Monday, December 31, 2012

Highlights for the Week Ending December 28, 2012

A few more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a South Station dining and drinking spot shutting its doors, a well-known chef opening a restaurant in the space where a landmark eatery had been, and a downtown Boston lounge closing. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of a Hungarian and French spot in Brighton, a blog entry on favorite dining spots (and dishes) of 2012 from restaurant and media people, and a photo of a classic Chinese-American dish from a restaurant in Waltham.

Below are links to these and other items from the past week:

Boston Restaurant Talk

Clarke's at South Station in Boston Has Apparently Closed

Michael Scelfo to Open Restaurant in Casablanca Space in Cambridge's Harvard Square

Descent in Boston's W Hotel Has Closed for a "Re-Invigoration"

Other Boston-Area Restaurant Lists/Recaps for 2012

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: Jasmine Bistro in Brighton, MA

Photo: Grand Slam Burger from UBurger in Boston, MA

Question: Boston-Area Restaurant or Bar With the Best Chicken Wings?

New Blog Entry: Favorite Dining Spots (and Dishes) of 2012 from Restaurant and Media People

Photo: Spare Ribs from Sato in Waltham, MA



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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Phantom Gourmet Radio Show Is Leaving WTKK; Future Uncertain

Based on information from The Boston Globe and hosts on the station saying goodbye (including Joe Ligotti today), it appears that The Phantom Gourmet's radio show on WTKK (News Talk 96.9 FM) may be gone after today, as the station is apparently going to switch over to a music format sometime next week. A message sent to The Phantom Gourmet has not been returned, and today's show, which is on from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, is a "best of" repeat. The Phantom Gourmet radio show, which started out on WTKK about five years ago, has had slots on the station on Fridays from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and Saturdays from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

Currently, it is not known what radio station The Phantom Gourmet's show might go if it does leave WTKK, so keep checking back for updates.

Thanks to the Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry blog (with info coming from a Boston Herald article) for bringing this to our attention.



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Friday, December 28, 2012

Clarke's at South Station in Boston Has Closed

It looks like a restaurant and bar in Boston's South Station has closed its doors after being in business for approximately 20 years.

An email sent to us by one of our readers (Colleen B) indicates that Clarke's at South Station shuttered after business hours yesterday, with multiple phone calls to the place apparently confirming this (the calls went unanswered). Based on an earlier article from the Boston Business Journal, a new CVS may be moving into the Clarke's space, with Clarke's possibly hoping to move into another space within the building. The older BBJ article also says that the restaurant's lease was to expire at the end of the year, which seems to further confirm their closing this week.

[January 9, 2013 update: Eater Boston is reporting that the now-closed Clarke's at South Station will not be relocating, so it appears to be gone for good.]

The address for this now-closed dining and drinking spot was: Clarke's at South Station, 720 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA, 02111.



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Alden and Harlow Is Opening in Former Casablanca Space in Cambridge's Harvard Square

A couple of days ago, we reported that a landmark restaurant in Cambridge's Harvard Square had closed for good. Now we have learned that a well-known chef at a nearby dining spot will be opening a new eatery within the space.

The Boston Magazine Chowder blog is reporting that Michael Scelfo of the Russell House Tavern on JFK Street is planning to open a new restaurant in the space on Brattle Street where Casablanca had been. It appears that Scelfo's first solo chef-owned spot will have a different concept from Casablanca, but based on what Chowder (and Scelfo) says, he will show respect for the history of the space itself.

[January 23, 2013 update: Eater Boston mentions (via Leah Mennies of Boston Magazine) that the name of Michael Scelfo's new eatery will be Alden & Harlow, which is named after "40 Brattle's original designers." Also mentioned by Leah is the fact that the restaurant has received a full liquor license.]

[October 25, 2013 update: The Restaurant Hub blog of The Boston Globe states that Alden & Harlow is planning to open in early December.]

[January 30, 2014 update: A thread on the Chowhound site confirms what various Twitter posts over the past day or so have indicated, that Alden & Harlow is now going through a soft opening phase. There are conflicting reports as to whether the restaurant will officially open tomorrow (Friday) or over the weekend, so stay tuned for more updates.]

[January 31, 2014 update: Alden & Harlow officially opens today at 5:00 PM.]

The address for Michael Scelfo's new restaurant is 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138.

[Earlier Article]
Casablanca in Cambridge's Harvard Square Is Closing



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Descent in Boston's W Hotel Has Closed for a "Re-Invigoration"

A cocktail lounge located below a hotel in the Theatre District of Boston has closed after being in business for a little more than a year, and it isn't known at this point what will be opening in its space.

The Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry is reporting that Descent is no longer in operation, as it has been shuttered for what the W Bostom Hotel calls a "re-invigoration." The blog mentions that a reopening will take place sometime in 2013, but there is no word on whether it will still be called Descent (the Twitter page and website for Descent are no longer in operation).

Descent, which first opened in November of 2011, was a sleek and modern drinking spot that featured handcrafted cocktails and dancing.

The address for the now-closed Descent (as well as the W Boston Hotel) is 100 Stuart Street, Boston, MA, 02116.The website for the W can be found at http://www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1787



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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Other Boston-Area Restaurant Lists/Recaps for 2012

As some of you know, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) recently posted its Best Boston-Area Restaurants for 2012 list. Well, a number of end-of-year lists and recaps from others have come out as well, including interesting posts from food bloggers and writers, magazines, newspapers, and websites. A few of these can be found below:

The Passionate Foodie -- 2012: Favorite Restaurants
While The Passionate Foodie is a blog that focuses a lot on wine and sake, it also includes a good amount of information on restaurants. For 2012, the site has a number of picks for favorite dining spots, including everything from high-end eateries to ethnic cuisine to places outside of the Boston area.

Boston Magazine: The 50 Best Restaurants 2012
Boston Magazine has once again released a list of "best of" dining spots, and as always, the emphasis is mostly on upscale and higher-end restaurants. A few places that made the list include Bergamot in Somerville, Hungry Mother in Cambridge, Scampo in Beacon Hill, and Toro in the South End.

Restaurant Rewind: A look back at the year in Boston dining
Boston-based food writer and restaurant critic MC Slim JB has written an informative piece in the Phoenix on the Boston restaurant scene in 2012, including trends in food and drink, neighborhoods that have become dining destinations, the increasing popularity of food trucks, and more, all done in MC's unique style of writing.

Best New Restaurants around Boston in 2012
For those who are interested in new restaurants, The Boston Globe has created a slideshow that includes all kinds of dining spots that hit the local scene over the past year. A few that they mention include Amsterdam Falafelshop, Belly Wine Bar, Farmstead Table, The Painted Burro, and Yume Wo Katare.

Thrillist -- 2012: Best New Spots
Speaking of new spots, Thrillist has compiled a list of top places that arrived on the Boston scene over the past year or so, as picked by industry people. A few folks surveyed for this list include Kathy Sidell (MET owner), William Kovel (Chef/Owner of Catalyst), and Erwin Ramos (Executive Chef at Ole Mexican Grill).

Year In Eater: Eater Boston
The Eater site burst onto the Boston scene last year, with lots of information on restaurant openings, closings, events, etc., and for the second year in a row it is releasing a series of end-of-year restaurant-related articles that focus on the opinions of various locals in the know, including food writers and industry folk (yours truly happens to be part of it, by the way).

BBJ: The best restaurants in Boston for business dinners: Zagat reviewers pick 5
The Boston Business Journal (via info from Zagat) looks at the business end of things (specifically business dinners) when it comes to best restaurant in Boston for 2012, with a slideshow showing photos from five top Zagat picks. Included are such high-end spots as Clio and Menton.

Grub Street Boston -- Six Succulent Ways Dining in Boston Changed in 2012
Grub Street Boston, like Eater Boston, focuses a lot on restaurant openings, closings, events, and trends, and its end-of-year list focuses on this last category, looking at changes that have been taking place within the Boston restaurant scene in 2012. Included are looks into hot neighborhoods, popular foods, and more.

More 2012 food and restaurant lists will likely be on the way over the next few days, so keep checking back as new additions are posted here.



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Monday, December 24, 2012

Highlights for the Week Ending December 21, 2012

A few more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a bakery and cafe in Brookline and Cambridge continuing to expand, a Jewish deli coming to Kendall Square, and a local restaurant group declaring bankruptcy. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of an Italian dining spot in Cambridge, a "best restaurants of 2012" list being posted, and a photo of a soup from an upscale eatery in Southern Maine.

Below are links to these and other items from the past week:

Boston Restaurant Talk

Tatte Bakery and Cafe to Open Second Location in Cambridge's Kendall Square

Update: Hungry Mother to Open Second Restaurant in Cambridge's Kendall Square

Upper Crust Pizzeria Locations Head to Auction

UFood Restaurant Group Files for Bankruptcy

Legal Sea Foods to Take Over Summer Shack Space in Hingham

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: L'Impasto in Cambridge, MA

Best Boston-Area Restaurants, 2012

Question: Best Bagels in the Boston Area?

Updated Review: Cheng Du in Stoughton, MA

Photo: Pumpkin Bisque from Jonathan's in Ogunquit, ME



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Jade Garden in Arlington Heights to Be Replaced by Szechuan's Dumpling

It looks like a Chinese restaurant in Arlington Heights is going to replaced by another Chinese spot, and this one will feature dumplings.

The Arlington Patch reports that Szechuan's Dumpling put in a request for Common Victualler and Beer & Wine Licenses last week for the space on Mass. Ave. where Jade Garden has been. The article mentions that this could be a name change only, but then goes on to say that this is "not for certain." A call placed to Jade Garden went through, but it continued to ring without going to voicemail, so it is not yet known whether the eatery has officially closed.

[February 8, 2013 update: Jade Garden is indeed closed, and the Arlington Advocate notes that the upcoming Szechuan's Dumpling will feature nine types of dumplings and ravioli along with soups, specialty entrees, vegetarian items, and more. The article also indicates that the new eatery will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. There is no specific opening date as of this point; keep checking back for updates as we get them.]

[February 19, 2013 update: According to a post late last week from Grub Street Boston, it appears that Szechuan's Dumpling is on the verge of opening, with a possible opening coming tomorrow. (GS said on February 15 that it would be opening in "five days.")]

[February 20, 2013 update: The Arlington Patch is reporting that Szechuan's Dumpling is opening tomorrow (Thursday, February 21). Thanks to @ConciergeBoston for bringing this to our attention.]

Jade Garden was a dining spot that our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) has featured as a lesser-known place for Chinese food. The review can be found at the following link:

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

The address for Jade Garden (and the planned Szechuan's Dumpling) is 1360 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA, 02476.

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



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Friday, December 21, 2012

Jake n Joes Sports Grille to Open in Waltham

It looks like a restaurant and sports bar with locations in Norwood and Foxborough is going to be expanding northward, with a third location coming to a new development next to Route 128.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Jake n Joes Sports Grille plans to open in the 1265 Main St. development in Waltham (where Polaroid used to be), joining a number of other upcoming businesses, including Bonefish Grill, Starbucks, Market Basket, Marshalls, and TD Bank. Once it opens, the new dining and drinking spot will likely feature American fare and pub grub (including what may be its most well-known dish--fried calamari).

It is possible that the new Jake n Joes could be open by the end of 2013, depending on how construction goes.

[June 17, 2014 update: The Waltham News Tribune states that Jake n Joes Sports Grille is now planning to open later this year.]

The address for this upcoming restaurant and bar in Waltham is: Jake n Joes Sports Grille, 1265 Main Street, Waltham, MA, 02451. Their website can be found at http://www.jakenjoes.com/



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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tatte Bakery and Cafe Is Opening a Second Location in Cambridge's Kendall Square

A bakery with locations in Brookline and Cambridge is planning to expand once again.

Eater Boston is reporting (via a Craigslist post) that a new Tatte Bakery & Cafe is apparently on its way to Broadway in the Kendall Square section of Cambridge. This would be the second Kendall Square location for the bakery, which opened a spot on Third Street this spring. The original Tatte (which is called Tatte Fine Cookies & Cakes) is located on Beacon Street near the Brookline/Boston border.

[March 7, 2013 update: A more recent post from Eater Boston indicates that the new Tatte in Kendall Square plans to open sometime in May. EB also mentions that this cafe will be about half the size of the other Kendall Square location.]

Tatte had also been in the news this summer, inking a deal with Williams-Sonoma to have the San Francisco-based retail chain sell some of their food items.

Based on a entry within Yellowbook, the address for the new Tatte may be 205 Broadway. Their website can be found at http://www.tattecookies.com/

[June 3, 2013 update: A License Commission General Hearing page on the City of Cambridge website confirms the address as being 205 Broadway, and the page also mentions that Tatte hoping to have seating for 19 inside and another 12 on an outdoor patio, with hours being 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Saturdays, and 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sundays. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, June 11, so stay tuned for further updates.]

[June 4, 2013 update: Eater Boston states that the new location of Tatte has a planned opening date of July 1.]

[July 23, 2013 update: According to their website, the new location of Tatte is now going to be opening on August 12. (Thanks to a poster on the Chowhound site for bringing this to our attention.)]



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Barry Maiden of Hungry Mother Is Opening State Park in Cambridge's Kendall Square

[Ed note: This article was edited in December of 2012 and May of 2013 to reflect new information given, including the fact that Hungry Mother will be opening a second location, rather than moving from their original space. The May update also includes a name for the place as well as when it may open, what kind of cuisine it will offer, and its exact location.]

The person behind one of the most highly-regarded restaurants in the Boston area is going to be opening a second restaurant, and it won't be very far from their original space.

Eater Boston is reporting (via The Boston Globe) that Barry Maiden of Hungry Mother in Cambridge is planning to open a restaurant at One Kendall Square, which also happens to be up for sale, according to the Globe. At this point in time, it is not known exactly which space the eatery will move into at One Kendall Square, which is currently home to several dining spots including Belly Wine Bar, The Blue Room, Cambridge Brewing Company, Tommy Doyle's, Flat Top Johnny's, The Friendly Toast, and West Bridge.

Earlier it appeared that Hungry Mother might be moving from Cardinal Medeiros Avenue to One Kendall Square, but a more recent Boston Globe article states that this will actually be a second restaurant, with this one possibly being a "Jewish deli with modern touches." The Globe says that the new spot is expected to open sometime in 2013.

[May 10, 2013 update: According to a License Commission General Hearing page within the City of Cambridge website, Alon Munzer of Hungry Mother has applied for an all alcoholic beverages as a restaurant license for the upcoming restaurant, which will be in Building 300 at One Kendall Square. It looks like the upcoming eatery could have 143 seats inside, with 48 additional seats outside, and that it might be open from 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM daily. The name "Slawdog" is given in the post, though it appears that this is probably the name of the business entity.]

[May 16, 2013 update: Eater Boston says that the name of the new restaurant from the Hungry Mother folks will be State Park, and that it will be taking over the former Think Tank space with a possible September opening in the works. EB also mentions that the new spot will be a casual eatery with at least some Southern-influenced fare, so the earlier reports on it being a deli may no longer be accurate. (Keep checking back for updates.)]

[December 15, 2013 update: According to a series of posts on Barry Maiden's Facebook page over the past few days, State Park went through a soft opening over the weekend and it now looks like the place could officially open on Tuesday. One of the posts also mentions that the new spot is a restaurant and "dive bar."]

[December 17, 2013 update: Eater Boston confirms that State Park opens today, with its doors officially opening at 5:00 PM.]

Hungry Mother first opened in 2008, bringing to the Kendall Square area a place to get inventive Southern-style dishes with French and regional New England influences. Its address is 233 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02141, and their website can be found at http://www.hungrymothercambridge.com/



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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Marco Cucina Romana in Boston's North End to Be Replaced by Aria Trattoria

It looks like an Italian restaurant in the North End of Boston is getting ready to close, with a new Italian eatery moving into its space.

NorthEndWaterfront.com is reporting that The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) has voted in favor of a transfer of a liquor license from Marco Cucina Romana on Hanover Street to Aria Trattoria, with the Boston Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog stating that Marco is expected to close sometime after December 23 and Aria is expected to open in January (this last bit of info is based on an ad from Scene magazine).

[February 4, 2013 update: UrbanDaddy mentions that Aria Trattoria opens today in the North End, taking over the old Marco space. UD also reports that the 48-seat dining spot will have more than 300 wines available along with dishes such as milk-fed veal chops and house-made mushroom ravioli.]

The person behind Aria Trattoria is the former general manager of Tresca on Hanover Street, according to NorthEndWaterfront.com.

The address for Marco (and Aria) is 253 Hanover Street, Boston, MA, 02113.

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.



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China Sky in Wellesley Has Closed

A Chinese restaurant located in a western suburb of Boston has closed after being in business for approximately eight years.

The Wellesley Townsman is reporting that China Sky in Wellesley Hills has shuttered, as the owner (Vincent Wu) is apparently retiring. The article says that Robert Alevizos, whose company owns the Forest Street property, indicates another eatery will likely go into the space at some point, as he believes the location "will be a restaurant for a long time to come."

China Sky, which first opened in 2004, featured a mix of Chinese-American and authentic Chinese dishes, along with some Japanese fare.

The address for this now-closed Chinese restaurant in Wellesley Hills is: China Sky, 11 Forest Street, Wellesley, MA, 02481.



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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Upper Crust Pizzeria Locations Head to Auction

A local group of pizzerias that abruptly shut down last month will be going to auction tomorrow, and the folks who will be bidding on it include some of its workers and possibly its founder.

The Boston Globe is reporting that "more than 60 parties" may be bidding for Upper Crust Pizzeria, including former Upper Crust managers and an attorney who is representing former workers in a class-action lawsuit. The article also mentions that Upper Crust founder Jordan Tobins, who continues to run the Brookline and Beacon Hill locations of the pizzeria (which both remain open), is apparently involved with a private equity firm to make a bid for several of the shops as well. The auction, which takes place at an undisclosed spot in Boston, will allow offers for leases on individual shops, multiple locations, and the entire business.

A total of 10 locations of Upper Crust closed in the middle of November after basically running out of money. The pizza chain had filed for bankruptcy in October after a troubled run that included issues with overtime pay and federal investigations.

[December 20 update: The Boston Business Journal gives the following breakdown of the results of the auction: Tobins and a private equity firm bought four locations of Upper Crust (South End, Lexington, Watertown, Wellesley); a group of former employees purchased the Harvard Square shop; Boston Restaurant Associates (owner of the Pizzeria Regina chain) bought the Fenway location; the Financial District shop was sold to the owners of the building, as was the case with a location in Washington, DC; and a franchisee in Plymouth bought the Hingham location. In addition, The Boston Globe mentions that a worker for a real estate and hospitality investment firm purchased the Newbury Street shop.]

[Earlier Article]
Upper Crust Closes Most Locations; Future of Stores Unclear


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Monday, December 17, 2012

SKYBOKX 109 Is Opening in Natick

A "gastro sports" bar, restaurant, and music spot is planning to open soon within a hotel west of Boston, and it appears that the place is affiliated with a high-end steakhouse located within another hotel nearby.

A message from a follower of our hiddenboston Twitter page indicates that SKYBOKX 109 is going to be opening within the Hampton Inn on Speen Street in Natick, with a January opening possible for the place. A check on their website shows that the eating and drinking spot will feature a "sophisticated" sports entertainment system with 22 televisions for watching games (the biggest of which will have 90-inch screens) and a "JukeBOKX" stage with regional and national bands performing. Expect to see classic American food and pub grub at SKYBOKX 109.

[January 9, 2013 update: An email sent to us indicates that SKYBOKX 109 will be opening today.]

The Hospitality Online site mentions that Distinctive Hospitality Group (DHG) is behind SKYBOKX 109, while the Hotel Business Review site says that Lou Carrier, who is President of DHG, had been behind the opening of BOKX 109 within the Hotel Indigo in Newton in 2008.

The address for this new restaurant, bar, and music club is: SKYBOKX 109, 319 Speen Street, Natick, MA, 01519.



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UFood Restaurant Group Files for Bankruptcy

A local group of quick-casual restaurants has declared bankruptcy, though all of its locations remain open--at least for now.

The Boston Business Journal is reporting that UFood Restaurant Group filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on Friday, with the unprofitability of its Fenway and Watertown UFood Grill locations apparently being a big factor in its decision to go this route. The article mentions that these two shops could be "pared back or closed," though it looks like its other locations (including restaurants in Downtown Crossing and Logan Airport) appear to be safe at the present time. The Newton-based company is planning to restructure its balance sheet and try to return to profitability.

[January 3, 2013 update: Eater Boston reports that the Watertown location of UFood Grill has shut down.]

In addition to its Boston-area locations, UFood also has restaurants in Maryland, Ohio, Texas, and Utah. It was formerly known as Know Fat Lifestyle Grille. (The website can be found at http://www.ufoodgrill.com/)



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Legal C Bar Is Taking Over the Summer Shack Space in Hingham

A location of a popular local seafood chain is closing, with another popular local seafood chain moving into its space.

The Boston Business Journal is reporting that Jasper White's Summer Shack in Hingham will be shutting its doors, making way for a new location of the Legal Sea Foods chain. The article mentions that this is basically a lease termination and sale of the Derby Street Shoppes space, and that all other locations of Summer Shack (Back Bay, Cambridge, Dedham, Mohegan Sun) will stay open.

The deal could be finalized sometime in January, according to the BBJ. In the meantime, the Hingham location of Summer Shack remains open for business.

[January 2, 2013 update: Eater Boston reports that the Hingham location of Summer Shack has closed.]

[January 28, 2013 update: A Meeting Minutes page from the Hingham Board of Selectmen indicates that Legal C Bar (not Legal Sea Foods, as had been previously thought), will be moving into the former Summer Shack space. Legal C Bar is a casual cafe and seafood bar that is an offshoot of Legal Sea Foods. Currently, locations of the place can be found in Dedham and at Logan Airport.]

[April 30, 2013 update: According to social media trainer and content specialist Jeff Cutler, Legal C Bar in Hingham is planning to open on May 22.]

[May 21, 2013 update: An email sent to us indicates that Legal C Bar will open its new Hingham location on Thursday (May 23).]

Summer Shack first opened its doors in Hingham in November of 2009.

The address for the Summer Shack (and new Legal C Bar) in Hingham is 96 Derby Street (Derby Street Shoppes), Hingham, MA, 02043. The website for Summer Shack is at www.summershackrestaurant.com/ while the website for Legal C Bar is at http://www.legalcbar.com/



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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Highlights for the Week Ending December 14, 2012

Several more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a restaurant, cafe, and produce market possibly coming to an historic structure, a well-known chef and restaurateur opening a new dining spot in Somerville, and a voting bracket set up for bar food. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of a seaside breakfast and lunch spot, a question on corned beef hash, and a photo of a small plate/appetizer from a restaurant in downtown Boston.

Below are links to these and other items from the past week:

Boston Restaurant Talk

Harvest Co-op Opens in the Forest Hills Section of Jamaica Plain

Restaurant, Cafe, Produce Market Planned for Former Roslindale Substation

Ana Sortun (Oleana, Sofra) to Open Restaurant in Former Paddock Space in Somerville

Crescent Ridge Dairy in Holbrook Has Closed

NESN Sets Up a "Best Sports Bar Dish" Competition

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: Toast in Hull, MA

Photo: Pepperoni, Coppa, and Mushroom Pizza from When Pigs Fly Pizzeria in Kittery, ME

Restaurant Closings/Openings in December (So Far)

Question: Best Corned Beef Hash in the Boston Area?

Photo: Brussels Sprouts Roasted in Bacon Fat from Marliave in Boston, MA



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Friday, December 14, 2012

A Time to Taste in Boston's Financial District Has Closed

A breakfast and lunch spot in the Financial District of Boston has closed after being in business for less than a year.

According to the President of the Downtown Crossing Vendor Association (and the REAL Downtown Crossing Facebook page), A Time to Taste is no longer in business, having recently shut its doors. The eatery, which first opened this past winter, featured soups, salads, sandwiches, brownies, cookies, and more. The space had formerly been home to Roly Poly.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in the Financial District was: A Time to Taste, 185 Devonshire Street, Boston, MA, 02110.



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Harvest Co-op Opens in the Forest Hills Section of Jamaica Plain

A pair of community-owned food markets with locations in Cambridge and Jamaica Plain has just opened a third location, with this one being in another part of JP.

According to their website, Harvest Co-op has opened "Harvest Arboretum" on Washington Street in the Forest Hills Section of Jamaica Plain, with Wednesday apparently being its first day in business. Based on its other two locations on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge's Central Square and South Street in Jamaica Plain--along with info from a blueprint of the new market--expect to see a wide variety of organic foods available, with sections for meats, produce, and bulk products, along with a salad bar, deli and cheese areas, and a wine and beer section.

The address for this new grocery store in the Forest Hills section of Jamaica Plain is: Harvest Co-op (Harvest Arboretum), 3815 Washington Street, Boston, MA, 02131. The website for the markets can be found at http://www.harvestcoop.com/

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



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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Restaurant, Cafe, Produce Market Planned for Former Roslindale Substation

A power substation in a Boston neighborhood that has been out of use for several decades is coming back to life, and it may include a couple of dining spots and a market.

The Boston Globe is reporting that the former substation, which is located at the southern edge of Roslindale Square, is going to be redeveloped into a mixed-use complex, with plans for approximately 40 apartments built in the adjacent lot and the substation itself having a restaurant, cafe, and produce market. The article states that developers are hoping to have a community meeting in January to talk about specific plans for the space. The substation, which was built in 1911, had been used for powering a network of trolley cars, according to the Globe.

It looks like construction on the project could begin in the fall of 2013, depending on necessary approvals by the city of Boston.

[March 31, 2014 update: More than a year after first learning about the substation project, we now hear (via The West Roxbury Transcript) that Chris Douglass of the Ashmont Grill and Tavolo in Dorchester will likely be behind the opening of a restaurant at the historic structure in Roslindale. More details will probably be coming soon, so stay tuned for additional updates.]

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.



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Lam's in Newtonville Is Closing

A Pan-Asian restaurant in one of Newton's busiest neighborhoods is going to be closing.

The Newton TAB is reporting that Lam's in Newtonville is planning to shut its doors for good this Saturday (December 15) after being in business for 12 years. The article mentions that a rent increase is apparently the reason behind the closure, with a co-owner of the eatery saying that business has been steady, but the higher rent would be "more than he could absorb."

Lam's has focused mainly on Thai cuisine over the years, though it also offers dishes from other parts of Asia, including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Cambodian fare.

The address for this soon-to-close dining spot in Newtonville is: Lam's, 825 Washington Street, Newton, MA, 02460.

Thanks to @brandnewwatch for bringing this to our attention.



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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pop-Up Hot Cocoa Bar Comes to Rowes Wharf Sea Grille Today

Today is not only 12/12/12, but also National Hot Cocoa Day, and a restaurant on the Boston waterfront is celebrating both with something that may be of interest to chocolate lovers.

From 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM today, Rowes Wharf Sea Grill in the Boston Harbor Hotel has a Pop-Up Hot Cocoa Bar that features 12 specialty cocoas with toppings and/or liqueurs. Prices are $2.12 for a specialty hot cocoa and $12.12 for hot cocoa with added spirits, with options being cappuccino, chocolate hazelnut, candy cane, butterscotch, orange, almond, and more.

The address for Rowes Wharf Sea Grille (and the Boston Harbor Hotel) is 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA, 02110.



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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ana Sortun (Oleana, Sofra) Is Opening Sarma in the Former Paddock Space in Somerville

[Ed note: This article was updated on May 9, 2013 to reflect a name given to the upcoming restaurant.]

This summer we reported that an old-school restaurant and bar in Somerville had closed its doors. Now we have learned that a well-known chef and restaurateur will be opening a new eatery in its space.

The Boston Magazine Chowder blog is reporting that Ana Sortun of Oleana and Sofra (both in Cambridge) and Oleana chef de cuisine Cassie Piuma will be opening a restaurant in the space on Pearl Street where The Paddock had been. Little is currently known about what type of dining spot it will be (and a name has not been given for it as of yet), but Chowder does mention that more information will apparently be on the way later today; as soon as we find out more about the place, we will post an update here.

[January 10, 2013 update: Grub Street Boston states that Ana Sortun's new restaurant will be a casual neighborhood spot that is "mezze-focused," and it will have "Russian-style" service (food that comes through the dining room on trays). The eatery, which could be open sometime in June, will also have a large bar, according to GS.]

[May 9, 2013 update: Eater Boston reports (via Boston Magazine) that the new restaurant moving into the former Paddock space in Somerville will be called Sarma.]

[September 26 update: According to a post within the restaurant jobs section of the BostonChefs.com site from last week, Sarma could be on the verge of opening, as the note says that it is looking to open at the end of the month.]

[October 9 update: The Restaurant Hub blog of The Boston Globe mentions that Sarma is now open.]

Sortun has received much recognition over the past ten years, including a James Beard Award in 2005, according to the James Beard site.

The address for this new restaurant in Somerville is 249 Pearl Street, Somerville, MA, 02145.

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.



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Ben and Jerry's to Sell Richard's BBF (Best Buddies Flavor) at Harvard Square Shop

Ben & Jerry's is at it again, creating a new ice cream flavor that will help raise money for a good cause. An email sent to us indicates that the Vermont-based ice cream company has teamed up with Best Buddies Massachusetts to create Richard's BBF (Best Buddies Flavor), which consists of vanilla ice cream and chocolate fudge ice cream with white chocolate and dark chocolate chunks added. All of the proceeds from sales of the ice cream will raise money for Richard Berman's Best Buddies Challenge fundraising, which supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Richard's BBF will be available at the Ben & Jerry's store on JFK Street in Cambridge's Harvard Square through February of 2013. For more information on Best Buddies Challenge, please go to http://www.bestbuddieschallenge.org/, and for more on Ben & Jerry's, please go to http://www.benjerry.com/



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Monday, December 10, 2012

Crescent Ridge Dairy in Holbrook Has Closed

A pair of dairy bars south of Boston is now down to just one, as one of their locations has closed.

A poster on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page has mentioned that Crescent Ridge Dairy in Holbrook is shuttered after being in business for approximately five years, with a new spot taking over its space. (Very little information can be found on the place that moved in right now, so check back for updates.) A check on the Crescent Ridge website and Facebook page confirms this, as they have taken down all references to the Holbrook shop on the site, and a note on their Facebook page states that the shop is indeed gone. The Sharon location--which is also their headquarters--remains in business.

Crescent Ridge first started out in the 1930s as a dairy company delivering milk and other products to people's doors. Today, in addition to having their ice cream stand in Sharon, they continue to do deliveries to communities in many parts of Eastern and Central Massachusetts.

The address for this now-closed dairy bar in Holbrook was: Crescent Ridge Dairy, 176 S Franklin Street (Route 37), Holbrook, MA, 02343. The website for their Sharon location is at http://www.crescentridge.com/



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Highlights for the Week Ending December 7, 2012

A few more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a food truck possibly going brick-and-mortar, a burger place opening in one of Boston's busiest areas, and a holiday party for a good cause returning to Cambridge. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of a restaurant and ice cream place southwest of Boston, a new slideshow on best food dishes of 2012, and a question about a sandwich that is particularly popular north of the city.

Below are links to these and other items from the past week:

Boston Restaurant Talk

Is a Brick-and-Mortar Staff Meal on the Way?

Update: Strip-T's Chef and Co-Owner to Open Ribelle in Brookline

Union Square Donuts May Open Retail Shop in Somerville

UBurger to Move into Former Red Sky Space by Boston's Faneuil Hall

Eat Boston Holiday Party Returns to Russell House Tavern in Cambridge, December 17, 2012

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: Bliss Bros. Dairy in Attleboro, MA

Photo: Rarebits from Marliave in Boston, MA
 
New Slideshow: Twelve More of the Best Food Dishes of 2012

Question: Favorite Roast Beef Joint?

Photo: Brownie Sundae from Bliss Bros. Dairy in Attleboro, MA



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Sunday, December 09, 2012

NESN Sets Up a "Best Sports Bar Dish" Competition

A sports network that is owned by a couple of Boston teams has begun a voting competition for the best sports bar dish in the area, with the voting bracket including 16 dishes from local spots.

According to the NESN site, a four-week-long bracket is now in place (@JohnBeattieNESN mentioned that it began last Monday), with the 16-bar bracket including such items as the fried clams from the Baseball Tavern, pork chops from Sweet Caroline's, chicken fingers from The Greatest Bar, Big Tasty from Tasty Burger, atomic hot wings from Game On!, nachos from Happy's, and more. The voting bracket page includes links where readers can watch features on the dishes, then vote.

For more information on the sports bar dish competition, please go to the link below:

http://nesn.com/2012/12/bostons-best-sports-bar-dish-bracket/

NESN, which first started out in 1984, is owned by both the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Bruins.

[December 10 update: Round 2 has begun, with eight dishes from various restaurants remaining. The updated bracket can be found here: Best Sports Bar Dish--Second Round]

[December 18 update: Round 3 (which is the "Final Four") has begun, with dishes from CBS Scene, Dillon's, Pour House, and North Star in the running. The updated bracket can be found at this link: Best Sports Bar Dish--Third Round (Final Four)]

[December 27 update: The final round for the NESN competition is now upon us, with CBS Scene facing North Star. Voting will end on Monday, January 7, with the results being posted soon thereafter. Updated info can be found at the following link: Is The North Star's Joey Chestnut Sampler or CBS Scene's Pastrami Burger the Better Sports Bar Dish?]

[January 10, 2013 update: The winner of the best sports bar dish competition is North Star, with their Joey Chestnut Sampler just beating CBS Scene's Pastrami Burger by the slightest of margins. More information on the outcome can be found at this link: The North Star's Joey Chestnut Sampler Earns Title of Boston’s Best Sports Bar Dish]


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Friday, December 07, 2012

Is a Brick-and-Mortar Staff Meal on the Way?

The Staff Meal food truck added an interesting post to their Facebook page today, hinting that the folks behind the Boston-based truck might be "brick-and-mortaring."

According to their post, Staff Meal is "taking the truck off the streets for the winter," with "exciting new (indoor) developments coming soon." (And the note starts with their saying "Brick and mortaring it is.") Staff Meal says to stay tuned for further developments, so as soon as we get more information, we will post an update here.

[December 9 update: Grub Street Boston is reporting that Staff Meal owner Adam Gendreau is planning to do some pop-ups for his restaurant, but is also looking for "more permanent housing because the seasonality of the business is killing us." GS also mentions that one pop-up has already been set in place, with it being at Toro in the South End on Thursday, December 13.]

Staff Meal is a food truck that focuses on higher-end gourmet items and tends to attract people in the restaurant industry. A few items that they offer include foie gras baklava, Chinese sausage, beef stew in a sub roll, sriracha macaroni and cheese, braised beef tendon, spicy black bean tofu, and soy sauce chicken. Their website can be found at http://staffmealboston.com/



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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Hot Tomatoes Closes (Again) in Boston's North End

A North End restaurant that featured pizza and sandwiches has closed its doors for the second time in two years.

According to several sources who emailed us and posted to our Twitter page, Hot Tomatoes Express on Hanover Street is shuttered, with a "closed" sign out front and the interior apparently cleared out. The original North End location of Hot Tomatoes (on North Street) closed in the spring of 2010, then reopened as more of a takeout spot in its new location last fall. Eater Boston mentions that their downtown location on Bedford Street closed in June.

The address for this now-closed dining spot in the North End was: Hot Tomatoes Express, 227 Hanover Street, Boston, MA, 02113.

[Earlier Articles]
Hot Tomatoes Is Returning to Boston's North End
Hot Tomatoes Closes Its North End Location



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Enso Is Opening in Boston's Chinatown

A new Japanese restaurant is coming to the Chinatown neighborhood of Boston, and it looks like it could be a sushi place with a unique method of serving food.

Eater Boston reports (via the Twitter page of Boston Chinatown) that Enso is planning to open on Kneeland Street, moving into the space where a costume shop had been. Pictures posted on the via.me site indicate that the eatery will have a booth-side conveyor belt that will apparently allow diners to choose their food right from their tables.

The address for this new Japanese restaurant in Chinatown is: Enso, 69 Kneeland Street, Boston 02111.

[December 26 update: A new post from Eater Boston states that Enso is now open for business (it opened at 11:00 AM today). EB also mentions that this is indeed the only place in the city of Boston to serve "kaiten sushi," or conveyor belt sushi.]



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Strip-T's Chef and Co-Owner Is Opening Ribelle in Brookline

[Ed note: This article was updated on December 10 to reflect a name and address given for the new spot.]

The chef and co-owner of a highly-regarded restaurant just west of Boston is going to be opening a new restaurant, with this one also being west of the city.

Eater Boston is reporting that Tim Maslow of Strip-T's in Watertown is planning to open a dining spot in the Washington Square section of Brookline, with a possible March opening for the place. At this point in time, little information is known about the upcoming 70-seat eatery, including whether it will be a second Strip-T's or a brand new restaurant. As soon as we find out more about it, we will post an update here.

[December 10 update: BostonChefs.com states that the name of Maslow's new restaurant will be Ribelle, and that it will be located at 1665 Beacon Street, which is where Tamarind Bay currently resides. (Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.)]

[August 7, 2013 update: Eater Boston states that Ribelle soft-opens at 5:30 PM today, with "limited seating, limited hours, limited menus."]

[August 9, 2013 update: The Restaurant Hub blog of The Boston Globe mentions that Ribelle officially opens to the public on Monday (August 12). The post indicates that the restaurant will have a New American menu featuring inventive dishes, with items including rigatoni with octopus, sweetbread milanese, lamb tartare, and coffee cake with cardamom, currants, and hazelnuts, along with craft beers and cocktails.]

Strip-T's first opened on School Street in East Watertown in the 1980s, bringing to the neighborhood a cafe featuring an eclectic mix of American and international dishes. In 2011, Tim Maslow left New York to join his father Paul (the owner of the restaurant) and upgraded the menu, ultimately helping to bring it into the local--and national--spotlight.

The website for Strip-T's can be found at http://www.stripts.com/



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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Clover Food Lab Is Opening in Burlington

The people behind several vegetarian food trucks and two brick-and-mortar restaurants in Boston and Cambridge are going to be opening a new brick-and-mortar spot, and this one will be its first truly "suburban" location in the area.

Linear Retail Properties reports that Clover Food Lab is planning to open a restaurant in the Burlington Marketplace Shopping Center in Burlington, which is across from the Burlington Mall, the New England Executive Office Park, and Lahey Clinic. The newest Clover will have 1,465 square feet of space and will be a fast-casual dining spot featuring healthy fare using local and organic ingredients.

[June 4 update: Eater Boston states that the new brick-and-mortar location of Clover in Burlington is planning to open on June 22.]

[June 24 update: The Clover site mentions that the opening date has been pushed back a bit for the new spot in Burlington; it will now be having a VIP party this Wednesday and a free sandwich day (open to the public) on Thursday, with its first full day of service on Friday.]

Currently, Clover has a truck at MIT in Cambridge as well as others at City Hall Plaza, Dewey Square, and Boston Common in downtown Boston, by the Boston Public Library in the Back Bay, and at Boston University and Longwood. It also has brick-and-mortar restaurants in Cambridge's Inman Square (where their headquarters are) and Harvard Square.

The address for this new dining spot in Burlington is: Clover Food Lab, 68 Burlington Mall Road, Burlington, MA, 01803. The website for Clover is at http://www.cloverfoodlab.com/



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