Monday, February 28, 2011

Results of Twitter Donut Poll

Our latest Twitter poll has just wrapped up, with this poll focusing on the best donuts in the Boston area. Our previous polls have included a pad Thai poll (Brown Sugar Cafe in Boston won), a bagel poll (Bagel Rising/Espresso Royale in Boston), a French fry poll (The Publick House in Brookline), a steak tip poll (NewBridge Cafe in Chelsea), a bread poll (When Pigs Fly in various locations), 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 donut poll:

1) Kane's, Saugus (29%)
2) Linda's, Belmont (10%)
3) Dunkin' Donuts, various locations (7%)
3) Twin Donuts, Allston (7%)
3) Verna's, Cambridge (7%)

Some other spots were picked in the Twitter donut poll, including Anna's (West Roxbury), Better Donuts (Barrington, NH), Betty Ann Food Shop (East Boston), Cafe Mirror (Brighton), Donna's (Tewksbury), Donut City (Lynn), Downyflake (Nantucket), Gail Ann Coffee Shop (Arlington), Mike's (Mission Hill), Ohlin's Bakery (Belmont), Payne's Dock (Block Island, RI), Pulse Cafe (Somerville), Top Donut (Lowell), Towne Stove and Spirits (Back Bay), Ziggy's (Salem), and Zume's Coffee House (Charlestown).

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

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The Select Cafe in Belmont Has Closed

A French/Mediterranean cafe in Belmont that has been in business for more than 15 years has closed its doors.

According to a poster on our Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page, The Select Cafe on Belmont Street has shut down (a trip over to the cafe has confirmed this, as there are now "For Rent" signs in the windows there). The Select Cafe, which featured a gourmet coffee bar and had a handful of tables within the place, was mainly a lunch spot, though it was also open for breakfast and dinner on weekends. Items served at The Select Cafe included French toast, baguette sandwiches, pork chops, and stews.

The address for this now-closed cafe in Belmont was: The Select Cafe, 289 Belmont Street, Belmont, MA, 02478.

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Scholars American Bistro and Lounge Opening Near Boston's Downtown Crossing

A new restaurant and lounge is getting ready to open on the edge of Boston's Downtown Crossing, and the people behind it also happen to run three other spots in the city.

According to the restaurant's website, Scholars American Bistro and Lounge is planning on opening on School Street (between Tremont Street and Washington Street), with the address indicating that it will be moving into the space where Talbots used to be. The website mentions that Scholars, which will be open for both lunch and dinner, will focus on refined American cuisine, including dishes with pork belly, rabbit, and beef tongue, and inventive cocktails will also be featured. The space will have two bars, a billiards room, and a raw bar. There will be live entertainment at Scholars, including a jazz brunch on weekends.

An earlier Boston Herald article had mentioned that the 300-seat Scholars is being opened by the folks who are behind Emmet's Irish Pub and 6B Lounge Martini Bar, both of which are just up the road on Beacon Street. The owners also run Crossroads Irish Pub in the Back Bay.

The Herald states that Scholars may be opening in March. [April 11 update: According to UrbanDaddy, Scholars could be opening as early as this Tuesday (April 12).]

The address for this new restaurant in the Downtown Crossing area of Boston is: Scholars American Bistro and Lounge, 25 School Street, Boston, MA, 02108. The phone number is (617) 248-0025. And the website can be found at http://www.scholarsboston.com/

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Lamole Restaurant to Open in Cambridge

It appears that a new Italian restaurant is going to be opening along the eastern edge of Harvard Square in Cambridge, moving into the space where an Asian restaurant used to be.

According to a poster on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page, Lamole Restaurant is planning to open on Mass. Ave. (near the Mt. Auburn Street intersection), taking over the spot where New Asia once resided. Based on a menu posted within the campusfood.com site, Lamole Restaurant will apparently be featuring soups, salads, subs, pizza, calzones, and pasta dishes. A page within the City of Cambridge website indicates that the new restaurant looks to have a capacity of 60, and it could be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

The address for this upcoming restaurant in Cambridge will be: Lamole Restaurant, 1105 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02138. The website can be found at http://www.lamolerestaurant.com/

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Cooking for a Cause Returns to Boston April 1, 2011

A culinary event that benefits a Cambridge community center and social service agency returns to Boston in April, with food, drink, and live music included.

According to the East End House website, the 8th Annual Cooking for a Cause will be held on Friday, April 1 at the Plaza Ballroom in the Seaport Hotel from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The event will feature food from local chefs along with drinks from mixologists and a variety of craft beers and local wines offered as well. Music will be supplied by the Winiker Orchestra, a local band that is known in part for their authentic swing music.

Tickets to the 2011 Cooking for a Cause event cost $125, with proceeds once again benefiting the East End House Community Center, which is a nonprofit, multi-service social service center that first started out in 1875.

The Seaport Hotel is located on 1 Seaport Lane along the Boston waterfront.

For more information on this year's Cooking for a Cause, please go to the link below.

http://www.eastendhouse.org/

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Taste of the South End Coming to Boston March 8, 2011

A culinary event that raises money for New England's largest AIDS service organization returns to Boston in March.

A note sent to us from the AIDS Action Committee (AAC) indicates that the 2011 Taste of the South End will be held on Tuesday, March 8 at the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama on Tremont Street. The event, which runs from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM, will feature foods from more than 40 area restaurants, along with cooking demonstrations, beer and wine tasting, and a silent auction and raffle.

Tickets to Taste of the South End cost $95 ($150 for VIP admission), with proceeds going to the AIDS Action Committee.

The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts can be found at 539 Tremont Street (between Berkeley Street and Clarendon Street).

For more information on this event, please go to the AAC link below.

http://www.aac.org/

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The Tiger's Loft Bistro Opens at Newton North High School

A new restaurant has come to the Boston area, and it is located in a rather unlikely spot.

According to articles in the Newton TAB and Wicked Local, The Tiger's Loft Bistro is now open at Newton North High School in the Newtonville section of the city. The restaurant, which is open to the public (though with very limited parking for now), features food prepared by students who have certification from both the American Culinary Foundation and the ServSafe food safety program. The TAB mentions that the food at The Tiger's Loft Bistro has Greek influences, with gyros and baklava being a couple of the items on the menu. Other items available include club sandwiches, panini, cinnamon rolls, and cookies. Possible future developments for The Tiger's Loft Bistro include an online menu and perhaps some sort of reservation system.

The restaurant, which has a capacity of 75, is open for lunch Wednesday through Friday, with hours currently being 12:05 to 12:50 on Wednesdays, 12:05 to 1:10 on Thursdays, and 11:30 to 12:15 on Fridays, according to the TAB.

Newton North High School can be found at 457 Walnut Street (between Washington Street and Commonwealth Avenue).

For more information on the opening of The Tiger's Loft Bistro, please go to the Newton TAB/Wicked Local links below.

Students create, serve up food at Newton North’s Tiger's Loft

Tiger's Loft roaring good food

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thelonious Monkfish Opening in Cambridge's Central Square

A new Asian fusion restaurant with a rather interesting name is getting ready to open in the Central Square section of Cambridge.

According to their Facebook page, Thelonious Monkfish is going to be opening on Mass. Ave. (between Pearl Street and Brookline Street), bringing to the area a place to get sushi, Japanese dishes, and Thai fare, along with a variety of teas. Based on information from the Facebook page, Thelonious Monkfish will be open for lunch and dinner (dinner only on Sundays), and will have both takeout and delivery, as well as waiter service.

Thelonious Monkfish may be opening as early as tomorrow (Friday, February 24), depending on one last signature that is needed in order to open. [February 24 update: According to their Facebook page, Thelonious Monkfish is now open.]

Hours for the eatery will be 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM Monday through Thursday, 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM Fridays and Saturdays, and 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Sundays.

The address for this new restaurant in Central Square is: Thelonious Monkfish, 524 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139. The Facebook page for the restaurant is at http://www.facebook.com/theloniousmonkfish

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

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mother's Day in March, a Pop-Up Restaurant/Fundraiser, Coming to the Boston Center for Adult Education

A well-known Boston-area chef who has helped bring three pop-up restaurants to the area is getting ready to bring about a fourth pop-up, and this one is a fundraiser to help his mother.

According to the Boston Center for Adult Education website, Will Gilson of Garden at the Cellar in Cambridge is going to be hosting Mother's Day in March, a pop-up restaurant that will help try to raise money for Jodie Gilson, the owner of J. Gilson Greenhouses, a Groton wholesaler whose greenhouses were destroyed by the weight of the heavy snows earlier this winter. The event, which will take place at the BCAE on Arlington Street in Boston on Saturday, March 5 at 7:00 PM, will feature a number of folks from well-known area restaurants, including Jamie Bissonnette (Toro/Coppa), Dante de Magistris (Dante/Il Casale), Colin Lynch (Menton), Suzi Maitland (Trina's Star Lounge), Mary Dumont (Harvest), and Joanne Chang (Flour/Myers + Chang). The family-style menu at the event will feature favorite dishes from the chefs' mothers.

There are three options for tickets to Mother's Day in March: General ($100), VIP ($150), and chef's table ($200).

For more information on this event, please go to the Band of Chefs and BCAE links below.

[Band of Chefs]
http://willgilson.tumblr.com/

[BCAE]
http://bcae.org/

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Spoonful of Ginger Returning to the Museum of Fine Arts, March 28, 2011

A culinary event returns to the Museum of Fine Arts next month, and this time around, the event will be held in the museum's new wing.

An email sent to us by Bishoff Communications indicates that A Spoonful of Ginger will be held in the MFA's new Art of the Americas wing on Monday, March 28, and once again, it will benefit the Joslin Diabetes Center's Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI). The event, which will run from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM, will feature a number of area chefs, including Ming Tsai of Blue Ginger, Jasper White of Summer Shack, Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery and Myers + Chang, Wesley Chen of Changsho, Jose Duarte of Taranta, and others.

Tickets to the 2011 Spoonful of Ginger cost $250 each, with all proceeds going to Joslin's AADI.

For more information on this event, please go to the Joslin Diabetes Center link below.

http://www.joslin.org/giving/spoonful_of_ginger.html

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Coffee Break Cafe in Braintree Is Closing

A cafe with three locations in Quincy and one in Braintree is closing its Braintree location after about a decade in business.

According to their Facebook page, the Coffee Break Cafe on Pearl Street near South Braintree Square is shutting down at the end of the day on Sunday. The note on the page mentions that their lease is up and they are apparently not going to renew the lease. Their other locations in Quincy (in North Quincy, Wollaston, and Quincy Center) will remain open.

The Coffee Break Cafe first started out in the mid-1990s, gradually expanding over the years to its four stores south of Boston today. The cafes feature coffee, tea, hot chocolate, frozen drinks, bagels, and muffins.

The address for the location of the Coffee Break Cafe in Braintree was: Coffee Break Cafe, 131 Pearl Street, Braintree, MA, 02184. The website for the cafes can be found at: http://www.coffeebreakcafe.net/

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Pikaichi Japanese Restaurant to Open in Former Ken's Ramen House Space in Allston

A new Japanese restaurant is coming to the Hong Kong Market in Allston, and it will be moving into the space where a popular Asian eatery used to be.

Based on posts within the Chowhound site, Pikaichi is planning to open where Ken's Ramen House was until closing about a month ago. (Ken's Ramen House closed after being in business for about five years, with the reason for the closing being due to the owner's decision to move back to Japan.)

According to the new restaurant's Facebook page, Pikaichi will be open for lunch and dinner (11:30 AM to 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 8:45 PM daily) and will feature dishes that are under $10. The page also mentions that Pikaichi will have waiter service and will be accepting credit cards. Food items that Pikaichi will apparently be serving include Tokyo Shoyu Ramen, Tonkatsu Curry Rice, and Yaki Don.

Expect a March opening for Pikaichi, according to their Facebook page. [March 17 update: According to their Facebook page, Pikaichi is planning to open on Monday, March 21. Thanks to a poster on Chowhound for bringing this to our attention.]

The address for this upcoming Japanese restaurant within the Hong Kong Market in Allston will be: Pikaichi, 1 Brighton Avenue, Allston, MA, 02134. Their Facebook page can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pikaichi/149046325152192

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Villa Mexico in Boston's Beacon Hill Is Losing Its Space; A Move Is in the Works

A quirky little Mexican restaurant in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood is in danger of losing their spot in the back of a gas station, as developers are planning to tear down the station and start construction of a new building at the site.

According to The Boston Globe, the Cambridge Street space occupied by Villa Mexico and Grampy's gas station (which houses the eatery) may become home to retail and office space. The Globe mentions that the site has been looked at for awhile now for possible development, but the poor economy has delayed any actual development. In the meantime, the mother and daughter who operate Villa Mexico will apparently continue to keep the place up and running until they are told to leave. It is unknown where Villa Mexico might move to (if it does) once the family behind it is forced out, but it is possible that the restaurant may open in another spot, according to the Globe.

Villa Mexico features house-made burritos, tamales, tacos, quesadillas, and more, as well as a salsa that food critics and diners alike rave about. The restaurant has been featured within our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants), with the review being at this link:

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

As soon as we find out a specific date as to when Villa Mexico has to close, we will post an update here.

For more information on this story, please go to the Boston Globe link below.

Beacon Hill merchants in limbo awaiting office, retail building

Thanks to Boston Zest for bringing this to our attention via the Chowhound site.

The address for Villa Mexico is: Villa Mexico, 296 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA, 02114.

[August 22 update: A message from the restaurant indicates that Villa Mexico will indeed be closing and the gas station will be demolished to make way for a new building. It appears that the eatery will be shutting down sometime in September, depending on the outcome of a hearing that takes place on September 1. The message also states that a new home has not yet been found for Villa Mexico, though they are still looking; Beacon Hill does not seem likely with the high rents there, but the message does mention that Villa Mexico might possibly be moving to the South End, though this is by no means a done deal yet. It is also possible that Villa Mexico could end up operating a food truck in the city, though again, nothing has been confirmed as of yet. Stay tuned for more updates as we get them.]

[August 23 update: Here is a link to the letter sent out by Villa Mexico concerning its closing: News on our move]

[September 2 update: According to their Twitter page, Villa Mexico will remain open in its present location until December of this year. More information from them: The latest update]

[November 15 update: According to a link that can be accessed from their Facebook page, Villa Mexico is hoping to move to a nearby space on Grove Street in Beacon Hill. A message sent to us from the owner indicates that she is currently working to get a permit for the Grove Street location and is also trying to raise money for the restaurant via donations. More information from them: Villa Mexico gets a new home!]

[December 1 update: According to an email from the Mass. Market Blog, the address for Villa Mexico's planned new home will be 12 Grove Street, and it appears that it will be a takeout spot with no seating.]

[December 9 update: According to the Stoneham Patch and Eater Boston, the Beacon Hill Civic Association and Licensing Committee rejected Villa Mexico's plan to open on Grove Street. The Patch indicates that the rejection was based on the fact that the building had not been used for commercial purposes in awhile, and neighbors were also worried about commercial properties encroaching on the hill and smells from the eatery bothering nearby residents, among other concerns (parking, increased foot traffic, etc). One final note is that the folks behind Villa Mexico need to be out of their present space by the end of this month.]

[December 27 update: A note sent to us from the owner of Villa Mexico indicates that the restaurant has received a permit to remain open until the end of January.]

[January 6, 2012 update: According to Eater Boston, Villa Mexico has reached its fundraising goal, allowing it to relocate--and the goal was reached a scant four days before its deadline. Now it appears that the possibility of opening on nearby Grove Street is back on the shelf once again, pending permits and approval by Beacon Hill neighbors. If all goes as planned, Villa Mexico might be open in its new home by next month.]

[January 17, 2012 update: According to their Facebook page, Villa Mexico is still open for business at its Cambridge Street location. The restaurant is waiting for the necessary permits to open at their new home on Grove Street, but in the meantime, the restaurant remains open in its current space.]

[March 10, 2012 update: A note from Villa Mexico mentions that the restaurant is still open on Cambridge Street, and that a Zoning Board of Appeal hearing is scheduled for March 27 at City Hall concerning the Grove Street location that the place is hoping to move into. This will apparently be a crucial hearing for Villa Mexico, as the note states that "1) either we get the variance permit to move into 12 Grove or 2) we go out of business in Beacon Hill."]

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Nicholas Restaurant in Natick to Become Morse Tavern

The people behind a Greek restaurant in Natick are making plans to change the name of the dining spot, along with the overall theme and the menu.

According to the MetroWest Daily News, Nicholas Restaurant on Route 135 is going to become Morse Tavern, with the new eatery being a neighborhood spot that focuses on American fare (including sandwiches). The article states that some minor renovations will be done to the building, though the restaurant will remain open during that time (it is not known when exactly the changeover from Nicholas Restaurant to Morse Tavern will take place--please check back for updates).

[April 23 update: According to the Natick blog for Wicked Local, Nicholas Restaurant is now officially Morse Tavern.]

Nicholas Restaurant, which been in business for a number of years (and in its current form since 2003), has been featured on our sister site, Boston's Hidden Restaurants. The review for Nicholas can be found below:

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

The address for the new Morse Tavern is: Morse Tavern, 85 East Central Street (Route 135), Natick, MA, 01760.

For more information on the changing of Nicholas Restaurant to Morse Tavern, please go to the MetroWest Daily News link below.

Nicholas Restaurant looks to new name, old Natick

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Olea Cafe to Replace Sandwich Works in Brookline Village

A new cafe is on its way to Brookline Village, replacing a sandwich shop that also has a location in Newton.

According to The Brookline TAB and Wicked Local, Olea Cafe is looking to open on Washington Street in the space where Sandwich Works has been. The article mentions that the new eatery will feature breakfast, sandwiches, and coffee.

Sandwich Works first opened in Brookline Village in 2007, joining its sister restaurant on Beacon Street in Newton Centre which had opened a couple of years earlier. It appears that the Newton location will remain open.

The address for the upcoming Olea Cafe in Brookline Village will be: Olea Cafe, 195 Washington Street, Brookline, MA, 02445.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Owner of Bread and Chocolate Bakery Cafe in Newton to Compete on Throwdown! with Bobby Flay

The co-owner of two bakeries and cafes in Newton will soon be seen on The Food Network, competing against a celebrity chef to see who makes the best Boston cream pie.

According to The Boston Globe, Eunice Feller of Bread & Chocolate Bakery Cafe will be featured on "Throwdown! With Bobby Flay" at 8:30 PM (EST) on March 9, facing off against Flay, who will challenge her to see who can make the best pie. This is not the first time that Bobby Flay has come to the Boston area, as some may recall that he was here for another challenge a few years ago, losing to Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery in a sticky bun throwdown.

Eunice and her husband Steve both run the two bakeries/cafes in Newton, which can be found on Madison Avenue in Newtonville and Hartford Street in Newton Highlands.

For more information on the upcoming Boston cream pie throwdown, please go to the Boston Globe link below.

Keeping her eye on the pie

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Boston Cookie Takedown Coming to Allston February 27

Cookie lovers may want to head to Allston later this month, as a cookie-based event is coming to a popular nightclub there.

According to the Chili Takedown site, the Boston Cookie Takedown will be held at Great Scott on Commonwealth Avenue on Sunday, February 27. The event, which starts at 2:00 PM, will feature cookies from folks who have signed up to compete in the takedown, with event guests as well as a panel of judges voting on the best cookies.

Tickets to the Boston Cookie Takedown cost $10, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Women's Education Project. Tickets can be ordered via http://chili-takedown.com/

Great Scott is located at 1222 Commonwealth Avenue in Allston (at the Harvard Avenue intersection).

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Jake's Falafel Corner Opens Within Sandwich Works in Newton Centre

A new dining spot has opened in Newton Centre, and it just happens to be within another restaurant.

According to the Newton Villages site, Jake's Falafel Corner is now open inside the Sandwich Works spot on Beacon Street (at the Centre Street intersection), moving into a little space at the ordering area for its host restaurant. Based on the menu posted by Newton Villages, Jake's looks to feature a variety of Middle Eastern dishes, including falafel, tomato rice, hummus, tabouli, baba ganoush, grape leaves, and koo koo sabzi (Persian spinach pie). Prices for menu items are under $10, with many being around $5.

In addition to its Newton Centre location, Sandwich Works also has another restaurant on Washington Street in Brookline Village.

The address for Jake's (and Sandwich Works) in Newton Centre is: Jake's Falafel Corner, 827 Beacon Street, Newton, MA, 02459. The phone number is (617) 332-6777.

For more information on the opening of Jake's, please go to the Newton Villages link below.

Falafel options triple in Newton Centre

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

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Brief Update: Qingdao Garden in Cambridge Still Closed for Renovations, But Website Is Back Up

Recently we reported that Qingdao Garden, a Chinese restaurant in North Cambridge, was still closed for renovations after several months and perhaps more ominous, their website was no longer functioning. Well, the good news is that the website is back up and running, though the restaurant still appears to be closed for renovations.

The now-working website for Qingdao Garden can be found at: http://www.qingdaogarden.com/

Thanks to jw_elise of effulgent crafts for bringing this to our attention.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

ScupperJack's in Acton Has Closed

A popular restaurant northwest of Boston that has been in business for nearly two decades has closed down.

According to The Beacon and Wicked Local, ScupperJack's at Nagog Park (just off Route 119/2A) in Acton has closed its doors, apparently due to health problems of the owner, as well as the bad economy during recent times. ScupperJack's was a casual American restaurant with a rustic atmosphere, scenic views of Nagog Pond, and a menu that offered a variety of steak, seafood, and chicken dishes. The restaurant had been called The Rusty Scupper before becoming ScupperJack's about 19 years ago.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in Acton was: ScupperJack's, 3 Nagog Park, Acton, MA, 01720.

For more information on the closing of ScupperJack's, please go to the Beacon/Wicked Local link below.

Scupper Jack's closes in Acton

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Bombay Club in Boston's South End Has Closed

A little more than a year after moving from Harvard Square in Cambridge to the South End of Boston, an Indian restaurant has closed its doors.

According to Boston food and drinks writer MC Slim JB, Bombay Club on Washington Street is now shut down. The restaurant had been located on JFK Street in Harvard Square from the early 1990s until October of 2009, when it closed its location there and subsequently moved into the South End space two months later in late December. The Washington Street spot that Bombay Club moved into had been where the eclectic Southeast Asian eatery Pho Republique was located for about 10 years until closing a couple of months before Bombay Club moved in.

The address for this now-closed Indian restaurant in the South End was: Bombay Club, 1415 Washington Street, Boston, MA, 02118.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sensing in the North End of Boston Closing; Aragosta Replacing It

A little more than two years after first opening for business, a high-end restaurant that was opened in Boston's North End by one of the top chefs in France is closing its doors.

According to both Devra First of the Boston Globe and the Grub Street Boston site, Sensing at the Fairmont Battery Wharf is going to be shutting down. Sensing, which was opened by Guy Martin, a chef who has received three stars by The Michelin Guide, is apparently closing at least in part because Martin is looking at other projects outside of Boston, according to Grub Street. The site also mentions that a new Italian and Mediterranean restaurant called Aragosta will move into the Sensing space this spring, with the chef at Topper's within The Wauwinet on Nantucket being behind the new place. It appears that Aragosta will be a casual dining spot that will be serving regional dishes.

[April 7 update: A phone call placed to the Fairmont Battery Wharf has confirmed that Aragosta is opening on Tuesday, April 12.]

Sensing first opened in January of 2009, featuring such dishes as bouillabaisse de Marseille, roasted chicken breast, and beef strip loin served with sauteed fingerling potatoes and mushrooms.

The address for Sensing (and the new Aragosta) is 3 Battery Wharf, Boston, MA 02109.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Results of Twitter Pad Thai Poll

Our latest Twitter poll is now complete, with this poll looking at the best Pad Thai in the Boston area. Our previous polls have included a bagel poll (Bagel Rising/Espresso Royale in Boston won), a French fry poll (The Publick House in Brookline), a steak tip poll (NewBridge Cafe in Chelsea), a bread poll (When Pigs Fly in various locations), 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 Pad Thai poll:

1) Brown Sugar Cafe, Boston (10%)
1) Rod Dee, Brookline and Cambridge (10%)
2) Bangkok Bistro, Brighton (6%)
2) King and I, Beacon Hill (6%)
2) Thai Basil, Back Bay (6%)

Some other spots were picked in the Twitter pad Thai poll, including Amarin of Thailand (Newton), Bamboo (Brighton), Bangkok Spice Thai Restaurant (Reading), Bangkok Thai Cuisine (Plymouth), Equator (South End), Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine (Lexington), Little Duck (Quincy), MJ Ready (Brookline), Montien (Boston), My Thai Vegan Cafe (Chinatown), Pho and I (Boston), Rock Sugar Thai Cafe (Boston), Siam Delight (Beverly), Star of Siam (Manomet), Sweet Chili (Arlington), Thai Dish (Kenmore Square), Thai Moon (Arlington), Thai Sweet Basil (Andover), and Wonder Spice Cafe (Jamaica Plain).

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

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Casa B Restaurant Is Opening in Somerville's Union Square

A new Spanish and Latin American restaurant is going to be opening in the Union Square section of Somerville.

According to the restaurant's website, Casa B is planning to open this summer, bringing to the neighborood a place to get this tapas and pinchos. The menu at Casa B will have Colombian, Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Argentinian influences (among other counties in Central and South America), and the two owners come from Puerto Rico and Colombia, respectively.

Based on information from a YouTube video, Casa B will have two floors of dining, with the ground floor being a tapas lounge, and the basement area being a dining room where patrons can choose from a prix fixe menu.

[December 13 update: According to Eater Boston, Casa B is planning to open this Saturday (December 17).]

[December 16 update: A bit more information on Casa B from Free Food Boston: The restaurant will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM, with a late-night menu (until 1:00 AM) coming soon. Also, a Sunday brunch will be starting up in the spring of 2012.]

The address for this new restaurant in Union Square is: Casa B, 253 Washington Street, Somerville, MA, 02143. Their website can be found at: http://www.casabrestaurant.com

Thanks to EatBoston for initially bringing this to our attention.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Burger Battle 2011 Coming to KO Prime in Boston on February 28

A burger-based event that raises money for a good cause returns to Boston this month.

According to the Facebook page for the event, Burger Battle 2011 will be held once again at KO Prime on Tremont Street, with a number of area chefs participating in the competition. Like last year, the event will raise money for Autism Speaks, which is the country's largest autism science and advocacy organization. Competing in the Burger Battle will be chefs from Bambara, Blue Ginger, Bristol Lounge, The Butcher Shop, Charlie's Kitchen, Coppa/Toro, Craigie on Main, The Gallows, Garden at the Cellar, Island Creek Oyster Bar, KO Prime, Sel de la Terre, and Trina's Starlite Lounge.

Tickets to the event, which runs from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, cost $30 in advance and $40 at the door. (For more information, please go to the Facebook event page at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=189906214360118)

The address for KO Prime is 90 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, 02108.

Thanks to Grub Street Boston for bringing this to our attention.

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Four Green Fields Opening in Downtown Boston

An Irish pub with roots in Florida is opening in downtown Boston.

According to UrbanDaddy, Four Green Fields is planning to open today at the corner of Washington Street and Court Street, just south of City Hall Plaza. This will be the second location of the restaurant, with the original being in Tampa. The UrbanDaddy article mentions that the new eatery will have a capacity of 220 and two floors of seating, along with a thatched roof inside the place. Four Green Fields will feature a raw bar, along with such items as Gaelic empanadas, smoked salmon spread, chowder, a corned beef reuben, ham and cheese on soda bread, burgers, Irish stew, fish and chips, and shepherd's pie. The drink list includes Guinness, Harp, Smithwick's, and Murphy's for beers, and several varieties of red and white wine.

The address for this new Irish pub in downtown Boston is: Four Green Fields, 201 Washington Street (One Boston Place), Boston, MA, 02108. The phone number is (617) 367-4747. And the website can be found at: http://fourgreenfields.com

For more information on the opening of Four Green Fields in Boston, please go to the UrbanDaddy link below.

Going Green:Downtown's New Two-Floor Irish Monster

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Chili Cup to Be Held at Ned Devine's in Boston, February 17, 2011

A culinary event that focuses on chili returns to Boston this month, with several area restaurants included in the competition.

An email sent to us from The Briar Group indicates that the 2nd annual Chili Cup will be held at Ned Devine's in Faneuil Hall on Thursday, February 17. The event, which takes place from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, features all-you-can-eat chili as well as live music and prizes. Restaurants and organizations that will be competing in the chili competition include Anthem Kitchen and Bar, Cask n Flagon, Clerys, Community Work Services, Game On!, The Harp, Ned Devine's, and Zuma.

This is a 21+ event, with tickets costing $15 in advance ($20 at the door). Proceeds will benefit Community Work Services, a local non-profit organization that helps people transform their lives through employment.

For more information on the 2011 Chili Cup, please go to the link below.

http://www.neddevinesboston.com/

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Todd English's Kingfish Hall Restaurant in Faneuil Hall Faces Eviction

A popular seafood restaurant in Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace that is owned by one of the most famous chefs in the country faces a possible closure, as eviction proceedings are apparently in the works.

According to an article in The Boston Globe, Kingfish Hall in the South Market Building of Faneuil Hall has fallen behind in rent payments, resulting in the start of eviction procedures against Todd English's well-known eatery very soon (a hearing looks to be happening next week). The Globe mentions that Kingfish Hall is one of several businesses in the tourist-oriented Faneuil Hall Marketplace that faces possible eviction--or has already been evicted--including Bill Rodgers Running Shop in the former category and Bombay Club and Henri's Glassworks in the latter category.

Kingfish Hall features a mix of regional classics and fresh seafood dishes, including such items as clam chowder, calamari, tuna tartare, lobster rolls, shrimp pasta, seafood linguini, grilled swordfish, roasted chicken, and steak frites. The restaurant also has a raw bar.

The address for Kingfish Hall is: Kingfish Hall, 188 South Market Building, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, MA, 02109. The website for the restaurant can be found at: http://www.toddenglish.com/

For more information on this story, please go to the Boston Globe link below.

Market's retailers under the gun: Faneuil Hall shops facing evictions

Thanks to Boston food writer MC Slim JB for initially bringing this to our attention.

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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Chacarero Is Closing Its Province Street Location; Arch Street Location to Remain Open

A popular Chilean restaurant that is known mostly for its sandwiches is going to be closing one of its two locations in downtown Boston, though the other location will remain open.

A note from a follower of ours on the Hiddenboston Twitter page has indicated that Chacarero on Province Street is getting ready to close its doors for good. A phone call placed to the eatery has confirmed that it will indeed be closing, with the closing date being Friday, February 18. The phone call also confirmed that their location on Arch Street will continue to be open for business.

Chacarero first opened along the side of the old Filene's building in the heart of Downtown Crossing, eventually moving to its current Province Street and Arch Street locations, both of which are near the original spot (and close to each other). The restaurant features sandwiches with grilled steak and/or chicken, along with a vegetarian sandwich, papusas, sweet oven-fried potatoes, soups, salads, orange cake, and rice pudding. Chacarero also serves breakfast, with omelets, pancakes, and muffins being on the breakfast menu.

The address for Chacarero on Province street was: Chacarero, 26 Province Street, Boston, MA, 02108. The address for the location that will remain open on Arch Street is: Chacarero, 101 Arch Street, Boston, MA, 02110. The website for both locations can be found at: http://www.chacarero.com/

[March 13, 2011 update: Chacarero on Province Street is now closed.]

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Uchef in Allston Has Closed; Teriyaki Joe's Moving In

It looks like a Brazilian restaurant and bakery in Allston has closed its doors after being in business for only about a half year.

According to one of our spotters (via the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page, Uchef on Brighton Avenue has shut down, and the space is now for rent. (Calls have been placed to the restaurant this morning to try to get more information, but they did not go through.)

Uchef first opened in August of 2010, taking over the space where Burritos on Fire used to be. The eatery featured such dishes as beef snack pies, breaded hot dogs, chicken croquettes, and an array of baked goods and desserts including Brazilian rolls, flan, and corn pudding.

[March 21 update: According to the EveryBlock Boston site, a new restaurant called Teriyaki Joe's will be moving into the former Uchef space. Little else is currently known about this upcoming dining spot; as soon as we find out more information, we will post another update.]

[October 19 update: According to a poster on the Boston Globe dining chat, Teriyaki Joe's is now open. The place appears to be an Asian fusion spot, with teriyaki, noodle bowls, rice bowls, and steamed buns on the menu. Their website can be found at http://www.teriyaki-joes.com/]

The address for the now-closed Uchef (and the new Teriyaki Joe's) is 174 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA, 02134.

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Red Lobster Chain to Make Restaurants Look More Like Maine Seafood Spots

A national chain of seafood restaurants with little presence in New England is going to be remodeling its eateries, with Downeast Maine as a major influence.

According to Zagat Buzz, Red Lobster plans to update their restaurants, basing the new look on the overall feel of the village of Bar Harbor, a popular seaside destination on Mount Desert Island that is a jumping-off point for visitors to nearby Acadia National Park. The photo that is posted on Zagat Buzz gives a peek at the remodel, and it looks like Red Lobster will have a combination seafood shack/family restaurant environment, with lots of wood used throughout, hanging nautical-style lamps above the tables, and pictures of ocean scenes on the walls. Zagat mentions that the upgrades should be finished by 2014.

Red Lobster first started out in Florida in the late 1960s and has since grown to include nearly 700 restaurants throughout the country and in Canada. There are currently no Red Lobster locations in the Boston area, and only four in New England, all of them being in Connecticut.

Red Lobster is part of the Darden family of restaurants which includes Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, and The Capital Grille.

For more information on this story, please go to the Zagat Buzz link below.

Red Lobster to Remodel All Restaurants, Maine-Style

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Monday, February 07, 2011

Qingdao Garden in Cambridge Remains Closed for Renovations; Website No Longer Functioning

A highly-rated Chinese restaurant in Cambridge that closed for renovations several months ago has still not opened, and in a rather disturbing turn of events, their website now appears to be down.

Based on posts within the Chowhound site, it appears that little, if any, work is currently being done to Qingdao Garden on Mass. Ave. in North Cambridge, and one poster has mentioned that the restaurant's website seems to be offline (a check on the site confirms that it is indeed no longer operational). Qingdao Garden initially closed for renovations back in September of 2010, and had been hoping to reopen in December, according to an earlier note on their website.

Qingdao Garden is a tiny dining spot near the Arlington border that is known in part for its house-made dumplings. Our sister website--Boston's Hidden Restaurants--has featured the restaurant as a little-known spot to get Chinese fare, and awarded it best Chinese restaurant in the Boston area for 2009. The review can be found below:

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

The address for this restaurant is: Qingdao Garden, 2382 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02140.

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New Restaurant and Tavern Coming to Arlington

Arlington will soon be home to a new restaurant and tavern, and it looks like the place may become one of the largest restaurants in town once it opens.

According to a job post within the Craigslist site, the upcoming eatery will be an elegant and comfortable spot, with a capacity of 240. It appears that the restaurant will have a lounge that will feature cocktails (a relative rarity in Arlington), and the place will be part of an expanding company around New England, which may indicate that this could be part of a chain of restaurants. Expect a mid-April opening for the new dining spot, according to the Craigslist post.

No other details on this restaurant seem to have been given as of yet, and no name has been given for the place; as soon as we find out more about this new restaurant and tavern that is apparently coming to Arlington, we will post an update here.

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Dockside Restaurant at River's Edge Opens in Malden

Less than two weeks after a Mexican restaurant in Malden closed its doors, a new restaurant with the same ownership is now open in that space, with this one featuring classic American fare and comfort food.

According to their website, Dockside Restaurant at River's Edge has opened on Medford Street (between Highland Avenue and Main Street), taking over the spot where Agave Mexican Grille and Tequila Bar had been until closing in late January. The new Dockside--which is the third of its kind, with two others being in Malden and Wakefield--features soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, steak tips, and more.

The address for this new restaurant in Malden is: Dockside Restaurant at River's Edge, 270 Medford Street, Malden, MA, 02148. The phone number is (781) 333-5449. And the website for the Dockside Restaurants can be found at: http://www.docksiderestaurants.com/

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Friday, February 04, 2011

Some Like it Hot Chili Cook-Off Coming to Cambridge's Harvard Square February 5, 2011

A chili competition is on its way to the Harvard Square section of Cambridge, with a number of local restaurants participating.

According to the Harvard Square Business Association website, the "Some Like it Hot Chili Cook-Off" will be held on Saturday, February 5, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM in front of Crema Cafe on Brattle Street. The event, which is free to the public, will feature chili samplings made by chefs from Crema Cafe, Fire + Ice, Grendel's Den, Harvest, Henrietta's Table, Redline, Russell House Tavern, Tommy Doyle's, Tory Row, and UpStairs on the Square. Live music will also be featured at the event, and Trademark Tours will be offering chips and salsa to the public while JP Licks will be serving a chili-themed ice cream.

For more information on the 2011 "Some Like it Hot Chili Cook-Off" in Cambridge's Harvard Square, please go to the Harvard Square Business Association link below.

http://www.harvardsquare.com/

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Foodily, A New Social Networking Site for Food Lovers, Launches This Week

A brand new social networking site that focuses on recipes has been introduced this week.

According to USA Today and Grub Street, Foodily kicked off in a beta version this week, giving food lovers the chance to interact with scores of others via the sharing of recipes as well as the planning of dinner parties and related food-based events. USA Today mentions that Foodily, which was up started by two former Yahoo executives, indexes recipes from sites such as Epicurious.com, the Food Network, The New York Times, Rachael Ray, Whole Foods Market, and Williams-Sonoma, as well as various food bloggers.

The word seems to be getting out about Foodily, as the USA Today article mentions that Foodily has raised $5 million in start-up money, and based on the Foodily website, nearly 5,000 people have already "liked" the site via Facebook (as of Friday, February 4).

The format for Foodily seems fairly simple and straightforward, as the home page for the site features a search engine that allows viewers to find recipes within its network based on keyword/phrase searches. The search results are displayed side-by-side, and viewers can share a chosen recipe with others via Twitter, Facebook, or email.

For more on Foodily, please go to their website below:

http://foodily.com/

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Caruso's Pizzeria in Melrose to Reopen

Approximately nine months after a pizzeria in Melrose closed due to the death of its owner, it has been announced that the eatery will be reopening, thanks to the owner's cousins.

According to The Melrose Free Press and Wicked Local, Caruso's Pizzeria on Main Street is planning to open once again this spring, with three nephews of the owner being behind the reopening. The article states that the owner's nephews are active among the Boston-area restaurant scene, with one nephew owning Angelo's Restaurant in Stoneham, another running Celebrity Pizza in Watertown, and still another owning Morena's Cucina Rustica in Wakefield. The decades-old Caruso's, which had been closed since the owner passed away in May of 2010, will remain mostly unchanged with only minor updates, according to the article.

The address for this soon-to-reopen eatery in Melrose is: Caruso's Pizzeria, 685 Main Street, Melrose, MA, 02176.

For more information on the reopening of Caruso's, please go to the Melrose Free Press/Wicked Local link below.

Caruso family to re-open iconic Melrose pizzeria

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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Fifty Warren Is Coming to Lowell

A new restaurant is coming to Lowell, and it will be located within a hotel in the downtown area of the city.

According to a job posting within the Craigslist site, Fifty Warren will be opening inside the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center on Warren Street (just east of Central Street). The post mentions that the new dining spot looks to be a "fireside gastropub" with a modern look that will be facing the adjacent canal. The inn's website states that Fifty Warren will have living room style seating and will feature small plates of food.

The address for this upcoming gastropub in Lowell will be: Fifty Warren, 50 Warren Street, Lowell, MA, 01852. The website for the hotel can be found at: http://www.acc-umlinnandconferencecenter.com/

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Old School Bringing Old-Fashioned Pizza to Wellesley

A new pizza place is coming to Wellesley, and this one looks like it will be featuring old-fashioned pies.

According to The Cambridge Chronicle and Wicked Local, Old School is going to be opening on Washington Street in Wellesley Square where College Square Pizza used to be. The article states that Old School will feature nearly a dozen types of pizza, and that the owner will be looking to make old-world Italian pies based on an old recipe.

The owner of nearby Tutto Italiano in Wellesley Square is helping with the opening of Old School, according to the article.

Once the new pizza spot opens (possibly within a month), expect its hours to be 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM. [March 18 update: According to a poster of ours (and apparently confirmed by the Wellesley Patch), Old School in Wellesley is now open.]

The address for this new pizza place in Wellesley Square is: Old School, 552 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA, 02482.

For more information on the opening of Old School, please go to the Cambridge Chronicle/Wicked Local article link below.

New pizza place almost ready to open in Wellesley Square

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Grasshopper Cafe Opens in Charlestown

A new breakfast and lunch spot has just opened in the Charlestown section of Boston, and it is located in an area that doesn't have much in the way of dining spots.

According to UrbanDaddy, the Grasshopper Cafe is now open on Bunker Hill Street, a few blocks northwest of the Bunker Hill Monument in a mostly residential neighborhood. UrbanDaddy mentions that the new eatery features house-made corned beef hash and Belgian waffles, as well as angus beef steak and eggs. The restaurant, which has a capacity of just over 40, opens its doors at 7:00 AM daily.

The address for this new breakfast and lunch spot in Charlestown is: Grasshopper Cafe, 229-231 Bunker Hill Street, Charlestown, MA, 02129. The phone number is (617) 242-0001.

For more information on the Grasshopper Cafe, please go to the UrbanDaddy link below.

Charlestown's New Breakfast Go-To

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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Mija Cantina and Tequila Bar Opening at Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Yet another Mexican restaurant appears to be coming to Boston, with this one apparently being an upscale spot within the Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

According to The Boston Herald, Mija Cantina & Tequila Bar will be opening in the Quincy Market space where Sam's Cafe at Cheers used to be. The article states that the eatery will have a capacity of about 300, and it will feature 150 different types of tequila. The menu at Mija Cantina & Tequila Bar will include such dishes as enchiladas, tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, along with chicken and steak entrees that will be priced in the twenties.

[May 20 update: According to UrbanDaddy, Mija is planning to open today.]

Once it opens, Mija Cantina & Tequila Bar will join several new (or soon-to-open) Mexican and Latin spots in Boston including Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar, Papagayo, Tico, and Temazcal Tequila Cantina.

The address for this new Mexican restaurant at Faneuil Hall Marketplace is: Mija Cantina & Tequila Bar, 1 Faneuil Hall Market Plaza, Boston, MA, 02228. The phone number is (857) 284-7382. And their website can be found at http://www.mijaboston.com/

Thanks to Grub Street Boston for initially bringing this to our attention.

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Vito's Tavern Is Opening in Boston's North End

A new restaurant and bar is coming to the North End of Boston, and it will feature a mix of American comfort food classics and Italian fare.

According to The Boston Herald, the person behind Ristorante Damiano on Hanover Street is planning to open Vito's Tavern on Salem Street in April. The NorthEndWaterfront.com site mentions that Vito's will open where Eclano had been, and the space will have a capacity of 68. It appears that Vito's Tavern will be a casual spot, with such items as burritos, burgers, wings, pasta dishes, fish and chips, and steak offered, as well as beer and wine. Prices generally look to be $20 and under for appetizers and meals, according to the Herald.

[June 15 update: According to the Boston Business Journal, Vito's Tavern plans to open later this month. The article also mentions that Vito's is considering itself to be "the North End's first sports bar."]

[July 20 update: According to UrbanDaddy, Vito's Tavern is looking to open on Monday (July 25).]

The address for this new eatery coming to Boston's North End is: Vito's, 54 Salem Street, Boston, MA, 02113. The phone number is (617) 894-4462.

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