Friday, December 31, 2010

Bidding Farewell to Some Boston-Area Restaurants in 2010

Today is the last day of 2010, and with it, the wrapping up of a year of much change within the Boston restaurant scene, including some key closures. A few restaurant closings of note include:

Bouchee
A trendy French restaurant that was located on Newbury Street in Boston's Back Bay, the four-year-old Bouchee closed its doors late this summer, with a branch of the small local chain Papa Razzi moving into the space. Bouchee featured classic French dishes such as duck confit, cassoulet and coq au vin.

Cottonwood Cafe
A popular restaurant in the Back Bay that had featured Southwestern fare for nearly 20 years, the Cottonwood Cafe closed this past summer. The restaurant may be opening elsewhere at some point in the future, but there doesn't seem to be anything definite right now. Their Berkeley Street space will soon be home to Tico, a Latin American and Mexican spot.

Ginger Park
An upscale Asian restaurant on Washington Street in Boston's South End, Ginger Park shut down after being in business for a bit more than a year. The dining spot, which replaced Banq in 2009, had a quirky menu that included duck prosciutto, lamb croquettes, short rib tacos, and potato spring rolls.

Gitlo's
A tiny dim sum spot in the heart of Allston, Gitlo was known in part for the fact that it featured dim sum every day for both lunch and dinner. The eatery, which first opened in 2007, featured such items as shumai, clear noodles, daikon cake, and custard bun.

Grezzo
In a neighborhood filled with casual pasta joints and upscale Northern Italian restaurants, Grezzo stood out with its vegan and raw food menu. There has been talk that the Prince Street restaurant, which also had a sister restaurant (also closed) in Newburyport, may reopen, but nothing seems to have been confirmed yet.

Ivy Restaurant
An upscale Italian cafe near Downtown Crossing in Boston that had been in operation for about five years, Ivy Restaurant is one of two eateries run by the Ivy Restaurant Group, which went into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy this past summer. Their other restaurant--Stoddard's--remains open.

Joan and Ed's Deli
A classic Natick delicatessen that had been serving comfort food to diners for more than 30 years, Joan and Ed's Deli closed its doors this past summer. There is some good news for deli lovers, however, as Zaftigs in Brookline will be taking over the space, which is in the Sherwood Plaza on Route 9.

Kelly's Landing
A landmark seafood spot that had been a South Boston institution for more than 80 years, Kelly's Landing on L Street served its last meal in late October, as the owner decided to retire. The dining spot featured such dishes as clam chowder, a variety of fried seafood, burgers, and chicken parmigiana.

Laurel
A slightly upscale but casual spot near where the Back Bay and the South End meet, Laurel focused on New American dishes at reasonable prices. The Berkeley Street restaurant also had a sister restaurant in the Back Bay called Six Burner, which has also closed. Geoffrey's Cafe has taken over the former Laurel space.

Seoul Food
A little Korean restaurant just outside of Porter Square in Cambridge, Seoul Food closed its doors after being in business for about a decade. The eatery featured such classic dishes as bibimbap and kimchi. Super Fusion Cuisine III, a Japanese dining spot, has since opened in the space.

Sports Depot
A spacious sports bar in Allston that had been in operation for more than 20 years, the Sports Depot on Cambridge Street shut down early this summer. Known mostly as a place to get pub grub and beer while watching sporting events on their countless TVs, the Sports Depot has since been replaced by a branch of Pizzeria Regina.

St. Alphonzo's Kitchen
A quirky little comfort food spot in a mostly residential and industrial section of South Boston, St. Alphonzo's Kitchen (formerly Potbellies Kitchen) featured such classic dishes as reubens, chicken cutlets, and grilled cheese sandwiches. A new Australian spot called KO Catering and Pies has since opened in the A Street spot.

Wu Chon House
A Korean restaurant in the Union Square section of Somerville, Wu Chon House featured some terrific (and authentic) fare at very reasonable prices. An array of sushi options were also available at this casual dining spot.

While there were certainly a number of restaurant closings in and around Boston over the past 12 months, the city has also seen many new dining spots open, including such places as Al-Wadi in West Roxbury, Bergamot in Somerville, Bondir in Cambridge, 5 Corners Kitchen in Marblehead, Garlic N Lemons in Allston, Journeyman in Somerville, Tasty Burger in the Fenway neighborhood, and Umami in Brookline. And 2011 is sure to bring more openings (and closings), so stay tuned....

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sixth Annual CityFeast to Be Held in Boston's North End, January 30, 2011

A culinary event returns to the North End of Boston at the end of January, and once again, it will be raising money for a good cause.

An email sent to us from Bishoff Communications mentions that CityFeast will take place on Sunday, January 30, with proceeds benefiting the Joslin Diabetes Center's High Hopes Fund. This year, six restaurants will be participating--Antico Forno, Caffe Graffiti, Lucca, Taranta, Terramia, and Tresca--with each offering a five-course dinner that includes wine pairings. The event, which costs $150 per person (including tax and gratuity), goes from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

For more information on the 2011 CityFeast in Boston's North End, please go to the Joslin link below.

http://www.joslin.org/

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Sonic Drive-In to Open in Medford

A chain of drive-in restaurants that opened its first two locations in the Boston area over the past year and a half is going to be opening a third spot, and this one will be its closest location to the city.

According to The Medford Transcript and Wicked Local, a new Sonic Drive-In is going to be opening at the site of the former KISS 108 FM building on the Revere Beach Parkway in Medford sometime in 2011. An entirely new building--which will be about 2,000 square feet in size--will be constructed for the eatery at the site, which is located near Wellington Circle.

Sonic Drive-In first opened last summer on Route 1 in Peabody, with a second location opening over the past spring on Route 38 in Wilmington (another Sonic had been planned for Marlborough, but that one has apparently fallen through). The chain features such quick-food items as burgers, hot dogs, chili cheese tots, shakes, and limeade. Sonic is currently the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in the country.

The address for the upcoming Sonic in Medford will be: Sonic Drive-In, 99 Revere Beach Parkway Medford, MA, 02155.

For more information on the upcoming opening of the new Sonic in Medford, please go to the Medford Transcript link below.

Sonic to build new location in Medford

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Local 149 Opening in the Old Farragut House Space in South Boston

As reported a few months ago, a new restaurant from the people behind a Newton dining spot is coming to South Boston, and it will be replacing a now-closed neighborhood Irish pub and eatery.

An email sent to us from Goldstein Pierce indicates that Local 149 will be opening on P Street in the City Point section of South Boston, moving into the space where the Farragut House had been. Folks from The Biltmore Bar and Grille on Chestnut Street in Newton Upper Falls will run the new restaurant, which looks to be a neighborhood pub with both an extensive craft beer list and a varied cocktail list. The email mentions that menu items at Local 149 will include hog wings, chicken & waffles, a number of seafood items, and a cheese and charcuterie selection as well.

Expect a mid-January opening for Local 149. [March 16, 2011 update: According to UrbanDaddy, Local 149 is having a soft opening today.]

The address for this new restaurant in the City Point section of South Boston is: Local 149, 149 P Street, South Boston, MA 02127.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Update: Barbecue Stand May Still Be in the Works for Former Restroom at Salem Willows

Earlier this year, we reported that a new barbecue place might open at the site of an old restroom at Salem Willows in Salem, but that plan has since fallen through. However, a BBQ stand may still be coming to the spot, depending on what the city thinks of a proposal from the person behind a local caterer.

According to The Salem News, the person behind Honky's Barbecue is apparently looking at the Salem Willows space, which had originally been a men's bathroom and was being looked at several months ago by the food service company Endless Summer Grilling of Swampscott as a spot to open a barbecue stand. The person who runs Honky's Barbecue still needs approval from the city of Salem for any proposal he makes, with the Salem News article mentioning that proposals for the spot are due by January 19.

For more information on the latest proposal for a barbecue stand at Salem Willows, please go to the Salem News link below.

The Salem News

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Some Other Boston-Area Restaurant Lists for 2010 (Part Two)

A couple of weeks ago, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) published its Best Hidden Restaurants in the Boston Area for 2010 list. And last week, we wrote about a few other Best of 2010 Lists focusing on Boston-area restaurants, including lists put out by newspapers, magazines, food writers, and restaurant-related websites. This week, we have three more lists (four, actually, as two are from the same folks), which are mentioned below:

2010: Favorite Restaurants
One of our favorite Boston-area food and drink websites is The Passionate Foodie blog, and Richard A., the person behind the site, has just come out with his picks for favorite Boston-area restaurants for 2010. Included here are such spots as AKA Bistro in Lincoln, The Clam Box in Ipswich, Taranta in the North End, and Tupelo in Cambridge.

The Year in Taste
Devra First of The Boston Globe has reviewed a number of restaurants this year, with some spots getting some very good reviews from her. In this Globe article (which came out today), Devra talks about some of her favorite dishes of 2010, including those from some places for which she has given top reviews (Bergamot in Somerville, for instance). Among the dishes mentioned in the article are the pea green salad from the aforementioned Bergamot, the burger from Back Bay Social Club in Boston, the duck from Deuxave in the Back Bay, and the trout from Parsons Table in Winchester.

Phantom's Top Restaurant Picks For 2010
The Phantom Gourmet gives the restaurants it reviews a number rating, with relatively few getting above 85. In the video shown here, the Phantom mentions its four highest-rated dining spots for 2010, two of which have gotten ratings of 90 and 91. The Phantom Gourmet also has a video giving some general favorites from 2010, which can be found at this link: Phantom Gourmet's Top 2010 Picks.

Between these four links, the three links from last week's article, and the list put out by us, you should be able to find plenty of restaurants that have greatly impressed in 2010. If you have any favorites from the past year, feel free to comment below. Thanks, and have a Happy New Year!

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Food Trucks to Come to Boston's City Hall Plaza for New Year's Eve

It looks like a few mobile restaurants will be setting up in Boston's Government Center for the city's New Year's Eve events.

According one of our sources, at least three food trucks will be stationed at City Hall Plaza as part of the New Year's Eve celebrations that mark the end of 2010. The trucks, which should be up and running by late afternoon or early evening on Friday, December 31, will include at least the following (more may be coming--we'll post any updates here): The Roslindale-based Buffalo Bo's, which offers burgers, hot dogs, chili, ribs, and steak tips; Cambridge's Clover Food Truck, which features vegetarian fare; and Grilled Cheese Nation, which sells a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches.

City Hall Plaza is located between Cambridge Street and Congress Street, just west of Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall in the heart of downtown Boston.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Dunkin' Donuts in Newton Highlands Closes; A Restaurant May Be Moving into the Space

A branch of the world's largest coffee and baked goods chain has closed in Newton, and a new restaurant may be looking to open in the space.

According to both the Wicked Local blog for Newton and the Newton Patch, Dunkin' Donuts on Walnut Street in the Newton Highlands section of the city closed late last week, with the Newton Patch mentioning that its closing was based on a business decision between the company and the franchise. Wicked Local states that a restaurant might be planning to open where the now-shuttered Dunkin' Donuts was, but there doesn't appear to be any confirmation of this at the present time.

Several other branches of the Canton-based Dunkin' Donuts remain open in Newton, including locations in Newtonville, West Newton, Nonantum, Newton Corner, and Newton Centre.

The address for this now-closed location of Dunkin' Donuts was: Dunkin' Donuts, 1203 Walnut Street, Newton Highlands, MA, 02461.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Results of Twitter Steak Tip Poll

Our latest Twitter poll has just wrapped up, with this particular poll focusing on the best steak tips in the Boston area. Our previous polls have included a bread poll (When Pigs Fly in various locations won), a coffee poll (Boston Common Coffee in Boston), a meatball poll (Comella's in various locations), a sushi poll (Douzo in the Back Bay), a cupcake poll (Sweet Cupcakes in the Back Bay and Harvard Square), a steak and cheese poll (Carl's in Waltham), an ice cream poll (Richardson's in Middleton), a roast beef poll (Nick's Famous Roast Beef in Beverly), a chicken wing poll (Buff's Pub in Newton), a macaroni and cheese poll (Fat Cat in Quincy), 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). Below are the results of the Twitter steak tip poll:

1) NewBridge Cafe, Chelsea (29%)
2) Dom's Sausage, Malden (8%)
2) 75 Chestnut, Boston (8%)
2) Silvertone, Boston (8%)

Some other spots were picked in the Twitter steak tip poll, including Abe and Louie's (Back Bay), Abington Ale House (Abington), Beacon Street Tavern (Brookline), Conrad's (Norwood), Damien's Pub (Hanson), Frank's Steak House (Cambridge), The 99 Restaurants (various locations), O'Hara's (Newton), Orchard Park Grill (Watertown), Salem Wood Cafe (Malden), Stoneforge Tavern (Easton), and Sunset Grill and Tap (Allston).

Thanks to everyone who has voted in our Twitter polls. We will try to start another poll in the beginning of January, so check back on our Twitter page at http://twitter.com/hiddenboston.

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La Sosta da Maria Is Apparently Coming to Boston's North End

It looks like a new Italian restaurant is coming to the North End of Boston, moving into the space where a hairstyling shop had been.

According to the EveryBlock Boston site, La Sosta da Maria is planning to open on Salem Street in the spot formerly occupied by Michael's Hairstyling and Tanning Salon (where Stillman Street meets Salem Street, about two blocks from the Rose Kennedy Greenway). There is currently no other information available about this upcoming dining spot; as soon as we find out more, we will post an update here.

If all goes as planned for this restaurant, the address will be: La Sosta da Maria, 78-80 Salem Street, Boston, MA, 02113.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Beyond Bubbie's Kitchen Returns to Boston, January 30, 2011

A culinary event that focuses on the updating of traditional Jewish recipes is coming back to Boston in January of 2011, with 15 local chefs participating.

According to the New Center For Arts & Culture website, Beyond Bubbie's Kitchen will be held at 5:30 PM on Sunday, January 30, 2011, at the Moakley Courthouse on the Boston waterfront. Chefs from the area will be giving demonstrations of dishes for sampling at the event, and guests will be given recipe booklets that include the items created over the course of the evening.

Participants at the 2011 Beyond Bubbie's Kitchen event include chefs from American Seaasons, Bin 26, Craigie on Main, Eastern Standard, Estragon, The Fireplace, Journeyman, Lala Rokh, La Morra, Lumiere, Oishii, Ole, Om, Russell House Tavern, Stella, and Upstairs on the Square.

In 2009, Beyond Bubbie's Kitchen was held at Artists For Humanity on West 2nd. Street in South Boston (on September 13).

Tickets to Beyond Bubbie's Kitchen cost $136 ($36 for young adults--39 years old or younger).

For more information on the upcoming Beyond Bubbie's Kitchen at the Moakley Courthouse, please go to the New Center For Arts & Culture link below.

http://www.newcenterboston.org/

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ZuZu's Cafe and Catering Opens in Wakefield

Another new restaurant has opened in Wakefield, bringing to this northern suburb of Boston a place to get classic American fare.

According to one of our fans on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page, ZuZu's Cafe & Catering has opened on Main Street in the center of town, becoming the second dining spot to open in Wakefield over the past few weeks (the Thai restaurant Red Sugar Cafe being the other). ZuZu's Cafe & Catering serves breakfast, lunch, and an early dinner.

Menu items at ZuZu's Cafe & Catering include breakfast burritos, croissants, sandwiches (including panini and wraps), macaroni and cheese, beef tenderloin, crab cakes, grilled salmon, and chicken cutlets. Desserts include cookies, cheesecake, and brownies.

As indicated by the name, ZuZu's also does catering, with the catering menu featuring a wide array of dishes for pickup or delivery.

The address for this new restaurant in Wakefield is: ZuZu's Cafe & Catering, 316 Main Street, Wakefield, MA, 01880. The phone number is (781) 245-3035. And the website can be found at: http://www.zuzuscatering.com/

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan to Feature Roast Beef from Harrison's in North Andover

It looks like a club in the NoHo/East Village neighborhood of Manhattan that focuses on poetry readings and performances is going to start serving roast beef sandwiches at the club's new cafe, and the roast beef will be from the same folks who run a popular eatery north of Boston.

According to the East Village blog EV Grieve as well as Grub Street New York, the Bowery Poetry Club on the Bowery is planning to open a new literary cafe within the space. The cafe will apparently be featuring roast beef sandwiches using roast beef from Harrison's in North Andover. Harrison's, which is located on Routes 125 and 133, is a roadside restaurant that serves classic north-of-Boston roast beef sandwiches as well as pastrami, corned beef, ham, chicken, and fish sandwiches.

The new literary cafe may be open by early February of 2011.

The address for the Bowery Poetry Club is: Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, New York, NY, 10012. Their website can be found at: http://www.bowerypoetry.com/

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Red Sugar Cafe Opens in Wakefield

A new Thai restaurant has opened in Wakefield, and while it looks like it will be a place for mostly takeout, it does have some limited seating inside.

According to one of our fans on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page, Red Sugar Cafe has opened on Vernon Street (just off of Route 129, about three blocks east of Main Street). A check on the Yelp site has confirmed this, and a page on the Wakefield Patch indicates that the restaurant apparently opened last month. The Patch also mentions that Red Sugar Cafe has only four or five tables inside the place, all of which have a view of the restaurant's kitchen. The new eatery, which does not serve alcohol, is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.

Red Sugar Cafe is one of several Asian dining spots in Wakefield, including Duck Walk, another Thai restaurant on Main Street in the heart of Wakefield Center that our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) has featured. A third Thai restaurant in town is Porchai Thai, which is located on Centre Street about a block away from Duck Walk.

The address for this new Thai restaurant in Wakefield is: Red Sugar Cafe, 24 Vernon Street, Wakefield, MA, 01880.

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Report: Do Terrorists Have Restaurant Salad Bars and Buffets in Their Sights?

A report has come out this week that hotels and restaurants may be a potential target of terrorists, with the poisoning of restaurant salad bars and buffets being a possible plan.

According to CBS News, a plot was uncovered earlier in 2010 where terrorists might be looking into the placing of ricin and cyanide into food within salad bars and buffets at restaurants. The report states that the plot may focus on attacks happening at a number of hotels and restaurants during a particular weekend. The article also mentions that a key intelligence source considers this threat to be credible, while earlier this month, the Secretary of Homeland Security implied that people who may be planning acts of terrorism on the United States may currently be in this country already, though it is not clear from the article whether she was talking about the plotters of this specific plan.

CBS says that federal officials have met with some corporate security officers from the hospitality industry about the possible plot, and that the hotel and restaurant industries is now on alert.

For more on this story, please go to the CBS news link below.

Latest Terror Threat in US Aimed to Poison Food

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Bocca Bella Cafe and Bistro Opens in the Auburndale Section of Newton

A new Italian dining spot has just opened in a section of Newton that traditionally hasn't had much in the way of restaurants.

According to posters on Chowhound and Yelp, Bocca Bella Cafe & Bistro is now open on Lexington Street in Auburndale (just off Route 30, and about a mile east of Routes 95/128). Based on a page within the Newton Patch, the new eatery is open for lunch and dinner and features such items as panini and pasta dishes, as well as some American items such as burgers. The restaurant is a small, casual spot, with 14 tables in its dining area, according to the Patch.

The address for this new restaurant in the Auburndale section of Newton is: Bocca Bella Cafe & Bistro, 442 Lexington Street, Auburndale, MA, 02466.

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Royal India Bistro Opening in Lexington

A new Indian restaurant is coming to Lexington, moving into the space formerly occupied by a swimwear shop.

According to the restaurant's website, Royal India Bistro will be opening on Meriam Street in Lexington Center (across from the Lexington Green), taking over the spot where Beach Front Property Swimwear used to be. The eatery, which will be serving both lunch and dinner, may be opening in the next week or so, based on a post within the Chowhound site.

The menu at Royal India Bistro looks to feature both Northern Indian and Southern Indian specialties, with roti (baked wheat bread), palak paneer (cottage cheese with spinach and ginger), kabuli chana (chickpeas with garlic and ginger), and biryani (a rice dish) in the former category, and dosas (stuffed crepes) and uttapam (thin pancakes made with rice and lentils) in the latter category. A number of tandoori specialties will be available, as well as a variety of curry dishes.

[December 28 update: According to their Facebook page, Royal India Bistro is now open.]

The address for this new restaurant in Lexington Center will be: Royal India Bistro, 7 Meriam Street, Lexington, MA, 02420. The website can be found at: http://bistroroyalindia.com/

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Some Other Boston-Area Restaurant Lists for 2010

Last week, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) came out with its Best Hidden Restaurants in the Boston Area for 2010 list. It is but one of many "best of" and "awards" lists focusing on the Boston restaurant scene this year, including lists compiled by newspapers, magazines, food writers, and restaurant-related websites. Out of all the lists out there, three in particular have grabbed our attention, which we briefly mention below:

Best of the New: Food
A number of folks at The Boston Globe have compiled a list of some of the best new dining spots to hit the Boston restaurant scene in 2010. The list includes such highly-regarded places as Bergamot in Somerville, Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar in the Fenway section of Boston, Island Creek Oyster Bar in Kenmore Square, and the Russell House Tavern in Cambridge's Harvard Square. Each of the restaurants listed includes a description of the spot as well a street address, phone number, and web link.

The 2010 Devil's Dining Awards
The second list of its kind to be published by MC Slim JB, a Boston-based food writer and restaurant critic, this often-humorous article includes such categories as the "Worst New Restaurant Name" awards (Twitters Bar & Grill in Saugus made the list), the "Even Chains Get It Right Sometimes" award (the roast beef on kummelweck sandwich at Fenway's Bleacher Bar won), and the "Most Delusional Customer" award (something that happened at the South End's Myers + Chang that you have to see to believe). This eclectic list is a refreshing alternative to the more straightforward "best of 2010" lists and is a must read for anyone who is up for a few laughs while being informed about various Boston-area restaurants and food trends.

The Ultimate Food Coma: The 25 best things we ate this year
The Boston Phoenix and Stuff Boston (which are both part of The Phoenix Network, along with radio station WFNX) both feature restaurant reviews throughout the year, and Stuff Boston recently published an article about some of the best individual food dishes of 2010. Written by Scott Kearnan and MC Slim JB, this article includes everything from high-end items such as the roasted suckling pig at Troquet across from Boston Common to cheap eats dishes such as the meat pie at KO Catering and Pies in South Boston.

There are plenty of other interesting food and dining lists for 2010 out there, but these three should be a good start for learning about what has been going on within the Boston restaurant scene over the past year.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Tasti D-Lite Coming to Boston's Back Bay

A New York-based frozen dessert chain that features lower-calorie items is going to be coming to the Back Bay of Boston, opening its first shop in the city in March of 2011.

An email sent to us by Sanderson and Associates indicates that Tasti D-Lite will be opening on Newbury Street in the Back Bay, bringing to the neighborhood a place to get dairy-based desserts that are lower in calories, carbs, and fat than typical frozen treats. Tasti D-Lite, which first opened in New York in 1987, features an extensive list of flavors for their frozen desserts (which can be ordered in either a cup or a cone), including such flavors as apple pie, burnt sugar, German chocolate cake, papaya, peanut cluster, rice pudding, and toffee crunch.

The email mentions that the people behind the planned Tasti D-Lite in Boston will be opening three other locations in the area, with the second one opening sometime late in 2011.

The address for this upcoming dessert shop in the Back Bay will be: Tasti D-Lite, 205 Newbury Street, Boston, MA, 02116. The website for the chain can be found at: http://www.tastidlite.com/

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Paragon Grill and Surf Lounge Opening Where Raffael's Was in Hull

A new restaurant and lounge is coming to the Nantasket Beach section of Hull, and it will be moving into the space where another restaurant had been until closing last month.

According to the Patriot Ledger, the Paragon Grill and Surf Lounge is planning to open in early January 2011 on Hull Shore Drive, taking over the spot within the Clarion Nantasket Beach Resort Hotel where Raffael's used to be. The hotel itself will be undergoing some changes as well, as it has been sold and will apparently be renamed as the Nantasket Beach Resort next spring.

[June 22, 2011 update: The Paragon Grill and Surf Lounge are now open for business.]

The Patriot Ledger article mentions that the people behind the Paragon Grill and Surf Lounge are offering jobs to those who had worked at the now-closed Raffael's, which continues to operate two other spots in Walpole and Hingham (at the South Shore Country Club).

The address for this new restaurant at Nantasket Beach is: Paragon Grill and Surf Lounge, 45 Hull Shore Drive, Hull, MA, 02045.

For more information on the opening of the Paragon Grill and Surf Lounge, please go to the Patriot Ledger link below.

Nantasket hotel to open new restaurant in January

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Second Pop-Up Restaurant Coming; Location Will Be Bloc 11 in Somerville

The people behind a two-night "pop-up" restaurant in the South End of Boston last month are working on a second, three-night pop-up spot, with this one being held at a cafe in the Union Square section of Somerville.

A post on the wheretoeat.in website indicates that Bloc 11 on Bow Street will be the site of the upcoming pop-up restaurant, which will be held January 14-16, 2011, and will include five-course prix fixe meals prepared by Will Gilson of Garden at the Cellar in Cambridge (event organizer and well-known Twitter figure Aaron Cohen of Eat Boston is also involved once again). The menu on the first two nights appears to be the same, with such items as a whiskey-cured cigar-smoked salmon with sunchoke rosti and a coffee-rubbed pork tenderloin being offered, while the menu on the last night is slightly different (the last night is vegetarian night), including sunchoke rosti with eggplant puree and a winter vegetable and bean cassoulet.

Ticket prices for each night are $60, which the price including meal, tax, and gratuity. Hors d'oeuvres are served starting at 7:00 PM each night, with seating for dinner taking place at 7:30.

Bloc 11 is at 11 Bow Street, which is just northwest of the intersection with Somerville Avenue and Washington Street in Union Square.

For more information on the second pop-up restaurant coming to the Boston area, please go to the wheretoeat.in link below.

http://wheretoeat.in/bloc11/

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bourbon Coffee Is Opening in Cambridge

A new coffee shop and cafe with roots in a Central African country is coming to the Porter Square section of Cambridge.

According to the Cambridge Day website, Bourbon Coffee is going to be opening in the Porter Exchange building on Mass. Ave., moving into the space where an outlet of The Gap used to be. The article mentions that the Rwanda-based cafe, which had originally been looking to open at the old Marino's site up the street in North Cambridge, will be located at the front of the Exchange building, which also contains a number of Asian eateries, including Blue Fin and Cafe Mami.

[December 14, 2011 update: According to posters on Chowhound and Yelp, Bourbon Coffee is now open.]

Based on the cafe menu within the their website, the upcoming Bourbon Coffee in Cambridge will feature Rwandan coffee as well as tea and smoothies. The cafe in Cambridge will likely offer food items as well, including cookies, muffins, pastries, cakes, pies, tea bread, and a variety of sandwiches.

Bourbon Coffee currently has three locations in Rwanda, as well as one in Washington, DC. An outlet in New York City is apparently on the way as well. [November 23, 2011 update: The New York outlet is now open.]

The address for this new cafe in the Porter Square section of Cambridge is: Bourbon Coffee, 1815 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02140. The website for the cafes can be found at: http://www.bourboncoffeeusa.com/our_cafes.php

For more information on the opening of Bourbon Coffee, please go to the Cambridge Day link below.

Rwandan coffee chain plans to take Porter Exchange space

Thanks to a poster on Chowhound for initially bringing this to our attention.

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Andreas' Mediterranean Cuisine in Brookline Is Closing

Based on notes from a town selectmen's meeting, it appears that a Mediterranean restaurant in a mostly residential section of Brookline is going to be closing its doors.

According to Brookline TAB and Wicked Local, Andreas' Mediterranean Cuisine on the West Roxbury Parkway (near the Boston border) will be shutting down. The restaurant has served breakfast, lunch, and dinner mainly to locals in the neighborhood, featuring such items as challah French toast, omelettes, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, spinach pie, baked scrod, beef brisket, pasta with clam sauce, lamb kebab, and sauteed chicken with artichokes.

[March 31, 2011 update: Andrea's Mediterranean Cuisine is now closed.]

The address for this dining spot in Brookline was: Andreas' Mediterranean Cuisine, 1012 West Roxbury Parkway, Brookline, MA, 02467.

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Best Boston-Area Restaurants of 2010 Has Been Posted

Just a quick note that our sixth annual "Best Hidden Restaurants in the Boston Area" page has just been posted to our sister site--Boston's Hidden Restaurants. The list for 2010 includes some repeat winners as well as several first-time winners.

We started posting the "Best Of" lists in 2005, with the list slowly expanding to include a number of different categories, including best pizza, cafe, Chinese restaurant, burgers, hot dogs, Irish pub/restaurant, and more.

If you would like to see our picks, please go to the Best Boston-Area Restaurants, 2010 page. Thanks!

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sea Dog Pub Planning to Open in Charlestown, Braintree, and Framingham

A Maine-based microbrewery that has expanded into the Boston area this year will apparently be expanding a bit more over the coming months, with new locations planned for a Boston neighborhood, a South Shore community, and a MetroWest town.

According to the Charlestown Patch, the Sea Dog Pub is looking to open new locations in Charlestown, Braintree, and Framingham, all of which would join existing locations in Hull and Woburn. Locations for the three new spots are not known as of yet; as soon as we find out more information, we will post updates here. (The article does mention that the Charlestown location could be open by the spring of 2011.)

The Sea Dog Pub restaurants all feature classic comfort food, pub grub, and American dishes, including chicken wings, fried clams, chili, burgers, and pulled pork sliders. The pubs also offer a variety of handcrafted ales that are made in Maine.

In addition to Hull and Woburn, locations of the Sea Dog Pub can also be found in three Maine communities--Bangor, Topsham, and South Portland.

For more information about the planned expansion of the Sea Dog Pub into Charlestown, Braintree, and Framingham, please go to the Charlestown Patch link below.

Maine-based Brew Pub to Open Charlestown Location

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Publick House Provisions in Brookline Is Closing

It looks like the retail outlet of a popular restaurant and beer bar in Brookline is going to be closing its doors.

According to Brookline TAB and Wicked Local, the Brookline selectmen's office states that Publick House Provisions on Beacon Street (a few blocks west of Washington Square) will be shutting down. The shop, which first opened in the spring of 2008, is directly connected with The Publick House, which is also located on Beacon Street, just east of the store. The people behind Publick House Provisions and The Publick House also run American Craft, a restaurant and bar that is next to the shop.

Publick House Provisions has been known for its vast selection of craft beers as well as its artisanal cheeses. The store has also hosted various events, including free beer tastings.

The address for this soon-to-close beer and cheese shop in Brookline is: Publick House Provisions, 1706 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA, 02445.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ataraxis Tavern in Marblehead Is Closing

It looks like a restaurant in Marblehead that has been in business for less than a year is getting ready to close its doors.

According to their Facebook page, Ataraxis Tavern on Atlantic Avenue is shutting down, apparently because it has not been able to make up for a lack of business in its early days of operation. The restaurant, which opened this past winter, has featured mostly comfort food dishes such as sweet potato hummus, shrimp etouffee, burgers, baked haddock, burritos, and baby back ribs.

Prior to Ataraxis Tavern, the Atlantic Street space was home to a restaurant and bar called Flynnies on the Avenue.

[January 18, 2011 update: According to the restaurant's Facebook page, Ataraxis Tavern is now closed.]

The address for this restaurant was: Ataraxis Tavern, 28 Atlantic Avenue, Marblehead, MA, 01945.

Thanks to North Shore Dish for initially bringing this to our attention.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Acitron Is Opening in Old Rio Brazilian Barbeque Space in Arlington

A new Mexican restaurant is on the way to Arlington Center, moving into the space where a Brazilian restaurant had been until closing nearly two years ago.

According to The Arlington Advocate, Acitron is going to be moving into the former Rio Brazilian Barbeque spot on Mass. Ave. (between Pleasant Street and Medford Street). It appears that the eatery will be open for both lunch and dinner.

Rio Brazilian Barbeque had first opened during the summer of 2007, shutting its doors about two and a half years later toward the end of 2009. The Indian restaurant Punjab was housed in the space prior to Rio (Punjab has since moved to a bigger spot within the same block of stores).

[April 5, 2011 update: A check on Acitron today has shown that a grand opening sign is now up at the restaurant, so it is now officially open for business.]

The address for this new Mexican restaurant in Arlington is: Acitron, 473 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA, 02474.

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Adams Park Kitchen and Bar to Open in Roslindale in Former Geoffrey's Space

A new restaurant will soon be coming to Roslindale, and it will be moving into the space where an eclectic restaurant had been before moving to the Back Bay of Boston.

According to a poster on Chowhound, there is a sign up for Adams Park Kitchen and Bar on Washington Street where Geoffrey's Cafe used to be. A note from Universal Hub has indeed confirmed that Adams Park is opening in the space, and an earlier article in the Boston Globe states that the new restaurant may be opening in January. The Globe article also mentions that once it opens its doors, Adams Park will offer dinner and brunch, and will apparently be open for lunch for private groups only.

Geoffrey's Cafe moved from Roslindale to Berkeley Street in the Back Bay this past October, and another Geoffrey's briefly reopened in the old Roslindale space. The person behind the short-lived Geoffrey's in Roslindale is also the person opening Adams Park.

The address for this upcoming restaurant in Roslindale will be: Adams Park Kitchen and Bar, 4257 Washington Street, Roslindale, MA, 02131. The address for the current location of Geoffrey's in the Back Bay is: Geoffrey's Cafe, 142 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA, 02116.

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Terrie's Place in South Boston Is Closing

A popular neighborhood breakfast and lunch spot in South Boston is getting ready to close, and another dining spot may be moving into the space.

According to a poster on the Chowhound site, Terrie's Place on E Broadway will be closing at the end of the month, with a sushi place apparently moving into the spot. A phone call placed to Terrie's Place has confirmed that the eatery will be closing its doors for good on December 29, though we are still trying to find out for sure whether a sushi restaurant is indeed moving in.

[January 3, 2010 update: A Twitter note to us from Boston Herald beat reporter Ian R. Rapoport has confirmed that Terrie's Place in South Boston is now closed.]

Terrie's Place has been known mostly as a place where locals go for breakfast at reasonable prices. The menu features muffins, coffee cake, corned beef hash, eggs benedict, omelets, waffles, pancakes, and French toast, as well as sandwiches for both breakfast and lunch.

The address for this restaurant in South Boston was: Terrie's Place, 676 E Broadway, South Boston, MA, 02127.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Sonic Drive-In Planning to be Open 24 Hours a Day in Peabody

A chain of drive-ins with locations in Peabody and Wilmington is apparently going to be open 24/7 at its Peabody location, based on a vote of support from the city.

According to The Salem News, Sonic Drive-In on Route 1 has been given approval from the Peabody City Council to stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (Currently, hours for the Peabody branch of Sonic are 6:00 AM to 2:00 AM.) Sonic, which is known in part for its burgers, Coney Island hot dogs, chili cheese tots, shakes, and limeade, first arrived in New England with its Peabody location in August of 2009. Its Wilmington location opened this past spring.

The address for the Peabody location of Sonic is: Sonic Drive-In, 55 Newbury Street (Route 1), Peabody, MA, 01960.

For more information on this story, please go to the Salem News link below.

Sonic eatery is cleared to stay open all night

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Magnolia Bakery May Be Coming to Boston

A popular bakery in the Greenwich Village section of New York that has been branching out of late is apparently looking at Boston as the possible site of one of its upcoming locations.

According to the Village Voice blog, Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker Street in the Village is planning to open new branches of its shop in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Long Island, and New Jersey, with possible openings in Chicago and Boston as well. The bakery, which recently opened shops on Columbus Avenue in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Rockefeller Center, and Grand Central Station--as well as one in Los Angeles and another in Dubai--is known primarily for their cupcakes and "icebox desserts" (including mini cheesecakes), but also features cakes, pies, brownies, cookies, and muffins.

[May 16, 2012 update: A quick update to this story--Eater Boston is reporting that Magnolia Bakery still does want to come to Boston "one day," but they aren't saying anything else at this point, so don't expect an outlet of their shop to arrive in Beantown anytime soon.]

Magnolia Bakery first started out in 1996, building a following through the years which has included its being mentioned in several movies and television shows.

The website for Magnolia Bakery can be found at: http://www.magnoliacupcakes.com/

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Isabelle's Curly Cakes Opens in Boston's Beacon Hill

A new cupcake place has just opened in the Beacon Hill section of Boston, and the last name of the father and daughter behind the spot should be a very familiar one to most Bostonians.

According to The Boston Foodie, Isabelle's Curly Cakes opened yesterday on Charles Street, with the shop moving into the space where Ritz Camera used to be (between Pinckney Street and Mt. Vernon Street). The new cupcake spot is being run by Isabelle English and her father Todd English, a celebrity chef who is known for such restaurants as Olives, Figs, and KingFish Hall. Isabelle's Curly Cakes features a number of everyday and special cupcakes including red velvet, triple chocolate, vanilla bean, and chocolate peanut butter cup in the former category, and apple streusel and pumpkin pie spice currently in the latter category.

Hours for Isabelle's Curly Cakes are 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM Monday through Thursday, 10:00 AM to 9:30 PM Friday and Saturday, and 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Sundays. The address is: Isabelle's Curly Cakes, 81 Charles Street, Boston, MA, 02114. The phone number is (617) 720-2260. And the website can be found at: http://www.izzyscurlycakes.com/

For more information on the opening of Isabelle's Curly Cakes, please go to the Boston Foodie link below.

Curly Cakes Opening Party

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Ginger Park in Boston's South End Closes; Owner Hopes to Open New Restaurant Elsewhere

An upscale Asian restaurant in the South End of Boston has closed its doors after being in business for a little over a year, but the person behind it is hoping to open a new dining spot somewhere in or around the city.

According to the Boston Globe, Ginger Park on Washington Street shut down yesterday, and the space is now up for sale. The article states that the chef of the restaurant, which first opened for business in September of 2009 (replacing Banq), is planning on opening a smaller but similar restaurant, though no name or location is known as of yet.

Ginger Park featured a variety of inventive dishes, including pork and shrimp dumplings, duck prosciutto, lamb croquettes, twice-cooked pork, short rib tacos, miso-glazed eggplant, potato spring rolls, and wok-steamed bok choy.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in the South End was: Ginger Park, 1375 Washington Street, Boston, MA, 02118.

For more on the closing of Ginger Park, please go to the Boston Globe link below.

Ginger Park is closed

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Hungry Betty's Bar and Grill Opening in Marblehead

A new family-friendly restaurant is coming to Marblehead, moving into the space where an Indian dining spot used to be.

According to the Marblehead Reporter and Wicked Local, Hungry Betty's Bar & Grill is planning to open on the second floor of the Village Plaza on Pleasant Street where Zaika used to be until closing in the spring of 2009. The article mentions that the person behind Hungry Betty's Bar & Grill has been in charge of the kitchen at the Dolphin Yacht Club, which is at Allerton Place on Marblehead Harbor. The upcoming restaurant has received a common-victualler license as well as a liquor license, and should be opening soon, according to the article.

In addition to Zaika, the space that Hungry Betty's Bar & Grill is moving into was also home to Rinaldo's Restaurant, which closed about five years ago.

[March 4, 2011 update: According to both North Shore Dish and the restaurant's Facebook page, Hungry Betty's is now open for business.]

The address for this new restaurant in Marblehead is: Hungry Betty's Bar & Grill, 161 Pleasant Street, Marblehead, MA, 01945. Their website is at http://hungrybettys.com/

For more information on the opening of Hungry Betty's Bar & Grill, please go to the Marblehead Reporter/Wicked Local link below.

New Marblehead eatery coming soon: Hungry Betty's

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Bon Chon Replaces Toki Super Fusion Cuisine in Allston

It appears that the people behind an Asian lounge and chicken place that closed in Allston earlier this year are in the process of opening a new Asian chicken place nearby, moving into the space where yet another Asian restaurant had been.

According to several sources, including a few posters on the Chowhound site, Bon Chon has replaced Toki Super Fusion Cuisine on Brighton Avenue, about a block east of where Privus Lounge used to be until closing this past spring. Privus was known in part for their Korean fried bon chon chicken, and also featured sushi and a variety of cocktails. The new Bon Chon restaurant is apparently being opened by the people behind Privus, as the site for Bon Chon appears to have been put up by the folks behind Bull restaurant, an upcoming Korean eatery in Cambridge's Harvard Square--and Bull happens to be connected to the now closed Privus.

The address for this new restaurant in Allston is: Bon Chon, 123 Brighton Avenue, Allston, MA, 02134. The website for the restaurant can be found at: http://bonchonallston.com/

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Boston Could Be Seeing Many More Food Trucks in the Future

If two city councilors get their wish, Boston could eventually be seeing a lot more in the way of food trucks.

According to Boston.com, two members of the Boston City Council have proposed issuing licenses for up to 25 food trucks. The article states that the proposal, which will need to have the mayor's approval as well as approval by a majority of the council, stems from a trip to Los Angeles that was taken by the two councilors to learn about the booming food truck scene out there, including the studying of food truck laws in the region. The report can be found at this PDF link:

Report on Foodtrucks

For more on the proposal to bring more food trucks to Boston, please go to the Boston.com link below.

Boston City Council proposes licenses for 25 food trucks

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Marc Orfaly of Pigalle and Marco in Boston to Open New Restaurant in Quincy

It appears that the chef and co-owner of two upscale restaurants in Boston is planning on opening a new dining spot just south of the city.

Based on a job post within the Craigslist site, Marc Orfaly of Pigalle on Charles Street South in the Theatre District and Marco on Hanover Street in the North End is looking to open a new eatery somewhere in Quincy. We are currently trying to find out the exact location for the upcoming restaurant, as well as a name--as soon as we do, we will post an update here.

Pigalle, which has been in business for about ten years, features French cuisine (with a focus on Parisian fare), while Marco, which opened about five years ago, focuses on regional Italian dishes.

More information on Marc Orfaly can be found at the BostonChefs.com link below:

http://www.bostonchefs.com/restaurant/Pigalle/chef/marc-orfaly/

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Veggie Galaxy Is Coming to Cambridge's Central Square

A new diner is on the way to Central Square in Cambridge, and it looks like it will be featuring vegetarian and vegan fare.

According to The Boston Herald, the new eatery, which will be called Veggie Galaxy, will open on Mass. Ave. in this bustling neighborhood in 2011, with a summer opening being possible. The article states that the diner will feature comfort food items such as pancakes, omelets, "meatloaf" made of tempeh, veggie burgers, and vegan milkshakes.

The Herald mentions that the new diner is being opened by the owner of Veggie Planer, a vegetarian and vegan restaurant within Club Passim on Palmer Street in Cambridge's Harvard Square that features pizza as well as soups, salads, appetizers, and desserts.

The address for this 90-seat diner in Central Square will be: Veggie Galaxy, 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139.

[August 28, 2011 update: According to The Feast, Veggie Galaxy is hoping to open on Tuesday, September 6.]

[August 30, 2011 update: It still looks like the grand opening for Veggie Galaxy will be next week, but according to UrbanDaddy, the restaurant will be having a soft opening for the public this Thursday (September 1).]

For more information on this upcoming restaurant, please go to the Boston Herald link below.

Veggie Galaxy readies for takeoff

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Tres Gatos Opening in Jamaica Plain

It looks like a tapas bar is going to be opening in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston early next year, and it will be a place where you can also buy books and music.

According to The Boston Herald, the owner of the Rhythm & Muse book and music store on Centre Street in JP is planning to open a new spot called Tres Gatos within the same building. It appears that Tres Gatos will be a Spanish tapas-style restaurant that is physically connected to the aforementioned book and music shop, making it a place where people can have dinner, then browse through books, CDs, and more. The Herald mentions that the new dining spot, which will have a capacity of 40, may be open as early as January of 2011.

[February 15, 2011 update: According to the Thrillist site, Tres Gatos is planning on opening tomorrow (Wednesday, February 16).]

Rhythm & Muse temporarily closed this past summer in preparation of the morphing of the spot into a combination restaurant/bookstore, according to the Herald.

The address for this new restaurant/bookstore/music shop in Jamaica Plain is: Tres Gatos, 470 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130. The website can be found at http://tresgatosjp.com/

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Forum Is Opening in Boston's Back Bay

[Ed Note, December 28: This article has been edited to reflect the correct name of this restaurant. It will be called Forum, not 4th on Boylston, as we had originally called it. Changes are reflected in the text below.]

It looks like a new restaurant is coming to the Back Bay of Boston, and it will apparently be moving into the space where a trendy restaurant and bar has been.

According to EveryBlock Boston, a business license has been issued for Forum (not 4th on Boylston, as it had been called on that site), which is planning to open in the Vox Populi space. As reported earlier this fall, Vox Populi is closing its doors sometime around the end of 2010 after being in business for about a decade [December 28 update: Vox Populi is now closed]. It was also reported here that Boston Nightlife Ventures, Inc., which is behind behind Noche in the South End, The Tap in Faneuil Hall, and The Federal in Beacon Hill, is behind Forum.

An email from the owner and president of Boston Nightlife Ventures indicates that the new restaurant will focus on eclectic American fare, with a kind of sports gastropub on the first floor, and more of a fine-dining area on the second floor.

[July 11, 2011 update: According to CBH Communications, Forum is opening on Wednesday (July 13).]

The address for this new restaurant in the Back Bay is: Forum, 755 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02116.

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Results of Twitter Bread Poll

Our latest Twitter poll is now complete, with this poll focusing on the best bread in the Boston area. Our previous polls have included a coffee poll (Boston Common Coffee in Boston won), a meatball poll (Comella's in various locations), a sushi poll (Douzo in the Back Bay), a cupcake poll (Sweet Cupcakes in the Back Bay and Harvard Square), a steak and cheese poll (Carl's in Waltham), an ice cream poll (Richardson's in Middleton), a roast beef poll (Nick's Famous Roast Beef in Beverly), a chicken wing poll (Buff's Pub in Newton), a macaroni and cheese poll (Fat Cat in Quincy), 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). Below are the winners of the Twitter bread poll:

1) When Pigs Fly, Somerville and Brookline (and various stores) (24%)
2) Iggy's, Cambridge (and various stores) (14%)
3) Fornax Bread Company, Roslindale (10%)
3) Twin Bakery, Winthrop (10%)

A number of other spots were picked in the Twitter bread poll, including the bread used at Alive and Kicking (Cambridge), Annarosa's (Salisbury), Big Sky Bread Company (Newton), Bova's Bakery (Boston), Clear Flour Bread (Brookline), Danish Pastry House (Medford), Hi-Rise Bread Company (Cambridge), Mamadou's Artisan Bakery (Winchester), and Sofra Bakery and Cafe (Cambridge).

Thanks to all of you who have voted in our Twitter polls. We will start another poll later in December, so keep checking back on our Twitter page at http://twitter.com/hiddenboston.

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