North End digs, well, the Ward 8 cocktail bar will soon move in, from the team behind Ducali and Lucia. As Eater notes, the Ward 8 cocktail was actually invented at Locke-Ober in honor of West End political boss Martin "Mahatma" Lomasney. Who knew?
A rep for Washington, DC's sweetgreen tells us that they'll open their first Boston outpost at 659 Boylston St. on Wednesday, June 26. This is delightful news for Back Bay denizens looking for a healthy lunch fix: They specialize in custom salads, grain bowls, frozen yogurt, and themed fresh pressed raw juices (what they call sweetpress). Raw juices have various virtuous properties, like "Detox" and "Purify." Other ingredients are local, and many are drawn from the nearby Copley Square Farmers Market. On opening day, visitors will pay only what they want, and proceeds will go to the One Fund. The concept launched in 2007, and now there are 17 nationwide, with more to come, including a spot at New York's very of-the-moment NoMad Hotel. Check out the extremely visual, extremely virtuous menu here.
First things first: Sunday night's Northern Alliance dinner at jm Curley isn't cheap. Tickets are $250 apiece. However: The event is for a wonderful cause and the chef lineup is absolutely spectacular. Toro's Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette (currently shuttling between here and New York to open a Manhattan Toro), New York City's much-loved April Bloomfield from The Spotted Pig and The Breslin, and Matt Jennings from Providence's acclaimed Farmstead are among the chefs concocting a ten-course feast for the American Farmland Trust. The Trust bolsters family farmers, gives them access to water and land, and promotes healthy farming practices. Which means better food for us.FULL ENTRY
Jeff Fournier, the force behind the new Waban Kitchen, tells us that he's appointed a chef de cuisine for his seven-year-old Newton flagship, 51 Lincoln. He and new Chef de Cuisine Nate Gibson (who used to be sous chef at Waban) totally reconstructed the menu at the restaurant — though Fournier's signature dishes, watermelon steak salad and rigatoni bolognese, happily remain on the roster. Lots of ingredients (roasted corn & pepper salad, mango & amarillo pepper salsa) come from the restaurant's big rooftop garden. Feast your eyes on the sunny summery menu, ahead.FULL ENTRY
Chelmsford's cult favorite Xian roadside shack will move to downtown Boston, reports a poster on Chowhound. The Globe wrote about Gene's exceptional hand-pulled noodles and flatbreads last summer. Now a new crop of diners can enjoy the tingly chili-and-garlic soaked noodles, not to mention the boundless enthusiasm of owner Gene Wu, who left the corporate world to pursue his passion for cooking. The new restaurant is headed for Downtown Crossing, says Chowhound. Delicious.
The team behind Les Zygomates and Sorriso has quietly launched Society on High at 99 High St., per their Facebook page. Zagat previously reported a very intriguing attribute — free evening parking — but we're also curious about the menus, which include lots of seafood and the oft-attempted, rarely perfected lobster rangoon. Have a look, straight ahead.FULL ENTRY
Just in time for summer, too: The Patch reports that Retro Burger will open at 795 Mass Ave, replacing the old Cakes bakery. Right now, there's a Retro Burger on Cape Cod, but owner Bill Maund, an Arlington native, wants to bring the burgers to Boston. Which is good news for us: The menu looks sinful and fun.FULL ENTRY
Inman Square staple Ole just revamped and expanded their bar (Eater has a nice view of the space). The new 14-seat section is called El Trago, which means "the drink." As for drinks, you'll find unusual choices like tepache, a pineapple refresher commonly sold by Mexican street merchants, and torito, a regional drink made with local Taza chocolate, peanut butter, milk, and rum. (It sounds like a dessert, but apparently it's quite refreshing.) The Ole staff shared their new small plates and cocktail menus with us, ahead. Have a look.FULL ENTRY
The team behind fast-healthy Clover Food Lab adds one more brick-and-mortar restaurant to its growing empire: Zagat reports that they'll open in Kendall Square later on this summer. (Clover opens in Burlington next week.) The newest Clover will be at 10 Cambridge Center — also the entrance to Google. Should we expect a chickpea-inspired Google Doodle in the near future?
A rep for Strega and Strega Waterfront tells us that owner Nick Varano plans to open a "European cafe/pizzeria" adjacent to Strega on Hanover St. We have this statement from Varano: "Nick Varano, owner of The Varano Group, is planning to open a new European cafe/pizzeria concept on Hanover Street, adjacent to Strega North End. As yet unnamed, Varano plans to open late summer." Meanwhile, Strega will open a location in Woburn soon (and, as Eater notes, it will be called Strega Prime). So many Stregas!
An interesting restaurant is headed for Washington Square this fall: Fairstead Kitchen, which the Brookline Tab reports will serve dishes with "Eastern European and classic Israeli and North African spices." Steve Bowman, who used to be sommelier at Menton, is behind the upcoming spot. He'll team up with Andrew Foster, who's worked at Russell House Tavern. Bowman, a Brookline native, tells the Tab that he hopes to help make Brookline a "dining destination." With the soon-to-open Ribelle, the heavily hyped restaurant from Strip T's Tim Maslow, plus tried-and-true destinations like the Fireplace, Publick House, Washington Square Tavern and the Abbey nearby, he's probably making a safe bet. Look for an "early fall" opening, if all goes according to plan. It's at 1704 Beacon St., in the old Umami space. Hat tip to BRT for the heads-up on this news!
Clover, run by MIT grad Ayr Muir, started in 2008 as a health-conscious fast food truck selling things like chickpea fritters and soy BLTs. Now Clover has legions of fans, a social media presence that rivals some celebrities, and brick-and-mortar locations scattered throughout town — and, at last, in the suburbs.FULL ENTRY
The other day we mentioned that staff from Barbara Lynch's four-star restaurant, Menton, were heading across the river to management and chef positions at Posto in Davis Square. What does that mean for you? Completely new dishes to try, including lamb gnocchi, rabbit pappardelle, and veal agnolotti. We've got the first look at the revamped menu, available for your dining pleasure starting Monday. Strategize your orders — and note that the Posto burger is available by request only. You heard it here first!FULL ENTRY
A rep for El Centro, the popular South End restaurant, confirms some spicy news: A Brookline location, called El Centro Dos, will open this weekend. Owner Allan Rodriguez, who grew up in Sonora, says that "the Boston area has a lot of 'quote un-quote' authentic Mexican restaurants, but they aren’t the type of restaurants you find in Mexico." Fighting words! Almost all of the recipes, and the restaurant's artwork, have been sourced from his many trips to Mexico. You can get a feel for the types of dishes at the Brookline spot by checking out the current South End menu, but it's important to note that this location, ahem, has a full bar. To that end, expect a rotating selection of sangrias, spicy margaritas, and micheladas. El Centro Dos is at 236 Washington St., Brookline.
Update: A rep tells us that opening plans have been slightly delayed; look for an opening on or around June 21.
Time to change your lunch plans, Fort Pointers: Today's the Taste of Fort Point, where you can sample dishes from some of the neighborhood's newer and well-loved restaurants. And if the promise of free food samples and dishes from places like Jody Adams's Trade and Joanne Chang's Flour Bakery isn't enough, well, there's also live music. Sandwiches from Sportello? Treats from Lucky's Lounge? It might even be worth the trek from Downtown Crossing. The lineup is straight ahead.FULL ENTRY
A South End chef? In Sudbury? Yep, it's true. As we mentioned yesterday, chef Evan Deluty from the South End's Stella has plans in the works to launch an Italian restaurant there next month. The restaurant, 29 Sudbury, is a collaboration with WAAF personality Greg Hill. He joins chefs like Jason Bond (Concord's upcoming Bondir) and Carolyn Johnson (Concord's 80 Thoreau) who are seeing big possibilities in the western suburbs. (Their website says it all: "No more driving to Boston for a legit fine dining experience.") No idea if it's "legit" or not (we're hoping so, given Deluty's talent), but we do have the first look at the opening menu. Feast your eyes here, and we'll keep you posted on a formal launch date.FULL ENTRY
Kendall Square's West Bridge is home to Matthew Gaudet, who made headlines with a recent Food & Wine Best New Chef win. (The magazine hailed his "compelling twists on regional New England cooking.") To celebrate, he's running a Chef’s Table tasting menu every Wednesday evening, available for 10 lucky diners. The eight-course menu spotlights some of Gaudet's favorite dishes, and it also offers the chance to sample some of his new experiments.FULL ENTRY
Charlestown's Tavern on the Water, which closed last fall, will be replaced by Pier 6. Boston Restaurant Talk reports that the upcoming restaurant is owned by the team behind Mija Cantina and Tequila Bar in Faneuil Hall. And those of us who bemoan the lack of decent waterfront dining here in town might have reason to smile: A prominent chef is at the helm. Greg Reeves, who earned fans cooking at Central Square's Green Street Grill, will head up the kitchen. Expect "American fare and seafood," says BRT, and a possible July opening — still plenty of time to enjoy the warm-weather scenery.
Happy news, fro-yo fans: The yogurt explosion shows absolutely no sign of melting. In fact, a spokesperson for Pinkberry tells us that the Los Angeles-based brand will launch two new locations by next month, if all goes according to plan. The new outposts will be in Davis Square and the North End.FULL ENTRY
If you've ever stood in line for an hour just for one of Flour Bakery's sticky buns, take note: Chef Joanne Chang signs copies of her new cookbook, Flour, Too, tonight at KitchenWares by Blackstones at 215 Newbury St.—and she'll reveal the secrets behind some of her best-loved recipes.
The executive sous chef at one of the city's swankiest restaurants is heading to Posto in Davis Square. A rep for Posto tells us that Chef Wyatt Macguire, once the executive sous chef at Barbara Lynch's four-star Menton, is now executive chef at Posto. Meanwhile, the Alpine Restaurant Group (which runs Posto and sister restaurant, Davis Square's Painted Burro) has hired Menton's former general manager Alec Riveros as operations director. Does this mean that the date-night-ish Posto is taking a turn for the posh?FULL ENTRY
That's what wacky cult-motoring news site Jalopnik thinks. They rank our Fugu truck alongside such curiosities as Chicago's Tamale Spaceship and Washington's Randy Radish. Fugu specializes in Asian street food, but it doesn't sell the oft-deadly, rare Japanese pufferfish for which it's named. (Their pork belly steamed buns are luscious, though.) Thanks to writer MC Slim JB for the tip, and see the full, sort-of-tempting list here. Lunchtime!
Once upon a time, Arlington was a dry town. Today it welcomes its very own tavern, perched conveniently on the Cambridge line at 25 Mass Ave. Menotomy Grill & Tavern is helmed by longtime Chez Henri chef Mark Thompson and restaurateur Billy Lyons. (Another owner is Paul Krepelka, who once made headlines for dating Jenny McCarthy.) The 150-seat restaurant, complete with a summertime patio and a cozy winter fireplace, has a people-pleasing menu that skips across various cuisines (and, crucially, includes fried pickles). Check it out ahead, and consider making a pitstop next time you're simmering in traffic on the Alewife Brook Parkway.FULL ENTRY
Carb lovers rejoice: We hear that popular enoteca Nebo plans a relaunch "by late June," per a rep, at 520 Atlantic Ave. Sisters Carla and Christine Pallotta shuttered their original North End location in March in favor of a bigger space, saddening TD Garden habitues who relied on the restaurant for post-game pizza. Their loss is the Greenway's gain: The sisters plan to expand the menu thanks to a larger kitchen, and we've got a peek at a few of their new dishes ahead.FULL ENTRY
Union Square's latest restaurant addition, Bronwyn, is all set to open today, May 15. We got a chance to take an exclusive first look at the menu, focusing on central and eastern European fare. Note: The names of the entrees are fun to say. You'll see.
Here is what you need to know about the menu:
Sausage. There is a section dedicated to "house-made wurst," or what we call sausage. There are six different choices, including "Zungenblutwurst," which is described as blood, tongue, and pork.
Potatoes. If you're a fan of the starchy goodness, then you'll find plenty of options here. "Mohnnudeln," for example, consists of potato and poppy noodles, salmon gravlax, and creme fraiche.
Doughnut. A dessert item is described as a lemon raspberry doughnut with chocolate sauce, called "Berliner." Its competition? The German chocolate cake, of course.
Pretzel. Or as Bronwyn says, "Bretzel." Grub Street reported chef Tim Wiechmann's attempt to perfect the bread concoction (which comes with roasted apple mustard). If you're not satisfied, oat-honey challah is also available.
Don't forget, there will be a biergarten open for the summer, with a promise of beer (35 different pilsners, lagers, and more offered). Half of the menu comprises of their extensive beer list, wine, and cocktail menu, all with the flavors of central and Eastern Europe.
What do you think about the menu? Do you think the restaurant will fit in with Union Square's bustling nightlife scene? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Bronwyn is located at 255 Washington St., Somerville. It is slated to open on May 15.
More craft beers are coming to Newton Corner, it appears. Hopster’s Brew and Boards, if its website and Facebook page are to be trusted, will be at 292 Centre Street, and will be a place to learn about the making of craft beers, and, we assume, to perhaps sample a few.
They are also looking for a head brewer, according to a job posting: “We are opening a state of the art community brewery in Newton Corner, MA where members of the public can come brew and bottle their own hand crafted beer. This upscale brewery will consist of 10 – 20 gallon kettles and patrons will be able to brew from a selection of 30 recipes from standard ales to more extreme hand crafted ales.” When they’ll open is not clear. We’ll keep you posted.
Hampshire House Corporation, the company that runs Hampshire House, 75 Chestnut, 75 on Liberty Wharf, Cheers Beacon Hill, and Cheers Faneuil Hall, plan to add yet another eatery to their restaurant empire as long as the plan gets official approval from the city, Eater reports.
The proposed restaurant, 75 on Cambridge, which would be located on the former site of Grampy’s gas station (209 Cambridge St.), could open in the fall of 2014, seating between 120 and 130 people, according to The Beacon Hill Times.
The project, spearheaded by Hampshire House owner Thomas A. Kershaw, must be heard and approved by the Beacon Civic Association (BHCA) Zoning and Licensing Committee for the city-permitting process to begin. We'll have to wait for more news on this before we know the restaurant's definite future.
What do you think? Would this be a good addition to Boston's culinary scene? Or do you not approve?
Courtesy Bronwyn Restaurant
Union Square already has fancy cocktails, delicious donuts, fine dining, and craft beers. All it was missing was a destination for sausage, pretzel, and Pilsner fans.
Joining a string of buzzworthy hot spots in Somerville's Union Square is Bronwyn, a restaurant and bar from the owners of T.W. Foods in Cambridge.
Husband-and-wife duo Tim and Bronwyn Wiechmann own the restaurant, and Tim is the restaurant's chef. They plan to pay homage to their German roots by serving food and drink inspired from the region, according to a press release. Menu items include Bavarian sausages, riesling sauerkraut, and foie gras.
This new spot has the potential of joining the already flourishing nightlife scene of Union Square. It plans to offer Eastern and Central European beers, but local beer fans don't fret -- American beers that are brewed in the European style will also be available. Craft cocktails, wines from central Europe, and schnapps will also make up the drink menu.
The decor will include velvet seating and iron chandeliers (belonging to Wiechmann's family). Oh, and, in true European style, there will also be a biergarten open from 5 p.m. to midnight, weather permitting.
While Bronwyn opens May 15, you can start making reservations on May 11. 255 Washington St., Somerville, www.bronwynrestaurant.com