Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chinese Mirch Opening in Framingham

A Chinese/Indian restaurant with three locations in the Northeast is looking to open a fourth spot in the Boston area.

According to the restaurant's website, Chinese Mirch is going to be opening a new location on Route 9 in Framingham, just west of Shoppers World. Based on information from the website, the dining spot will feature dishes that mix Indian herbs and spices with Chinese-style cooking. Some of the items that might be seen on the menu at the new Chinese Mirch include momos (Tibetan dumplings), crispy okra, five spice roast duck, chicken coriander, spicy black bean lamb, hot garlic prawns, chili garlic noodles, ginger and corn fried rice, and chili paneer.

The first Chinese Mirch opened in New York City in 2003. Currently, two locations can be found in New York (including an express spot) and one in Stamford, CT. Another Chinese Mirch looks to be opening in Central New Jersey as well.

[November 4 update: According to the restaurant's website, Chinese Mirch in Framingham is now open.]

The address for this new Chinese/Indian restaurant in Framingham is: Chinese Mirch, 140 Worcester Road (Route 9), Framingham, MA, 01702. The website for the Chinese Mirch restaurants is: http://www.chinesemirch.com/

Thanks to a poster on the Boston.com online food chat for bringing this to our attention.

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Update: Palio's Italian Grill in Lexington Has Closed

An Italian restaurant in Lexington that opened a little more than a year ago looks like it has closed.

Based on comments from both a poster on Yelp and another on our Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page, Palio's Italian Grill appears to be shut down. Calls placed to the dining spot have gone unanswered, OpenTable is no longer taking reservations for the place as of today (they had been last night), the restaurant's website, which was working last night, is blank today, and the aforementioned Yelp poster sent us a message this morning saying that the signs were down at the place.

Palio's Italian Grill opened last spring, changing from a steakhouse called Max Stein's which had the same ownership. This spot also used to be home to the Hartwell House, an elegant restaurant that focused on continental cuisine.

As soon as we get more information on the apparent closing of Palio's Italian Grill, we will post an update here.

[July 21 update: Based on a note within the Palio's page on the OpenTable site, Palio's Italian Grill has indeed closed.]

The address for this now-closed Italian restaurant in Lexington was: Palio's Italian Grill, 94 Hartwell Avenue, Lexington, MA, 02421.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Robeks Closes in Boston's Financial District

A national chain specializing in fruit smoothies has shut its sole remaining Boston location.

According to messages sent from our readers, Robeks at One International Place in the Financial District is now closed. A phone call placed to the spot did not go through, with a message stating that it was a non-working number. This is the second of two Robeks to close in Boston, with the other formerly residing on Boylston Street near Fenway Park. As of now, the closest Robeks is in West Hartford, CT.

California-based Robeks, which first started out in the mid-1990s, features mostly healthy fare, including fruit smoothies, shakes, and freezes, as well as salads, sandwiches, pretzels, muffins, and cookies.

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Petit Robert Central Opening in Downtown Crossing

A small group of French restaurants in and around Boston will soon have another location, with this one being in the Downtown Crossing section of the city.

According to the Boston Herald, the folks behind Petit Robert Bistro and Chez Jacky are going to be opening a new spot called Petit Robert Central on Arch Street, which is two blocks east of Washington Street on the western edge of the Financial District. The space they will be moving into is the former home of Vinalia, a restaurant, lounge, and wine bar that closed a few months ago. The Herald mentions that Petit Robert Central will be the largest of the five restaurants for the owners, with a capacity of 250. Once it opens later this summer, the eatery will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Petit Robert Bistro currently has locations in the South End of Boston, Kenmore Square, and Needham. Chez Jacky, which is a new dining spot, is located in Brighton.

The address for this upcoming French restaurant in Downtown Crossing will be: Petit Robert Central, 101 Arch Street, Boston, MA, 02110.

[September 13 update: According to the Petit Robert Central Twitter page, the restaurant is now open for business.]

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Kickass Cupcakes in Somerville to Start Up a Food Truck

A cupcake bakery on the eastern edge of Somerville's Davis Square is getting ready to hit the road.

According to the Boston Herald, Kickass Cupcakes on Highland Avenue is in the process of converting a Dodge Sprinter cargo van into a food truck. The Herald mentions that once the van is ready, it will offer customers the bakery's complete selection of cupcakes as well as its new cupcake gelato.

The article does not mention exactly what areas the food truck will go to; as soon as we find out, we will post an update here.

Kickass Cupcakes, which first opened in Somerville in the fall of 2007, offers mini, regular sized, and extra large cupcakes in a variety of flavors, including lemon, German chocolate, banana cream, cinnamon chai pecan, graham cracker, ginger peach, and strawberry shortcake. Their cupcakes can also be found at the Gelato Cafe on Linden Street in Wellesley.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Latest Review: Murray's Deli in Braintree

photo of Murray's Deli, Braintree, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for a deli and sandwich place in Braintree called Murray's Deli. Located in a partially-hidden spot in Braintree Square, Murray's Deli is very easy to miss, especially when driving north from South Braintree. The restaurant looks a bit like a sub shop, with basic seating inside and a counter where diners place their orders. The menu includes deli items such as corned beef, liverwurst, and egg salad, but also features pizza, calzones, and pasta dishes. To read more about Murray's Deli in Braintree, please click on the link above.

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Five Guys Burgers Opening in Framingham

Less than a week after reporting that a new Five Guys Burgers is opening in Canton, we just received word that another new location of the quickly-growing chain is coming to the Boston area, with this one being in the MetroWest region (and close to another recently-opened one).

According to a post on Chowhound--and confirmed in a photo from the This Is Framingham site, Five Guys will be opening in Framingham in the space on Route 30 where the now-closed Quiznos sub shop used to be. This is only a couple of miles west of another Five Guys, which is now open on Route 9 in Natick. [November 16 update: According to the Five Guys Burgers Facebook page, the new location in Framingham is now open.]

A number of Five Guys Burgers can now be found in the Boston area, including locations in Dedham, Foxborough, Gloucester, Marlborough, Natick, Randolph, Swampscott, and Walpole.

The address for this new burger place coming to Framingham is: Five Guys Burgers, 341 Cochituate Road, Framingham, MA, 01701.

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Outback Steakhouse in Medford Has Closed

A national chain of family-friendly steakhouses with several locations in the Boston area has closed one of its spots just north of Boston.

According to a recording on the restaurant's voicemail, the Medford location of Outback Steakhouse has shut down, confirming a post put up on the Chowhound site today (we also checked the chain's website and the Medford restaurant has indeed been taken off the site).

A handful of Outback locations remain open in the Boston area, including ones in Burlington, Hanover, Norwood, Peabody, and Randolph.

The address for the now-closed Outback Steakhouse in Medford was 672 Fellsway (Route 28), at the Wellington Circle Shopping Center just north of where Routes 28 and 16 intersect.

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Stats Bar and Grille Opening in South Boston

A restaurant and bar in the Financial District of Boston is getting ready to open a new spot, with this one being in the heart of South Boston.

According to both a poster on Chowhound and a job posting on the Craigslist site, Stats Bar & Grille will be opening on Dorchester Street (just north of Broadway) in the space where South Kitchen and Wine Bar used to be until closing about four years ago. Stats will be a sister restaurant of J. A. Stats Restaurant and Bar, a watering hole located on Broad Street in downtown Boston. Based on the menu at J. A. Stats, expect the new Stats Bar & Grille to feature sandwiches, comfort food dishes, and cocktails.

A July opening is planned for Stats Bar & Grille, according to the Craigslist posting. [July 15 update: According to the Thrillist site, Stats Bar & Grille will be having a soft opening tonight. This was also confirmed on the Stats Facebook page.]

The address for this new restaurant and bar in South Boston will be: Stats Bar & Grille, 77 Dorchester Street, South Boston, MA, 02127.

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Stockholders Opening in Former Karma/Littlenecks Spot in Weymouth

It looks like a new steak and seafood restaurant will be coming to Weymouth, opening where several restaurants have been over the past few years.

According to several of our readers who contacted us via email and our Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page, Stockholders is planning on opening on Route 18 sometime this summer. The space that the restaurant is hoping to move into had been home to Karma, an Asian spot that closed about a month ago, and before that, Littlenecks, a seafood restaurant that closed around the beginning of the year. (Other dining spots, including the Mexican restaurant chain Acapulcos, used to be here as well.)

A legal notice on the mypublicnotices.com site indicates that an all alcoholic restaurant license transfer from Karma to Stockholders may be decided at a public hearing tomorrow (Tuesday, June 29). The notice states that Stockholders is also applying for entertainment and common victualler licenses.

[July 20 update: According to a job posting on the Craigslist site, Stockholders is on track to open in early August. It looks to be a high-end steakhouse with a capacity of more than 200, and it will also have a private dining room and a bar with seating for nearly 30. The post also mentions that the people opening Stockholders are also behind the Inn at Bay Pointe in Quincy.]

[August 17 update: According to an article in the Weymouth News/Wicked Local, Stockholders is planning on opening next week. The article mentions that the restaurant will include a bar called Bulls 'n Bears, and steaks will be cooked over an open oak fire pit.]

[August 26 update: According to the Patriot Ledger, Stockholders is now open.]

The address for this new steak and seafood spot is: Stockholders, 1073 Main Street, Weymouth, MA, 02190.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Pictures from the 2010 Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party

We just got back from the 2010 Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party that is being held at Suffolk Downs in East Boston this weekend. A few photos of the food we tried are below--I would say that personally, the chopped pork from Chicago BBQ and the beef sandwich from Texas Thunder were the two best items, though everything we tried was good.

Here are the photos...by the way, if you would like information on the event, please go to this link: http://bbq.phantomgourmet.com/SD/home.aspx


Chopped Pork Sandwich, Chicago BBQ (Chicago)




Pulled Pork Nachos, Jack's (Philadelphia)




Brisket Sandwich, Two Fat Guys (Ohio)




Beef Sandwich, Texas Thunder (Texas)



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The Capital Grille in Boston Makes OpenTable's 2010 List of 50 Best American Restaurants

A popular online reservations website has just come out with its second annual Diners' Choice awards for 50 best American restaurants in the United States, and a steakhouse in the Back Bay of Boston has made the list.

According to MarketWatch, The Capital Grille on Newbury Street was picked as one of the 50 best American restaurants, based on what OpenTable's diners considered the best American dining spots around the country. The list of the 50 winning restaurants is the result of more than five million reviews for more than 11,000 restaurants throughout the U.S., according to MarketWatch.

Other restaurants in New England that made OpenTable's Best American list include The Schoolhouse at Cannondale in Wilton, CT; the White Barn Inn in Kennebunk Beach, ME; and Fore Street in Portland, ME.

Fro a complete list of the restaurants chosen by OpenTable's diners, please go to the MarketWatch link below.

OpenTable Announces Winners of 2010 Diners' Choice Awards for Best American Restaurants

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Bijou Nightclub and Lounge Opening in the Theatre District

It looks like a new restaurant and entertainment spot is coming to the Theatre District of Boston, and based on the address given for the place, it could be a rather spacious spot.

According to the EveryBlock Boston site, Bijou Nightclub & Lounge has just received a business license for the space between 51 and 67 Stuart Street, which is the strip of businesses just west of Washington Street (and the historic restaurant and bar Jacob Wirth) and just east of Tremont Street. Very little is currently known about what kind of restaurant Bijou is planning on being, as well as when it might open, so keep checking back for updates here.

The official address for this new restaurant and entertainment spot in the Theatre District is: Bijou Nightclub & Lounge, 51 Stuart Street, Boston, MA, 02116. The website can be found at http://bijouboston.com/

[August 27 update: According to the Boston edition of Zagat Buzz, Bijou is going to be a restaurant and entertainment spot with three floors of space, including a parlor floor, a dining room, and a nightclub. Zagat mentions that Bijou will feature shared plates. Expect an October for Bijou.]

[September 9 update: An email sent to us by Regan Communications Group gives a bit more information on the upcoming Bijou restaurant. According to the email, the person behind Bijou is also the owner of Cafeteria in the Back Bay, while the Executive Chef comes from Sorellina in the Back Bay and The Buttery in the South End. The email also mentions that the new restaurant and nightclub will have more than 8,500 square feet of space.]

[June 30, 2011 update: According to Adam's Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog, Bijou is now open.]

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Flour3 Opening Near Central Square In Cambridge

A bakery and cafe with locations in the South End of Boston and the Fort Point neighborhood is opening a third location, with this one being in Cambridge.

According to posts on the owner's Twitter page, Flour3 will be opening Friday, June 25, on Mass. Ave. near the Central Square section of the city. Based on the menu at the other two locations, the new spot in Cambridge will feature items such as scones, muffins, croissants, sticky buns, cookies, tarts, cakes, and sandwiches.

Hours for Flour3 will be 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday through Friday and 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Saturdays. (One of the Twitter posts mentions that the place will be closed on Sundays until Labor Day.)

The address for this new bakery and cafe near Central Square is: Flour3, 190 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139. (This is over by the MIT campus between Central Square and Memorial Drive along the Charles River.) The website for all of the Flour locations is at: http://www.flourbakery.com/

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The South Coast Local, a Diner Featuring BBQ, Opens in Mattapoisett

A new diner has opened along the South Coast of Massachusetts, serving up a mix of classic diner fare and barbecue dishes.

According to southcoasttoday.com, The South Coast Local is now open on Route 6 in the seaside town of Mattapoisett, replacing the Nest Diner. The article mentions that the new eatery, which is housed in a 1954 Mountain View diner built in New Jersey, features such classic BBQ dishes as hush puppies, dirty rice, candied sweet potatoes, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, fried chicken breast, and smoked brisket. The regular menu features more traditional diner food as well as some regional and Portuguese-influenced dishes (cod and potato cakes, chourico hash, etc.).

Hours for The South Coast Local are 6:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Tuesdays and 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM Wednesday through Sunday (they are closed on Mondays).

The address for this new diner in the South Coast region of Massachusetts is: The South Coast Local, 81 Fairhaven Road (Route 6), Mattapoisett, MA, 02739. The phone number is (508) 758-3600.

For more information on The South Coast Local, please go to the southcoasttoday.com link below.

New Mattapoisett eatery is truly hot stuff

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New iPhone App Lets Diners View Boston-Area Restaurants in 3D

A Waltham company has just created an iPhone app that gives diners the chance to tour Boston-area restaurants in 3D.

According to the Cantabrigia Wicked Local blog, EveryScape has built an app that shows the interiors of more than 500 dining spots in and around Boston, and the exteriors of more than 1,300 eateries. A press release on the EveryScape site states that the app uses interior panoramic imagery to let users take virtual 3D tours of restaurants before actually going to the spots.

The EveryScape press release mentions that the app can also be used to find nearby restaurants using the iPhone GPS, share dining spots with Facebook friends or via email, and read reviews and menus. There is also a companion website that can be used to get information on restaurants as well.

Boston is the first city in which the EveryScape app is being used.

For more information on the EveryScape app for iPhones, please go to the link below.

EveryScape Eats! Visual Dining Guide Debuts in Boston with Free iPhone App
and Companion Website


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Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay Summer BBQ Is Tonight (Thursday, June 24, 2010)

A neighborhood barbecue is being held in the Back Bay of Boston this evening (Thursday, June 24), with salads, hamburgers, bot dogs, and sodas offered. The barbecue (called the Summer NABB-Q), which is being hosted by the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, goes from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM and is open to the public. Ticket prices are $15 for both members and non-members of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay ($5 for children under 12; free for children ages 1 to 3).

The Summer NABB-Q will be held at the Clarendon Street Playground, which is located at the corner of Clarendon Street and Commonwealth Avenue in the heart of the Back Bay.

For more information on tonight's Summer NABB-Q (including how to purchase tickets), please go to the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay link below.

http://www.nabbonline.com/

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Five Guys Burgers Opening in Canton

A fast-growing chain of burger places is soon going to be opening another spot south of Boston.

According to the restaurant chain's website, Five Guys Burgers will open a new location at the Village Shoppes of Canton, which is on Washington Street, just north of the Route 27 intersection (near the Stoughton and Sharon borders). This will be the fifth Five Guys to open in Boston's southern suburbs, with others in the area being located in Dedham, Foxborough, Randolph, and Walpole. (Other Five Guys Burgers in the Boston area can currently be found in Gloucester, Marlborough, Natick, and Swampscott.)

As soon as we hear when the new Five Guys Burgers in Canton will open, we will post an update here.

[UPDATE: Five Guys Burgers is now open in Canton.]

The address for this new burger place in the Village Shoppes of Canton is: Five Guys Burgers, 95 Washington Street, Canton, MA, 02021.

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D'Guru Opening in the Financial District

It looks like a caterer and takeout spot in Somerville that features Indian cuisine is going to be opening a restaurant in Boston's Financial District.

Based on a post on the EveryBlock Boston site, Guru the Caterer, which is located on Broadway in Somerville (between Teele Square and the Arlington border), has just been issued a business license for D'Guru, which appears like it will be a restaurant on Devonshire Street in the Financial District. There had been talk on various food-based sites awhile back about Guru the Caterer indeed opening a restaurant in Boston, but this is the first time we have seen proof of their restaurant plans.

Guru the Caterer is a tiny spot that has been doing catering of Indian food since 2004. A couple of years ago they also started offering takeout, and are currently open six days a week for lunch and dinner (they are closed on Sundays).

It is not known when D'Guru might be opening; as soon as we find out more information, we will post an update here. [August 16 update: According to several sources, including Chowhound, D'Guru is now open.]

The address for this new Indian restaurant in the Financial District of Boston is: D'Guru, 185 Devonshire Street, Boston, MA, 02110.

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UPDATE: Taste of Cambridge Coming June 29, 2010

[NOTE: This event was supposed to have been held on Thursday, June 24, but because of the threat of bad weather, it has been moved back to Tuesday, June 29.]

A food event is coming to the Harvard Square section of Cambridge next week, with more than 50 dining spots, food purveyors, wine distributors, and breweries participating.

On Tuesday, June 29, the 8th annual Taste of Cambridge will be held at the Charles Hotel on Bennett Street from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. The outdoor event includes food and drink samples from various spots around the city, as well as live music. Some of the restaurants participating include Addis Red Sea, All Star Sandwich Bar, Bambara, Cafe of India, Chez Henri, East Coast Grill, Harvest, Hong Kong Restaurant, Koreana, Lord Hobo, Picante Mexican Grill, Sandrine's Bistro, Tanjore, Ten Tables, Tommy Doyle's, Tory Row, and the West Side Lounge.

Tickets to the 2010 Taste of Cambridge cost $50 in advance for adults ($60 on the day of the event) and $15 for children between the ages of 6 and 12 (children under 6 years old are free). There are also adult VIP tickets available for $75 in advance ($85 on the day of the event). The VIP tickets includes such extras as an elite bar featuring specialty cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and more.

For more information on the 8th annual Taste of Cambridge, please go to the website below.

http://tasteofcambridge.com/

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fillbelly's Food Truck Bringing Chicken and Waffles (and More) to the Boston Area

A new food truck is getting ready to hit the streets of Boston, with this one concentrating on comfort food items.

According to Thrillist Boston, Fillbelly's Food Truck will be driving around Boston starting this Friday night, offering such items as chicken and waffles, chicken wings, empanadas, macaroni and cheese, and more. Fillbelly's website mentions that it will be a 24-hour food truck hitting such Boston neighborhoods as the Fenway, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and South Boston.

For more information on Fillbelly's Food Truck, including an entire list of the Metro Boston neighborhoods that it will be serving, they can be reached by phone at (347) 204-8466. (They also have a website at http://fillbellys.weebly.com/ as well as a Twitter page at http://twitter.com/fillbellys and a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/fillbellys)

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Strega Opening at Fan Pier on the Boston Waterfront

An Italian restaurant will soon be opening along the waterfront of Boston, and it will have a familiar name.

Based on the new restaurant's website as well as signs within the building where it will be opening, Strega is coming to Fan Pier this summer, making this the third Strega in the Boston area, with the original being on Hanover Street in the North End and another residing on Lafayette Street in Salem. An earlier Boston Globe article had stated that the new Strega will be almost three times the size of the restaurant in the North End, with a capacity of more than 150 inside the place, plus additional outdoor seating during the warmer months.

The person behind Strega--Nick Varano--is also involved with such spots as Nico and Nick Varano's Famous Deli, both in the North End, and The Ocean Club at Marina Bay in Quincy.

[July 19 update: According to an email from Regan Communications Group, Strega is planning on opening along the Waterfront sometime in August. The email also mentions that the new spot will feature two fireplaces as well as three separate private dining rooms, a lounge, and a wine room.]

[September 20 update: According to an email from the UrbanDaddy site, Strega will be opening this Friday (September 24).]

The address for this new Italian restaurant along the Boston waterfront is: Strega, One Marina Park Drive, Boston, MA, 02110.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Results of Twitter Chicken Wing Poll

Our latest Twitter poll has just wrapped up, with this one dealing with best chicken wings in the Boston area. Our previous polls have included a macaroni and cheese poll (Fat Cat in Quincy won), a fried clam poll (JT Farnham's in Essex), an onion ring poll (Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage in Cambridge), a hot dog poll (Spike's Junkyard Dogs), a pizza poll (Santarpio's in East Boston), a burger poll (Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage), and a lobster roll poll (Neptune Oysters in the North End). The results of our chicken wing poll are rather lopsided, with one spot being well above all of the others:

1) Buff's Pub, Newton (47%)

A number of other restaurants were picked in the Twitter chicken wing poll as well, including Chicken Bone (Framingham), Deep Ellum (Allston), Hi-Fi Pizza Pie (Dorchester), the Orchard Park Grill (Watertown), Penguin Pizza (Brigham Circle), Wendell's Pub (Norton), Wings Over Brookline (Brookline), and Wings Over Somerville (Somerville).

Thanks to everyone who has voted in our Twitter polls. We will start another poll sometime this week, so keep checking back on our Twitter page at http://twitter.com/hiddenboston.

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Midsommarmiddag (Midsummer Dinner) Coming to the Beacon Hill Bistro This Week

The summer solstice is here, and the Beacon Hill Bistro in Boston is celebrating by featuring a traditional "Midsommarmiddag," or "Midsummer Dinner" all week long, with a variety of Scandinavian dishes offered. The restaurant, which is located on Charles Street within the Beacon Hill Hotel, will feature a prix fixe menu including foods popular in Sweden, and will also offer acquavit, an alcoholic drink commonly served in Scandanavia. The Beacon Hill Bistro will also have their regular menu available during this time.

Midsommarmiddag begins today (June 21, 2010) from 5:30 PM to 11:00 PM and continues until this coming Friday (June 25). The price of the meal is $40 per person.

The Beacon Hill Bistro (as well as the Beacon Hill Hotel) is located at 25 Charles Street, about one block north of Beacon Street and Boston Common.

For more information on Midsommarmiddag at the Beacon Hill Bistro, please go to the link below.

http://beaconhillhotel.com/bistro/

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Banjo's Roast Beef in Cambridge Closed for Now; Future Unknown

A roast beef spot that opened this winter near Porter Square in Cambridge has closed its doors for the time being, and it is not known if/when they will open again.

Several recent checks on Banjo's Roast Beef on Mass. Ave. in North Cambridge have shown the restaurant to be dark and locked up, with a sign indicating that they are temporarily closed for renovations. Phone calls have gone unanswered, and as of last week, it appeared that no work was being done to either the exterior or the interior of the restaurant.

After a rather lengthy delay, Banjo's opened its doors a few blocks west of Porter Square this past February, bringing to the neighborhood a quick-service place featuring roast beef, hamburgers, hot dogs, and more. Over the past few years, two other Banjo's locations have opened (and later closed) in the Boston area, including one in Brockton and another in Weymouth.

As soon as we find out more about the status of Banjo's Roast Beef in Cambridge, we will post an update here.

The address for this closed restaurant (for now) in North Cambridge is: Banjo's Roast Beef, 2072 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02140. The phone number is (617) 661-0777.

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Stars Restaurant in Hingham Struck by Lightning

A family-family restaurant across from Hingham Harbor was one of a number of structures on the South Shore hit by lightning during yesterday's severe thunderstorms, though it sounds like the damage to the dining spot was relatively minor.

According to The Patriot Ledger, Stars Restaurant on Route 3A (Otis Street) was struck by lightning Sunday afternoon, causing damage to their computer system. The Ledger article states that a car that was parked in the lot for Stars was also affected, as its windshield was smashed. A call placed to the restaurant this morning indicates that they are open for business.

The same storms also caused a major fire at a home in Braintree, knocked down tree branches, and brought about power outages on the South Shore.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

La Paloma Opening a Second Location in Kingston

A Mexican restaurant in Quincy that has been in business for nearly 30 years is going to be opening a second location, this one being further south of Boston.

According to a job posting on the Craigslist site, La Paloma is opening in the South Shore town of Kingston, where Route 3A and Route 106 meet, a short distance west of Route 3. The restaurant will be moving into the space where Boca II used to be (the original Boca on Route 139 in Pembroke remains open). No word has been given as to when La Paloma will open in Kingston, but the Craigslist post mentions that they will be accepting applications for the new spot toward the end of June. [August 15 update: The new La Paloma in Kingston is now open.]

The original La Paloma, which is located on Hancock Street in Quincy, has been serving authentic Mexican fare to diners since the early 1980s. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner six days a week (they are closed on Mondays).

The address for this upcoming Mexican restaurant in Kingston is: La Paloma, 114 Main Street, Kingston, MA, 02364.

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El Paisa Butchery Coming to East Boston

A Colombian restaurant in East Boston is apparently going to be opening an adjacent butcher shop in the space where an Italian eatery used to be.

According to EveryBlock Boston, a license was just issued for El Paisa Butchery, which looks like it will be located on Bennington Street next to El Paisa Restaurante, confirming what we had mentioned awhile back in an article about the closing of Carmine's Kitchen. (Carmine's had closed in March of this year).

El Paisa Restaurante is a dining spot open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week that features Colombian and other South American dishes such as fried red snapper, chicken turnover, sweet plantains, and grilled steak with fried pork rind and a fried egg. The restaurant has been featured on our sister site, Boston's Hidden Restaurants. The review can be found at this link:

http://www.hiddenboston.com/ElPaisa.html

It is not known at the present time when El Paisa Butchery will open; keep checking back for updates, which we will post here as we receive them.

The address for this upcoming butcher shop in East Boston will be: El Paisa Butchery, 1010 Bennington Street, East Boston, MA, 02128.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Update: Cottonwood Cafe in the Back Bay Has Closed; Looking for New Space

A restaurant in the Back Bay of Boston that has been serving Southwest cuisine for many years is getting ready to shut its doors.

According to a poster on the Chowhound site, the Cottonwood Cafe on Berkeley Street is going to be closing on June 30 after being in business since the early 1990s. A call placed to the restaurant has confirmed that it will indeed be closing at the end of the month. [June 28 update: According to a number of sources, including the Boston Herald, the Cottonwood Cafe has closed a bit early, as their last day was apparently yesterday (Sunday, June 27).]

Known in part for its margaritas, outdoor patio, and people-watching, the Cottonwood Cafe features lunch and dinner seven days a week, offering such items as blackened scallops, stuffed Anaheim chiles, black bean soup, a tenderloin tip sandwich, roasted poblano macaroni and cheese, grilled red chile sausage, paella, black angus strip steak, and lamb chops.

The address for this dining spot in the Back Bay was: Cottonwood Cafe, 222 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA, 02116.

[July 14 update: According to the restaurant's website, the Cottonwood Cafe
is looking at new spaces, as it is hoping to reopen in the next three to six months. The website note also mentions that the folks behind the Cottonwood Cafe had decided to leave the Berkeley Street spot once their lease had expired.]

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Towne Stove and Spirits Opening in the Back Bay

A new dining spot that has a couple of well-known chefs behind the scenes is getting ready to open in the Back Bay.

According to an article in the Boston Globe, Jasper White and Lydia Shire are overseeing the menu for the upcoming Towne Stove and Spirits, which is going to be opening as early as later this month at the Hynes Convention Center on Boylston Street. Towne looks to be an upscale spot featuring an eclectic mix of dishes, including tandoori meats, pasta, dumplings, steaks, Peking chicken, and lobster, according to the Globe article. The article also mentions that Towne will have seating for 380 (300 inside and another 80 outside), with three dining areas and three bars throughout its two floors that encompass nearly 15,000 square feet of space.

The restaurant appears to be nearly ready to open, but we have not yet heard of a specific opening date. As soon as we do, we will post an update here.

[June 29 update: Towne Stove and Spirits is currently having a soft opening. It looks like their official opening may be in early July, but we will post another update once we confirm this.]

[July 16, 21 updates: According to The Boston Globe, Towne may be having their grand opening on Tuesday, July 27, though the Moxie Agency puts it at July 30. Grub Street Boston also mentions that they will be opening that week.]

[July 30 update: Towne Stove and Spirits opens today.]

The address for this new restaurant in the Back Bay is: Towne Stove and Spirits, 900 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115.

For more information on Towne Stove and Spirits, please go to the Boston Globe link below.

Unconventional dining: Veteran restaurateurs will soon serve up a fresh attraction at the Hynes

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Taste of Stoneham to Be Held June 26, 2010

The 2010 Taste of Stoneham is on the way, coming to the Stoneham Theatre on Main Street a week from this weekend.

Taste of Stoneham will be held on Saturday, June 26, and will feature food samplings from local restaurants as well as a cash bar, live music, and raffles. Some of the restaurants participating include Felicia's, Gaetano's, Georgie D's, Melissa's Main Street Bistro, Rang Indian Bistro, Sato II, Taste of Siam, and Ume Restaurant and Lounge.

Tickets to the 2010 Taste of Stoneham, which goes from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, are $35 per person.

For more information on this event (including purchasing of tickets), please go to the Stoneham Theatre link below.

http://stonehamtheatre.org/events.html

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vinny T's Closes in Dedham

Two weeks after we reported that a small local chain of Italian restaurants had closed two of its three remaining Boston-area locations, the last one in the area has closed, and it looks like the rest of its dining spots have been shuttered as well.

According to the Worcester Telegram, all of the remaining Vinny T's restaurants have closed, including the location on Elm Street in Dedham (the article focused specifically on the Shrewsbury location, but mentions that the entire chain is now gone). The article mentions that former locations of Vinny T's are going to become part of the restaurant chain Buca di Beppo, though it does not get into specifics about which locations are targeted for reopening (the Shrewsbury location is definitely being converted to Buca di Beppo).

A note from a poster on Chowhound earlier this week had indicated that the Dedham location of Vinny T's was indeed closed, and this was confirmed by both the Telegram article and an article on the Grub Street Boston site.

In early June, we had written about the closing of Vinny T's in both Lexington and Danvers. A call placed to the Dedham location had indicated that it was still open at the time.

The address for the now-closed Vinny T's in Dedham was: Vinny T's, 233 Elm Street, Dedham, MA, 02026.

For more information on the closing of the rest of the Vinny T's locations (including the one in Dedham), please go to the Worcester Telegram link below.

Vinny T’s will reopen as Buca di Beppo

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Tossed May Be Opening a Second Location in Boston or Cambridge

A small chain of quick-casual dining spots that focuses on made-to-order salads may be opening another location in the Boston area.

According to an article in the Wicked Local blog, the person who owns the Tossed franchise at the Prudential Center in the Back Bay is looking to open a second spot, perhaps in Boston's Financial District or somewhere in Cambridge. The article mentions that the plan may be for a smaller space than the current one, possibly being a kiosk.

In addition to salads, Tossed, also offers customers soups, crepe wraps, sandwiches, melts, smoothies, and cookies. The chain opened their first location in New York City in the late 1990s, eventually expanding to several states around the country, including Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. The location at the Prudential Center is currently the only one in New England.

For more information about the possible opening of a second Tossed in the Boston area, please go to the Wicked Local link below.

Tossed franchisee looking to open a new salad shop in Boston area

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A Wild Affair (A Tasting Event) Returns to the Stone Zoo

Stoneham will be the site of a tasting event this weekend, as a yearly event returns to the Stone Zoo. The sixth annual "A Wild Affair" will be held this Saturday night (June 19) from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM, featuring tasting stations with area restaurants and caterers offering a variety of food, as well as a silent auction, live entertainment, and the chance to see the animals at the zoo, which is located on Pond Street.

Some of the restaurants participating at A Wild Affair include Agave Mexican Bar and Grille in Malden, Dockside Restaurant in Malden and Wakefield, Gaetano's in Stoneham, Harrow's Chicken Pies in Reading and Medford, La Cascia's Bakery and Deli in Burlington and Medford, and On the Border in Woburn.

Tickets to A Wild Affair are $45 in advance, and $55 at the gate. (Note: This is a 21+ event.)

For more information on the sixth annual A Wild Affair at the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, please go to the link below.

http://www.zoonewengland.org/Page.aspx?pid=413

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The Market Restaurant on Lobster Cove Opens in Gloucester

A new restaurant focusing on locally sourced foods including seafood and produce has opened on a quiet peninsula in the Annisquam section of Gloucester.

The Market Restaurant on Lobster Cove opened its doors earlier this month on River Road in a space overlooking the water, a few minutes north of where Routes 127 and 128 meet. The dining spot initially opened for breakfast and dinner only, but will also start featuring takeout lunches next month, according to their website. The Market Restaurant has moved into the space where Stone Soup used to be, and before that, the Annisquam Restaurant and Market. (The Stone Soup location on High Street in Ipswich remains open.)

The menu at The Market Restaurant on Lobster Cove features mostly healthy, organic fare, with a recent menu on their website showing such items as asparagus salad, tuna carpaccio, goat cheese souffle, baked salmon, scallop and lobster cakes, and bread pudding.

The address for this new restaurant in the Annisquam section of Gloucester is: Market Restaurant on Lobster Cove, 33 River Road, Gloucester, MA 01930. The phone number is (978) 282-0700. And the website is at: http://www.themarketrestaurant.com/

For more information on the opening of The Market Restaurant on Lobster Cove, please go to the North Shore Dish link below.

Local Takes on New Meaning at The Market in Annisquam

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2010 Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party Coming to Suffolk Downs, June 25-27

The Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party is returning to the area later this month, and this year, the entire event will be held at Suffolk Downs in East Boston. After being held at both Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut and Suffolk Downs last year, this year's beach party will be held solely at Suffolk Downs, from Friday, June 25 to Sunday, June 27. Admission will be free on Friday, with ticket prices (not including food or drink) being $5 on Saturday and Sunday (free admission for children aged 2 and under).

Participants in this year's BBQ Beach Party include Aussom Aussie BBQ (Sydney, Australia), Joey's Texas Thunder BBQ (Texas), Two Fat Guys BBQ (Ohio), Chicago BBQ Company (Chicago), Jack's Down Home Barbecue (Philadelphia), Johnson's Bar-B-Que (Chesapeake, Virginia), and Firefly's Bar-B Que (Boston).

Hours for the Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party are 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Friday and Saturday, and 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Sunday.

Suffolk Downs is located at 111 Waldemar Avenue in East Boston, a short distance east of where Route 1A and the Revere Beach Parkway meet.

For more information on the 2010 Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party, please go to the link below.

http://bbq.phantomgourmet.com/SD/home.aspx

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Feast of the East Coming to Arlington, June 19, 2010

An annual neighborhood celebration in Arlington is returning this weekend, featuring food from several local restaurants as well as music and a variety of activities.

The 12th annual Feast of the East will be held this Saturday (June 19) along Massachusetts Avenue in East Arlington from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, with food offered from Capitol Creamery, Flora, Francesca's Kitchen, Kathmandu Spice, Quebrada Bakery, Sabatino's, and Za. Activities will include face painting, crafts for children, pony rides, and more. The Dave Sammarco Band, the Mystic Drummers, and The Tony Fonseca Drummers will be playing music during the event.

For more information on the 12th annual Feast of the East, please go to the link below.

http://www.feastoftheeast.com/

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2010 Taste of Beacon Hill to Be Held June 30

Another culinary event is coming to Boston later this month, with this one taking place in the heart of the city.

The 10th Annual Taste of Beacon Hill, which will be held at the Liberty Hotel on Charles Street on Wednesday, June 30, will feature a number of neighborhood dining spots as well as a silent auction and parties before and after the event. Restaurants that will be participating include 21st Amendment, Artu, Beacon Hill Bistro, Bin 26 Enoteca, Clink, Harvard Gardens, Panificio, Scollay Square, The Sevens Ale House, Zen Sushi, and more.

A portion of the proceeds of the silent auction will go to the Taste of Beacon Hill Scholarship Fund.

Ticket prices to the 2010 Taste of Beacon Hill are $75 per person ($70 for Beacon Hill Business Association members). The event is being held from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, with the pre-party going from 5:00 to 6:00 and the after-party going from 9:00 to 11:00.

For more information on the 10th Annual Taste of Beacon Hill (including how to purchase tickets), please go to the Beacon Hill Business Association website below.

http://www.tasteofbeaconhill.com/

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Starbucks to Offer Free Wi-Fi Starting in July

The global coffee chain Starbucks has announced today that it will be bringing free Wi-Fi to its customers starting July 1. According to the Washington Post and several other sources, the coffee giant, which had already started to provide two free hours of Wi-Fi a day to those with Starbucks cards, will also be starting something called the Starbucks Digital Network this fall, which will allow customers to access news and entertainment sites such as the New York Times and iTunes for free.

Starbucks joins a number of competing chains that already offer free Wi-Fi to patrons, including Cosi, Panera, and Caribou. Free access will apparently be available in all Starbucks stores, including the more than 100 that presently exist in the Boston area.

For more information on the introduction of free Wi-Fi to Starbucks customers, please go to the Washington Post link below.

Starbucks caves, will make WiFi free July 1

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