Gone but not forgotten: Hell Night is back to scorch your taste buds

East Coast Grill’s spice-laden event will return for two nights only.

Hell Night at East Coast Grill
A patron and semi-official mascot of Hell Night calling himself "Dr. Pepper" works the crowd at the East Coast Grill during its final Hell Night. –Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

East Coast Grill might be long gone — the seafood and barbecue restaurant in Inman Square closed up shop in December 2017 — but memories of its infamous Hell Night still linger on the tongues of those who dared try its fiery dishes. In October, the event is making a comeback for two nights only. Can you handle the heat? 

East Coast Grill alum chef Jason Lord (Season to Taste Catering) and chef Paul Turano (Cook Restaurants) will bring back Hell Night on October 1 and October 2 at Cook Needham from 5 p.m.–10 p.m. The revival has been given the seal of approval from its originator, chef Chris Schlesinger, who opened East Coast Grill in 1985.


“Hell Night at East Coast Grill was a Boston institution,” said Schlesinger in a press release. “It’s great to see some of the alumni of ECG and other restaurants keeping it alive.”

So what’s on the menu — dubbed “Hell Night Never Say Die #339” — at this reincarnation? Lord and Turano will serve original Hell Night dishes and new creations à la carte, including “supa’ hot” peel and eat shrimp, phaal curry cauliflower tacos, sesame seared tuna, and pepper grilled skirt steak. Dishes are given ‘bomb’ ratings depending on how hot they are. Want to start off slow? Order the ceviche with orange, jicama, and “flaming” tortilla chips, an easy two bombs. Looking to prove your pepper prowess? The Kali Ma braised lamb vindaloo with basmati rice, mango-chili chutney, honey yogurt, and naan comes in at a whopping six bombs. Guests can also purchase glasses of milk for $10 (ah, sweet relief!), or buy the chefs and kitchen staff a six pack of beer during service.

“This is just going to be a really fun night for us as chefs, the entire restaurant team and for all the customers; we’re excited to be hosting it and it’s always great when two chefs get in the kitchen together,” said Turano.


Hell Night has its fervent fans, so those interested in subjecting their taste buds to Lord and Turano’s scorching dishes should make reservations by calling Cook Needham at 781-400-5927. 

Hell Night at Cook Needham; 109 Chapel St., Needham; October 1 and October 2 from 5 p.m.–10 p.m.; cookneedham.com 

Update: This article has been updated to reflect the addition of a second night, October 2.