Thursday, December 31, 2009

Littlenecks Bar and Grill in Weymouth Has Apparently Closed

A little more than two months after it opened, it looks like a seafood restaurant in South Weymouth has closed its doors. According to the Patriot Ledger, Littlenecks Bar and Grill on Main Street apparently shut down at the end of New Year's Eve because the restaurant did not have its food and liquor licenses renewed by the town for 2010. It is not known at this time whether there is a chance their licenses may be renewed in the future.

Littlenecks Bar and Grill has featured a mix of local seafood and seafood imported from around the world since opening in October near the site of the old South Weymouth Naval Air Station and the South Shore Hospital. A sushi bar was also on the premises

Thanks to one of our readers for emailing us about this story.

For more information on the apparent closing of Littlenecks Bar and Grill in Weymouth, please go to the Patriot Ledger link below:

Littleneck Bar and Grill loses licenses

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Our Favorite Twitter Pages of 2009

The year 2009 was certainly a big one for Twitter, as the social networking site seemed to explode in popularity. Part of this is because Twitter is very simple to use, and it is an ideal utility for getting instant information on everything from news stories to baseball trades to store specials to, well, just about anything you can think of.

The restaurant industry has embraced Twitter as well; some uses include the postings of nightly specials at dining spots, the mentioning of various culinary events, the openings or closings of restaurants, and so much more. And because we are heavily involved in the Boston and New England restaurant scene (and heavy users of Twitter--we can be found at http://twitter.com/hiddenboston, by the way), the site is one that we go to on a daily basis, not just to post, but to scan the pages of restaurants, food writers, newspapers, etc.

So which Twitter pages have been our favorites over the past year? Well, there are a lot of good ones from which to choose, but here are a few of our top picks for 2009 (in no particular order):

Citysearch Boston (Twitter page: http://twitter.com/CitysearchBOS)
Often funny and always interesting, the Citysearch page for Boston has a ton of information on the Boston restaurant scene, typically posting several updates each day. This is one page that we check nearly every day.

Eat Boston (Twitter page: http://twitter.com/eatboston)
Another page that we look at nearly constantly, Eat Boston is similar in some ways to Citysearch Boston, and also can be a great resource for special deals at restaurants, interesting events being held, etc. And like Citysearch, Eat Boston is always finding restaurants that have recently joined the Twitter site.

MC Slim JB (Twitter page: http://twitter.com/mcslimjb)
A Boston-based food/drinks writer and restaurant critic, MC Slim JB always has attention-grabbing posts, including personal (and often hilarious) comments about the Boston restaurant scene and links to recent reviews. And since MC constantly seems to be looking for hidden gems in the area, this page is an incredibly valuable resource for us.

Myers and Chang (Twitter page: http://twitter.com/MyersAndChang)
All restaurants should take a cue from Myers and Chang; in our opinion, their Twitter page stands at the top of the heap, mainly because they do everything from post daily specials to interact with customers to LISTEN to customers, which goes a long way toward their becoming an even better restaurant. This is a Twitter page with a real personal touch, and one that is always a joy to read.

Visiting New England (Twitter page: http://twitter.com/NewEnglandInfo)
Not strictly a restaurant site, Visiting New England is nevertheless one we go to quite often, as it discusses a lot of dining spots outside of Boston proper that we aren't always familiar with. Diners, classic New England restaurants, and family-friendly spots are often talked about on their Twitter page, which is a particularly good one if you are also looking for places to stay.

Boston Tweet (Twitter page: http://twitter.com/BostonTweet)
Another page that goes well beyond the Boston dining scene, Boston Tweet is important to us in part because it has a seemingly endless amount of information on the city, with tons of info on restaurant events, and restaurants in general. And it has a personal touch, with lots of conversing going on between the page's owner and others.

Grub Street Boston (Twitter page: http://twitter.com/grubStreetBOS)
For the latest on Boston restaurant news (openings, closings, etc.), Grub Street Boston is tough to beat. We are always checking this page (and their site) to learn about changes within the Boston restaurant scene. A must for anyone looking for a news-based page.

There are so many other Twitter pages that we frequent (including Boston Globe food writer Devra First at http://twitter.com/GlobeDevraFirst, local restaurant guide North Shore Dish at http://twitter.com/NorthShoreDish, and online news site Universal Hub at http://twitter.com/universalhub) that we could go on and on, but at least this gives you a few Twitter pages that we consider of great importance when it comes to Boston-area restaurants.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

News Elsewhere: Tavern On The Green in Manhattan Is Closing

A high-end Manhattan restaurant that was once the highest grossing dining spot in the entire United States is shutting its doors this week.

According to the Associated Press, NPR, and a number of other sources, Tavern on the Green in the Upper West Side of New York City will be serving its last meal tomorrow (New Year's Eve) after being in business since the mid-1930s. Tavern on the Green, which filed for bankruptcy in September, had been earning nearly $40 million and serving more than 700,000 meals per year as recently as three years ago, according to the NPR/Associated Press article.

It is possible that a restaurant may be reopening as early as March in the Tavern on the Green Space, which lies at the western edge of Central Park near W 66th Street and just east of Lincoln Center. According to the article, the owner of the Loeb Boathouse restaurant (which overlooks a lake in the heart of Central Park) had been awarded a 20-year license on the space, which is owned by the city of New York, during the summer. The name of the restaurant could remain Tavern on the Green, depending on a Manhattan federal judge's decision in January that centers around an intellectual property/trademark issue. If the judge rules against the city, the new restaurant may be named Tavern in the Park.

For more information on the closing of Tavern on the Green, please go to the NPR link below:

NY's Tavern On The Green Restaurant Bites The Dust

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dorchester-Milton Restaurant Week Coming January 17 to January 31, 2010

Another restaurant week is coming to the Boston area, this one centered around both a Boston neighborhood and a southern suburb of the city. Dorchester-Milton Restaurant Week will be held from January 17 to January 31 (not including Fridays and Saturdays--January 22-23 and January 29-30), with eight restaurants in Milton and Dorchester featuring three-course meals for $30.10, as well as their regular menus.

The restaurants taking part in Dorchester-Milton Restaurant Week are 88 Wharf and Abby Park in Milton, and 224 Boston Street, Ashmont Grill, Blarney Stone, dbar, Ledge, and Tavolo in Dorchester.

For more information on Dorchester-Milton Restaurant Week, please go to the BostonChefs.com link below.

Dorchester-Milton Restaurant Week

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Arbri Cafe Opens in Roslindale

An Albanian restaurant has just opened in the Roslindale section of Boston, moving into the spot that used to house another Albanian eatery before becoming a comfort food restaurant. According to Universal Hub and several other sources, Arbri Cafe recently opened its doors on Belgrade Avenue where the Boston Brickhouse was, and before that, Cafe Apollonia. In addition to Albanian fare, Arbri Cafe is also offering Greek and Italian dishes, Universal Hub says.

A poster on the Yelp site mentions that Arbri Cafe does not have a liquor license, but that they do allow diners to bring their own bottles; it is probably best to call ahead in case this changes.

As soon as we receive more information on this restaurant (menu, website, hours, etc.), we will post an update here.

The address for this new Albanian restaurant in Roslindale is: Arbri Cafe, 146 Belgrade Avenue, Roslindale, MA, 02131. The phone number is (617) 323-0276.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

A Couple of Hot Pot Mysteries

It appears that one or two new Asian hot pot places may be coming to Boston over the coming weeks and months, but there appears to be very little information in each case. So what are these hot pot places that may be coming to the city? Read on....

1) As many folks know, Little Q Hot Pot in Quincy Center has faced closure for what seems to be a very long time now, with construction of the Quincy Center Concourse apparently forcing the Asian restaurant out of its current home in the now mostly empty Quincy Fair Mall on Hancock Street. According to an article in the Patriot Ledger, Little Q could be out as early as January or as late as March, but either way, it appears that they will indeed be leaving Quincy Center, as the article also mentions that Little Q will be looking to move to a new location in Boston. But where exactly in Boston? We haven't been able to find out as of yet, but as soon as we do, we hope to post the updated information here.
[December 31 update: According to an article in the Patriot Ledger, Little Q Hot Pot will be leaving its Quincy location by January 15. The article also mentions that the restaurant's attorney said Little Q wasn’t ready to announce a new location yet. (Thanks to Peter, one of our Facebook fans, for letting us know about this.)]
[April 28 update: Little Q Hot Pot is going to be moving to East Arlington.]

2) A popular dim sum spot in Chinatown that has been around for a long time looks like it may be replaced by a new hot pot place, based on a recent post on the EveryBlock Boston site. On one of their pages in the business licenses section, the site mentions that the Hot Pot Buffet may be coming to 70-72 Beach Street, which is the same address as Imperial Seafood. And an October article in the Boston Globe mentions that a couple of investors have been looking at this spot. So who are the investors and when might this restaurant open? Well, we're still trying to find out, so again, look for updates here at some point. [April 28 update: Hot Pot Buffet is now open in the old Imperial Seafood spot.]

So we have a hot pot restaurant possibly moving from Quincy to an undisclosed location in Boston, and we have another hot pot restaurant with a name and a location, but little other information on it. The bottom line is, lovers of this Asian style of cooking should have reason to rejoice, as there may indeed be more hot pot options in Boston fairly soon.

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Aristo Cafe Opens in the Financial District of Boston

A new European-style cafe recently opened in downtown Boston, offering breakfast, lunch, and (an early) dinner to folks in and around the northern edge of the Financial District near Quincy Market and Government Center. According to the restaurant's website, Aristo Cafe is a locally owned and operated eatery at the corner of State Street and Merchants Row (where Finagle-a-Bagel used to be) that features soups, salads, and hot and cold sandwiches. A few of the handcrafted sandwiches offered include chicken florentine, egg salad, smoked salmon, turkey and brie, prosciutto with melon, and ham and gruyere. The restaurant also has several breakfast sandwiches that can be ordered on ciabatta bread or a croissant. Prices for all items at Aristo Cafe are under $10.

Aristo Cafe opens for business at 6:30 AM on weekdays, 8:00 AM on Saturdays, and 9:00 AM on Sundays. The address is: Aristo Cafe, 92 State Street, Boston, MA, 02109. The phone number is (617) 391-0478. And the website is at: http://aristocafeboston.com/

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Mick Morgan's Opens in Newton

A new Irish pub and restaurant has opened in Newton, moving into the spot where a Mexican chain used to have a location. Mick Morgan's opened its doors over the past week or so on Needham Street in the Newton Upper Falls section of the city, replacing Acapulco's, which has moved down the road into the former Ground Round space on First Street in Needham. Mick Morgan's looks to have a menu featuring pub grub as well as Irish and American fare, including soups, salads, sandwiches, and a variety of entrees.

The address for this new Irish pub in Newton Upper Falls is: Mick Morgan's, 118 Needham Street, Newton, MA, 02464. The phone number is (617) 795-0136. And the website is at: http://www.mickmorgans.com/

Thanks to posters on the Chowhound site for bringing this restaurant to our attention.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Latest Review: Fiorella's, Newton

photo of Fiorella's, Newton, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for an Italian restaurant in Newton called Fiorella's. Located in a semi-industrial section of the city across from a cemetery near the Watertown and Waltham borders, Fiorella's seems to be in a rather unlikely spot for a restaurant. The inside of the place is centered around a vast open kitchen that includes a wood-fired oven, with the main dining area set off mostly to the right of the kitchen. Fiorella's features mainly Southern Italian food, with a number of red sauce dishes, and it also offers wood-fired pizza from the brick oven. To read more about Fiorella's in Newton, please click on the link above.

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New Restaurants North and South of Boston: Yella, Cibo Matto Caffe

A couple of restaurants have recently opened north and south of Boston over the past month or so, with one featuring Lebanese cuisine and the other offering Italian fare.

Yella opened in the downtown area of Andover in mid-November, serving a variety of Mediterranean dishes, with an emphasis on Lebanese food. According to the Andover Townsman, Yella, which moved into the spot where the French restaurant Cassis used to be, is open for lunch and dinner, with a brunch featured on Sundays. The article mentions that one of owners of the restaurant used to work at The Catered Affair, a local full-service caterer and event designer that has included clients such as First Lady Barbara Bush and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry. The address for Yella is 16 Post Office Avenue in Andover.

Cibo Matto Caffe opened on Route 106 in Mansfield where Bertucci's used to be (between Route 140 and the town center) in late November, bringing to the community an Italian restaurant that, according to a recent Wicked Local article, is "sophisticated, yet unstuffy." The menu at Cibo Matto Caffe features such dishes as gorgonzola polenta cake, a ham and cheese panino, wild porcini mushroom ravioli, macaroni and cheese, veal picatta, brick oven roasted Atlantic salmon, steak frites, and a variety of pizzas. The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. The address for Cibo Matto Caffe is 254 Chauncy Street (Route 106) in Mansfield.

Thanks to TableCritic and Chowhound for bringing these two restaurants to our attention.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chang Feng in Brockton Closes, Is Replaced by Beijing Kitchen

A popular Chinese restaurant in Brockton that was in business for a quarter century has closed, with a new Chinese eatery moving into the spot. According to The Enterprise of Brockton, the owners of Chang Feng have decided to retire, closing their Belmont Street restaurant this fall. Chang Feng had a big local following in this old industrial city south of Boston, and was known as a friendly spot that served good food at reasonable prices.

A new restaurant called Beijing Kitchen has moved into the former Chang Feng space in November, featuring a variety of Szechuan and Mandarin fare. Beijing Kitchen is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and also does catering.

The address for Beijing Kitchen (and the now-closed Chang Feng) is 379 Belmont Street (Route 123) in Brockton. The phone number for the new restaurant is (508) 587-5993. And the website is at: http://beijing-kitchen.com/

For more information on the closing of Chang Feng and the opening of Beijing Kitchen in Brockton, please go to The Enterprise link below:

Brockton's Chang Feng restaurant to close

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Monday, December 21, 2009

House of Chang Opens in Huron Village, Cambridge

A new Chinese restaurant recently opened in the Huron Village neighborhood of Cambridge, replacing another Chinese restaurant that had been in existence for decades. House of Chang opened in November on Concord Avenue in this mostly residential section of the city, replacing Lucky Garden, a Chinese-American spot that closed over the summer.

According to the restaurant's website and a Boston Globe article, House of Chang is run by the same family that has previously owned Changsho on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge and a couple of other restaurants in Lexington and Newton. The dining spot features mostly Chinese-American fare, including crab rangoon, beef teriyaki, General Gau's chicken, Monogolian beef, sweet and sour fish, pork with spicy black bean sauce, chow foon, and chop suey. According to the Globe article, liquor is not available at House of Chang.

Hours for House of Chang are 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM Sunday to Thursday and 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. The address is: House of Chang, 282 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02138. The phone number is (617) 547-9888. And the website is at: http://www.houseofchangcambridge.com/

For a review of House of Chang, please go to the Boston Globe link below:

House of Chang a neighborly spot in Cambridge

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Dave and Buster's Is Opening in Braintree

A chain of restaurants and video game arcades may be opening its first location in Massachusetts next year if all goes as planned. According to the Patriot Ledger, Dave & Buster's is hoping to open in the former Circuit City structure at 250 Granite Street in the South Shore Plaza area of Braintree. The article mentions that ground might be broken on the new Dave & Buster's in March of 2010, with a possible opening later in the year.

[June 18, 2010 update: According to the South Shore Chamber of Commerce blog, Dave & Buster's is one step closer to opening in Braintree, as the Town Council has voted for the allowing of the additional amusement game devices that the chain wishes to have at the new location. The article mentions that Dave & Buster's still needs to gain local permits before they can open in the South Shore Plaza area.]

[September 16, 2010 update: According to The Braintree Forum and Wicked Local, the Braintree planning board has still not come to a decision on Dave & Buster's, even after six hearings. The hearing that was held on September 13 looks like it will resume on October 4.]

[October 5, 2010 update: A recent article from The Braintree Forum and Wicked Local mentions that Dave & Buster's has officially gained approval to open in Braintree.]

[August 18, 2011 update: More than a year and a half after first reporting on the place, it appears that Dave & Buster's in Braintree now has an approximate opening time. According to The Patriot Ledger, construction is currently underway on the space, and it is looking to open sometime in early December.]

[November 7, 2011 update: According to The Boston Herald, the new Dave & Buster's in Braintree is planning to open on Monday, December 12. Thanks to Grub Street Boston for bringing this to our attention.]

[December 8, 2011 update: According to Schneider Associates, the new Dave & Buster's in Braintree is officially open, having opened a few days earlier than expected.]

Dave & Buster's, which currently only has one location in New England (Providence, RI), features mainly traditional American fare and comfort food, including burgers, cheesesteak, ribs, BBQ chicken, macaroni and cheese, fish and chips, and teriyaki sirloin. The video game arcades within the restaurants are family-friendly, though geared a bit more toward adults than children, with skee-ball, super trivia, Donkey Kong, Ghost Squad, and much more.

To read more about the opening of Dave & Buster's in Braintree, please go to the Patriot Ledger article below:

Dave & Buster's looks to open in Braintree in 2010

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Jae's Cafe in Brookline to Become Buddachen

An Asian restaurant in Brookline that has been around for nearly a decade is closing its doors in January, with the owner re-opening a slightly different Asian spot with a new name possibly by March. According to a blog entry in Wicked Local/The Brookline TAB, Jae's Cafe on Beacon Street (just east of Coolidge Corner) will be shutting down next month after being in existence since 2000. It will be making way for what appears to be an Asian-fusion restaurant called Buddachen, which looks to include New York-style Chinese fare on its menu, according to the article.

Jae's Cafe, which features Korean, Japanese, Thai, and other Asian cuisine, currently has two locations in the Boston area, with the other Jae's being on Columbus Avenue in the South End of Boston. It is unsure what the status of Jae's in the South End is, but the Brookline TAB article does mention that Jae's Inn, a lodging and dining spot in North Adams connected with both Jae's restaurants, will be closing over the coming days.

[February 17 update: Jae's Cafe is now closed. The new restaurant, Buddachen, has a website up and running and a note on the site mentions that it will be open in March. The menu shows a variety of food items, including hot pot, Asian soup, sushi, and chicken, beef, vegetable, noodle, and rice entrees. The website address for Buddhachen is: http://buddachen.com/]

[March 9 update: A phone call placed to the restaurant indicates that Buddachen is now open for business.]

The address for Buddachen is: Buddachen, 1223 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA, 02446. The phone number is (617) 739-0000.

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Chowda Day Coming to Legal Sea Foods

To celebrate their 60th birthday (and to honor National Soup Month), Legal Sea Foods is going to make Tuesday, January 20, 2010 "Chowda Day," with all locations of the popular seafood restaurant (except airport locations) offering cups of clam chowder for 60 cents with the purchase of any entree.

Legal Sea Foods started out in 1950, opening a fish market on Hampshire Street in the Inman Square section of Cambridge. Today, the Boston-based chain has more than 30 restaurants along the East Coast, with more than half of them in Eastern Massachusetts.

Thanks to the Regan Communications Group for informing us of the upcoming Chowda Day at Legal Sea Foods.

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Best Boston-Area Restaurants of 2009 Has Just Been Posted to Boston's Hidden Restaurants

A quick note that our "Best Little-Known Boston Restaurants of 2009" page has just been posted to the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site. This is the fifth "best of" list that we have done for the site, and perhaps the most extensive, with a few new categories added (including "best cafe" and "best diner").

If you would like to see our picks, please go to Best Boston Restaurants of 2009 to read about some places that we consider the best of the best from the past year.

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Salvatore's Restaurant Is Opening in Medford Square

An upscale Italian restaurant that is part of a rapidly-growing local chain of dining spots is looking to open in the downtown area of Medford. According to the Sal's Pizza website, Salvatore's Restaurant will be opening on High Street, just west of the heart of Medford Square. This will be the third location of Salvatore's, with others being in the Seaport District of Boston and along the Merrimack River in Lawrence.

Salvatore's features a mix of Northern and Southern Italian dishes such as grilled swordfish, risotto, chicken parmesan, veal valdostana, pork chops and vinegar peppers, pizza, and haddock florentine. It is the most upscale restaurant in the chain, which includes a number of Sal's Pizza locations scattered mostly through Eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, and Mary's Pasta and Sandwiches, which has locations in Amesbury, Chelmsford, and Salem, NH.

There appears to be no set opening date for Salvatore's in Medford; as we find out more, we will post updates here.

[October 18 update: According to several sources, including Chowhound and the Salvatore's Boston Facebook page, the new Salvatore's in Medford is now open.]

The address for this new Italian dining spot in Medford Square is: Salvatore's Restaurant, 55 High Street, Medford, MA, 02155. The website for the restaurant chain can be found at: http://www.sals-pizza.com/

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Update: Prose in Arlington May Not Be Closing After All

[UPDATE: An article on the Grub Street Boston site indicates that Prose may not be closing after all, at least not for the time being. According to the article, a couple of customers contributed money so that the restaurant could renew licenses for 2010. The full Grub Street article can be found here: Prose Isn't Going Anywhere Just Yet]

[Here is the original article from us:]

It appears that an eclectic upscale restaurant just east of Arlington Center will soon be shutting its doors. According to a note on the Chowhound site that was put up by a veteran poster, Prose is apparently going to close down at the end of this month after being in business for nearly 15 years. The tiny Mass. Ave. restaurant looks to be closing due to difficulties in meeting costs, according to the note. A New Year's Eve Beer Pairing Dinner Party will be held on Prose's last day.

Prose has been known in part for its personalized seasonal menu that has featured freshly-made dishes such as prime rib, spaetzle, roasted sea bass, curried chicken, short ribs, flan, and much more. The restaurant has also been involved in home catering.

The address for this soon-to-close restaurant in Arlington is: Prose, 352 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA, 02474. The phone number is (781) 648-2800.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Latest Review: 88 Wharf, Milton

photo of 88 Wharf, Milton, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for 88 Wharf, a New American restaurant in the Milton Landing section of Milton. Located on the ground floor of a condominium development along the Neponset River just off the main road in Milton Village, 88 Wharf is set in a quiet and beautiful spot just minutes from the Southeast Expressway. The restaurant has an elegant dining room as well as a bar area, and during the warmer months, an outdoor patio overlooking the river. The food at 88 Wharf mostly leans toward upscale American food and gastropub-style fare, and the drink list includes a variety of martinis and other cocktails. To read more about 88 Wharf in Milton, please click on the link above.

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Bisuteki Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar Is Open Once Again in Cambridge

Nearly three years after they closed, Bisuteki Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar has opened back up on Memorial Drive in Cambridge. Formerly located within the old Radisson Hotel (and one floor below the now-closed Greek restaurant Dionysos), Bisuteki recently opened in the same--albeit renovated--location within what is now a Courtyard by Marriott. The menu at Bisuteki has new items as well as old favorites, with sushi, hibachi dinners, and noodle dishes making up most of the menu, along with a variety of appetizers.

Bisuteki is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, with hours being 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM Monday through Thursday, 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays, and 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Sundays.

The address for this recently reopened Japanese restaurant is: Bisuteki Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, 777 Memorial Drive (Courtyard by Marriott), Cambridge, MA 02139. The main phone number for the hotel is (617) 492-7777. And the website for the restaurant is at: http://www.bisutekicambridge.com/

Thanks to both Thrillist and Grub Street Boston for letting us know about the reopening of Bisuteki.

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McDonald's Will Be Offering Free Wireless Internet Starting in January 2010

The world's largest fast food chain will soon be offering free Wi-Fi Internet access.

According to the Wall Street Journal and several other sources, McDonald's is going to get rid of the present fee it had been charging diners for Internet access in most of its locations across the United States and will start offering free Internet access beginning in the middle of January. AT&T, Inc., is partnering with McDonald's to help bring the free Wi-Fi to the hamburger chain. Currently, the fee for Wi-Fi access at McDonald's is $2.95 for two hours, according to the Wall Street Journal.

McDonald's has more than 30,000 restaurants worldwide (including locations all over the Boston area), serving nearly 60 million people per day, according to its website. Most of the restaurants are locally owned and operated.

For more information on the offering of free wireless Internet to McDonald's customers starting in January, please go to the Wall Street Journal link below:

McDonald's to Offer Free Wireless Internet

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Comcast Offering "The French Chef" Episodes for Free Through January 4, 2010

Fans of Julia Child may be interested to know that Comcast has brought a number of "The French Chef" episodes to their On Demand Service. Through a partnership With WGBH, the cable company will be offering more than 20 episodes of this public television series for free through January 4, 2010. Viewers are also able to watch the critically acclaimed movie "Julie and Julia" through the On Demand service.

Julia's Child's "The French Chef" series first premiered in 1963 and lasted for 10 years. The series began two years after the release of her now-famous book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," which is the centerpiece of the movie "Julie and Julia," a movie that was first shown in theaters during the summer.

For more information on "The French Chef" (including the purchasing of videos), please go to the WGBH link below:


The French Chef with Julia Child


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Blue Asia Cafe Opening in Allston

A new Asian restaurant is going to be opening in Allston, moving into a spot where an offbeat clothing, fashion, and art store used to be. Blue Asia Cafe will be opening on Brighton Avenue just east of the Harvard Avenue intersection, taking over the space that was formerly home to L.A.B., which closed recently after being in business since early 2007. The restaurant looks to be a self-service lunch and dinner dining spot that includes Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean fare, with menu items including herbal ginseng chicken soup, homemade dumplings, chilled seaweed with garlic, sweet sausage over rice, beef bulgogi, eel bibimbab, rice bowls, and ramen noodles. Prices look to be under $10 for nearly all dishes. [Ed note: Contrary to an earlier report, the restaurant is not cash only, as they will indeed be accepting both cash and credit cards.]

[January 11, 2010 update: According to their Facebook page, Blue Asia Cafe had a soft opening over the weekend and they are having their official opening this week.]

Hours for Blue Asia will be 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM Monday through Thursday and 11:30 AM to 10:30 PM Friday through Sunday. The address is: Blue Asia Cafe, 113 Brighton Avenue, Allston, MA, 02134. The phone number is (617) 202-3868. And their website can be found at: http://www.blueasiacafe.comcastbiz.net/

Thanks to one of our Facebook fans for letting us know about this new dining spot in Allston. If you know of any new restaurants coming to the area, please let us know at our Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook Fan Page.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Information on The 2009 Mayor's Holiday Special

The sixth annual Mayor's Holiday Special is here, with deals on restaurants, lodging, shopping, events, and entertainment. Thanks to Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the city of Boston, and local businesses, there are more than 8,000 half-price tickets available this year.

Restaurants involved in this year's Mayor's Holiday Special include the Oak Room, the Cactus Club, Artu, Max and Dylan's, Pops, Mantra, the Freeport Tavern, Ivy, Lala Rokh, and many more.

For complete details on the 2009 Mayor's Holiday Special, please go to the link below:

http://www.bostix.org/mhs/index.html

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Harry's on Harrison to Open in the South End

A restaurant featuring comfort food at reasonable prices looks like it is going to be opening in the South End of Boston. According to the Boston Herald, Harry's on Harrison is looking to open at the corner of Harrison Avenue and East Springfield Street near Mass. Ave. and the Boston Medical Center. The Herald mentions that the person behind the planned dining spot is also co-owner of Flash's, an eclectic restaurant and cocktail lounge on Stuart Street near where the Back Bay and the Theater District meet.

Harry's on Harrison will likely feature soups, sandwiches, and comfort food dishes, with macaroni and cheese and steak tips being a couple of options, according to the Herald. Capacity for the restaurant should be somewhere between 50 and 60.

Currently, no specific opening date could be found for Harry's on Harrison; we will post updates on the restaurant as we receive them.

The address for this upcoming restaurant in the South End is: Harry's on Harrison, 60 East Springfield Street, Boston, MA, 02118.

To read more about the planned opening of Harry's on Harrison, please go to the Boston Herald link below:

...Flash’s plans Harrison Ave. spot

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City Bar and Grill Opening in Swampscott

It looks like a new upscale restaurant may soon be coming to Swampscott. According to both the Lynn Daily Item and the Swampscott Reporter, the City Bar and Grill is planning on opening where Finagle-A-Bagel (and before that, Friendly's) used to be on Route 1A in Vinnin Square. Both newspapers indicate that the restaurant is looking to cater to an older crowd, and based on the menu items mentioned in the Daily Item's article, the City Bar and Grill may be leaning toward New American and traditional American fare such as panko-crusted halibut, grilled honey-brined pork chops, and pan-seared salmon. The price range for dinner entrees appears to be mostly from the mid-teens to the mid-twenties. Both papers state that the restaurant still needs to gain approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals later in December before they are able to open.

[September 21 update: According to the North Shore Dish Facebook page, City Bar and Grill has its sign up, its furniture in place, and its menu displayed, so it looks like it is almost ready to open.]

[September 21 update (part 2): According to posters on the North Shore Dish Facebook page, City Bar and Grill is indeed open for business.]

The address for this new restaurant on the North Shore is: City Bar and Grill, 435 Paradise Road (Route 1A), Swampscott, MA, 01907.

Thanks to one of our Facebook fans for bringing this story to our attention. If you know of any restaurant openings or closings in the Boston area, feel free to post a message on our Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook Fan Page to let us know, thanks.

For more information on the possible opening of the City Bar and Grill in Swampscott, please go to the Daily Item and Swampscott Reporter links below:

New eatery slated to open in Swampscott

License Night at Swampscott selectmen's meeting brings some surprises

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jin Asian Restaurant Shut Down by the Town of Saugus

An Asian restaurant on Route 1 in Saugus that is one of the largest dining spots in the Boston area has been closed down after town selectmen voted to revoke all of their licenses. According to Wicked Local Manchester, Jin Asian Restaurant was put out of business by the town of Saugus after the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously this week to take away their licenses, citing public safety issues. Also noted is the fact that Jin owes more than $250,000 in taxes in fees to the town.

Jin first opened in 2006, moving into the spot where Weylu's used to be high up on a hill overlooking Route 1 near the Route 99 intersection. The restaurant has featured a mix of Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian fare, offering sushi, dim sum, and much more, including the largest buffet in New England.

[January 28 update: According to an article within the Saugus Advertiser/Wicked Local site, a new Asian restaurant will be opening where Jin used to be. The article states that a beer and wine license as well as an entertainment license were given to ATM Mabo LLC earlier this week. It appears that the restaurant will open in about three months.]

For more information on the closing of Jin Asian Restaurant in Saugus, please go to the Wicked Local Manchester link below:

Saugus selectmen revoke Jin Restaurant's licenses permanently

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Latest Review: Victoria's Diner, Boston

photo of Victoria's Diner, Boston, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for a diner in the Roxbury section of Boston called Victoria's Diner. Located in an industrial area just west of the Southeast Expressway, Victoria's Diner caters to truck drivers and warehouse workers in the immediate area, but also attracts college students, folks from Roxbury and nearby Dorchester, and others who have discovered this surprisingly spacious restaurant. Victoria's is open 24 hours a day from Thursday into Sunday, offering a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items at reasonable prices. To read more about Victoria's Diner in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, please click on the link above.

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Deuxave Is Opening in the Back Bay

A new restaurant is apparently going to be opening at some point in Boston's Back Bay, moving into the spot where a Beacon Hill bistro and bakery used to have a second location. According to the EveryBlock Boston website, Deuxave recently was issued a license for a restaurant to open on Mass. Ave. where Panificio used to be before closing in the spring of 2008 (the original Charles Street location of Panificio remains open).

[December 15 update: Based on information given in a thread within the archBoston forum, Deuxave looks to be a restaurant featuring reasonably-priced French and American cuisine.]

[January 29 update: According to Grub Street Boston, Deuxave should be open this summer. And both Grub Street Boston and Universal Hub have confirmed that the people who run dBar in Dorchester are also behind DeuxAve.]

[August 23 update: According to Where to Eat and Drink Magazine, Deuxave may be opening as early as Labor Day weekend in early September. The article mentions that the restaurant will be an upscale but affordable spot with contemporary French dishes offered.]

[September 2 update: It looks like Deuxave is currently in the process of opening, as the restaurant had a soft opening yesterday.]

The address for this new restaurant in the Back Bay is: Deuxave, 61 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

5,000 Fans Now on Facebook; 3,000 Followers On Twitter

Boston's Hidden Restaurants and Boston Restaurant Talk are hitting a couple of milestones this week in the social networking world; we are only a few away from 5,000 fans on our Facebook page, while we reached 3,000 followers on Twitter earlier this week. Thanks to all who have decided to follow us on these two sites, and thanks for all of the posts that you have added, many of which have helped us learn about restaurants in the Boston area and elsewhere in New England.

If you would like to become a Facebook fan of Boston's Hidden Restaurants and Boston Restaurant Talk, please go to this link:

Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook Page

And to follow us on Twitter, please go to this link:

Twitter Page for Hiddenboston

And to go to our parent site, please click on this link:

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

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Friendly's Express to Open in Brookline

It appears that Brookline will soon join Mansfield in having a quick-casual dining spot that is part of a local ice cream chain. According to several online job postings (including one on the Craigslist site), Friendly's Express is coming to an undisclosed location in this western neighbor of Boston's. Friendly's Express had opened their first location in Mansfield this past summer, and more seem to be on their way over the coming months, including the one that is going to be in Brookline.

The Friendly's Express chain focuses on fast service and takeout orders, though they also have a dine-in option. Most of what is on the menu at the traditional Friendly's restaurants is offered at Friendly's Express, including salads, sandwiches, and ice cream, with all items being under $10.

As soon as we get information on the exact location of this new Friendly's Express in Brookline (as well as an approximate opening date), we will update the information here.

[December 9 update: According to some notes from a Brookline Planning Board meeting on the Town of Brookline website, Friendly's Express will be located at 289 Harvard Street in the former Qdoba spot in Coolidge Corner. Thanks to a poster on Chowhound for initially letting us know about the address.]

[January 27 update: According to a job posting on the Craigslist site, Friendly's Express is planning on opening in the spring of 2010.]

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