Monday, March 31, 2014

Highlights for the Week Ending March 28, 2014

Several more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a well-known chef and restaurateur planning to open a new dining spot north of Boston, one of the last old-school restaurants on Newbury Street closing, and a food truck featuring deli items getting ready to debut. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of a restaurant and bar in Somerville, updates to the dive bar photo gallery, and a photo of a Thai dish from a dining spot in Malden.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Lydia Shire Is Opening a New Restaurant in Burlington

Lilian's Smokin' Rack Barbecue Truck to Debut in Boston

The Brookline Spa Has Reopened

Steve's Greek Cuisine in the Back Bay of Boston Has Closed

Evan's NY Style Deli Food Truck to Debut in Boston

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: RF O'Sullivan's in Somerville, MA

Photo: Chicken Parmigiana from Pearl Street Station Restaurant in Malden, MA

Updated Dive Bar Photo Gallery

Question: Who Makes the Best Doughnuts in the Boston Area?

Photo: Drunken Noodles from All Seasons Table in Malden, MA


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New Restaurants Could be Coming to Dudley Square in Roxbury

An historic building in the heart of Roxbury is being restored--and the people behind several restaurants in the Boston area are interested in moving in.

The Boston Globe is reporting that the Ferdinand Building in Dudley Square is going to be rehabilitated, with the plans being to bring offices, residences, a market, shops, hotels, and restaurants to the structure. Some of the businesses that are looking at the space include Bon Me, Parish Cafe, Tasty Burger, Salvatore's, and others, with the winning bidders being picked by a committee that is made up of a mix of neighborhood representatives and city officials. The article says that the renovated building is expected to open sometime next year.

The Ferdinand Building dates back to the 1880s, according to the Globe.


[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]



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Eastern Standard in Boston's Kenmore Square Wins the Boston Globe's 2014 Munch Madness

A restaurant tournament that The Boston Globe models after the NCAA's March Madness has just wrapped up, and a well-known restaurant in the city's Kenmore Square neighborhood has come out on top.

According to the page for the contest, Eastern Standard defeated Row 34 (a seafood spot in Fort Point) in the finals, breaking the string of three victories in a row by Cambridge's Hungry Mother. Eastern Standard had defeated Toro in the South End in the semifinals, while Row 34 had beaten Neptune in the North End. (Hungry Mother and other previous winners were "retired" this year to allow other restaurants to get the chance at the crown.)

Munch Madness is based on reader votes, with 64 area dining spots competing.

To see the complete results of the 2014 Munch Madness, please go to the Boston Globe link below:

Welcome to Munch Madness 2014!


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Friday, March 28, 2014

Taste of the Back Bay to Be Held April 3, 2014

A culinary event is returning to the Prudential Center in Boston in April, and as always, a number of area restaurants and bars will be participating.

On Thursday, April 3, the 19th Annual Taste of the Back Bay will take place at the Prudential Skywalk, with the event going from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM. Samplings of food and drink will be offered at the event, with such places as Abe & Louie's Bar Lola, Brasserie JO, Bristol Lounge, Forum, Kings, Lucca, Met, Precinct Kitchen & Bar, Stephanie's on Newbury, Towne Stove and Spirits, and others taking part. (There will also be live music at the event.)

Tickets to the 2014 Taste of the Back Bay cost $75 for members of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay and $85 for non-members, with the price being $100 at the door; a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank and other community programs this year.

For more information on this event, please go to the following link:

http://www.nabbonline.com/event/taste_back_bay


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Peet's Coffee and Tea May Be Coming to Downtown Boston

A California-based coffee roaster and retailer continues its major expansion plans in the Boston area, with yet another new location possibly coming to the heart of the city.

A Licensing Hearing page within the City of Boston website indicates that Peet's Coffee & Tea is planning to open on Tremont Street by the edge of Boston Common where the Park Street T station is. Based on the address given, it appears that the new coffee shop may be looking to take over the space where Finagle a Bagel had been, though this has not yet been confirmed. The chain is in expansion mode these days, with new locations coming to Boston's Beacon Hill and South End as well as Route 9 in Brookline, and a cafe/bank collaboration called Capital One 360 Cafe recently opened in the Back Bay, too.

Existing locations of Peet's can be found in Brookline (Harvard Street), Cambridge, Lexington, Newton Centre, and Wellesley.

The address for this proposed shop in downtown Boston is: Peet's Coffee & Tea, 129 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, 02108. The website for the chain is at http://www.peets.com/


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Update: BosBurger Is Opening in Dorchester's Fields Corner

It looks like a new dining spot is on its way to a busy section of Dorchester, and it will feature two very popular foods.

The Dorchester Reporter mentions that a restaurant tentatively called Boston Burger and Chicken is going to open on Dorchester Avenue, moving into a building in Fields Corner that is going through extensive renovations. The eatery will be one of several businesses coming to the structure--which had once housed the long-closed Emerald Isle bar--including a T-Mobile store that will open in April and a Chinese takeout spot. (The building will have all of the renovations done by June 1, according to the article.)

The address for this new eatery is 1493 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, MA, 02122.

[December 29 update: This spot has still not opened, though a recent licensing board page from the City of Boston website indicates that it is changing its name to "BosBurger." In addition, it looks like the address will be 1501 Dorchester Avenue, not 1493 Dorchester Avenue as had previously been said.]

[November 12, 2015 update: Eater Boston states that BosBurger is now open, and that it offers hamburgers, turkey burgers, chicken burgers, hot dogs, smoothies, and more.]


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Lydia Shire Is Opening a New Restaurant in Burlington

One of the best-known chefs and restaurateurs in the Boston area is planning to open a brand new restaurant, with this one being north of the city.

The Restaurant Hub blog of The Boston Globe is reporting that Lydia Shire of Scampo is looking to open a dining spot somewhere in Burlington, with the article saying that it will have a different concept from her upscale Italian/Mediterranean restaurant that resides in the Liberty Hotel on Charles Street at the foot of Beacon Hill. It looks like the new eatery--which does not seem to have a name yet--could be opening sometime this fall, according to the blog article.

Lydia Shire is also one of the people behind Towne Stove and Spirits, a dining and drinking spot that is located on Boylston Street in Boston's Back Bay, and had been involved with such now-closed landmark restaurants as Locke-Ober, Maison Robert, Pignoli, and Excelsior.


[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]



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Urban Cantina Is Opening in Ferrara's Space in Boston's North End

It looks like another Mexican restaurant could be coming to the North End of Boston.

A post from NorthEndWaterfront.com indicates that Urban Cantina is planning to open on Salem Street, moving into the space where Ferrara's Restaurant was, and before that, Caffe Nuovo, which had the same ownership as Ferrara's. The post indicates that this would be a change of ownership, with the hours and layout of the new eatery being the same, but with Mexican fare being offered (Ferrara's is mainly Italian-American). An earlier page on the site mentioned that Urban Cantina is hoping to acquire Ferrara's beer, wine and cordials license, so if all goes as planned, alcohol will be served at the new dining spot.

[September 10 update: A message from @ConciergeBoston indicates that Urban Cantina is now open.]

Another Mexican restaurant is now in the North End as well, with Tenoch opening a location on Lewis Street over the winter (their original restaurant is located in Medford).

The address for the new Urban Cantina is 76 Salem Street, Boston, MA, 02113.


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lilian's Smokin' Rack Barbecue Truck to Debut in Boston

A food truck that offers ribs and more will soon be setting up in the heart of downtown Boston.

An article from Eater Boston and a post from UrbanDaddy indicate that Lilian's Smokin' Rack Barbecue will be debuting on April 1, with EB saying that it will be stationed at the Rings Fountain along the Rose Kennedy Greenway on Tuesdays. UrbanDaddy says that in addition to Texas-style ribs, the truck will also be offering pulled pork sandwiches and sweet tea, with the sandwich having BBQ sauce made using maple syrup from New Hampshire.

[March 27 update: A Facebook post from Lilian's gives the full schedule for its truck, with it being at the Charlestown Navy Yard on Mondays, Rings Fountain on Tuesdays, City Hall Plaza on Wednesdays, the Greenway at Atlantic Avenue and High Street on Thursdays, and Belvidere Street by the Prudential Center on Fridays.]

Lilian's started out as a business focusing on dry rubs for Texas-style BBQ, with original, spicy, and salt-free blends sold. The website can be found at http://www.liliansmokinrackbbq.com/


[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]



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North End Restaurant Week to Be Held March 30-April 4, April 6-11, 2014

Another restaurant week is returning to a Boston neighborhood, and as always, a number of local dining spots will be participating.

The 5th annual North End Restaurant Week will be held starting Sunday, March 30 and running through Friday, April 4, with Saturday being a day off before it starts up again on Sunday, April 6 and wrapping up on Friday, April 11. A list of participating restaurant has not been posted as of yet, so check the link (below) over the coming days.

Dinners will cost $33.00 at this event.

For more information on the 2014 North End Restaurant Week, please go to the following link:

http://www.northendboston.com/north-end-restaurant-week-2014-march-30th-through-april-11th/


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News Elsewhere: The Shawmut Diner in New Bedford to Close March 31

A landmark diner on the South Coast is going to be closing its doors for good.

The New Bedford Guide is reporting that the Shawmut Diner in New Bedford will shut down on March 31 after being in business for more than 33 years. The article mentions that a note on the diner's Facebook page says "Yes it's true…We hope to see many of you in the next week, I already stocked up on kleenex. You will be in our hearts forever! Hugs & kisses, Celeste & Phil xoxoxo."

According to the article, the diner, which was built in 1953 and is included in the National Register of Historic Places, is going to be placed into storage, with a location of Cumberland Farms moving into the space. An article on the WBSM site indicates that the Shawmut Diner could be sold and moved to another space, while a post from the diner on Facebook says that they are looking for a new home, but it is not known at this point in time exactly what the plans are for it.

The address for this soon-to-close diner in New Bedford is: Shawmut Diner, 943 Shawmut Avenue, New Bedford, MA, 02746.


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Appetito in Newton Centre Has Closed

It looks like an Italian restaurant in Newton Centre has closed its doors after approximately 20 years in business.

A post on the Newton TAB blog mentions that Appetito on Beacon Street was dark earlier this week. A check on its website earlier today indicated that it is no longer running, while a phone call placed to the dining spot didn't go through because the number is out of service. The TAB says that they are "crowd sourcing" the story, but it does appear that Appetito is no longer in business.

Appetito was an upscale Italian spot that featured such items as minestrone soup, pasta alla bolognese, gnocchi, frutti di mare, gemelli milanese, rack and lamb, and pork tenderloin. Our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) visited the place a few years ago, with the review being found at the link below:

Weekend Dining at Appetito in Newton Centre

The address for this now-closed Italian restaurant in Newton Centre was: Appetito, 761 Beacon Street, Newton, MA, 02459.


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Peet's Coffee and Tea to Open on Route 9 in Brookline, Moving into Old Starbucks Space

A California-based coffee roaster and retailer that has been expanding through the Boston area of late is planning to open yet another new shop, with this one moving into the space where a location of another chain of coffee shops had been.

According to a Board of Selectmen page within the Town of Brookline website, Peet's Coffee & Tea is looking to open on Route 9 near the eastern edge of Chestnut Hill, taking over the former Starbucks space. (Starbucks closed earlier this year, moving up the road to Chestnut Hill Square in Newton, according to an earlier article in the Boston Business Journal.) If all goes well and the shop gets approved to open, the new Peet's will join other upcoming locations in Boston's Beacon Hill and South End, along with a new cafe/bank collaboration called Capital One 360 Cafe in the Back Bay, and existing locations in Brookline (Harvard Street), Cambridge, Lexington, Newton Centre, and Wellesley.

The address for this upcoming shop near Chestnut Hill is: Peet's Coffee & Tea, 1154 Boylston Street (Route 9), Brookline, MA, 02467. The website for Peet's is at http://www.peets.com/


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The Brookline Spa Has Reopened

A market and deli in Brookline that closed for renovations last summer is open once again.

According to a Facebook post from the place, the Brookline Spa on Harvard Street reopened a few days ago, with the updated menu including breakfast bites and wraps, salads, chili, clam chowder, panini, specialty sandwiches, burgers, wings, and pizza. The place is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with hours being 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Friday and 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Brookline Spa, which has been in business for approximately 20 years, shuttered in August of 2013 with rumors going around that it might not open back up again. (Those rumors were soon proven false, however.)

The address for this reopened market and deli in Brookline is: Brookline Spa, 75 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA, 02445. Its website is at http://www.thebrooklinespa.com/

[Earlier Article]
Brookline Spa Has Closed; Reopening in the Works


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Bishop's Mediterranean Grill Is Planning to Open in Boston's West End

It looks like a new dining spot is coming to the West End of Boston, and it appears to be moving into the space where another eatery had been for more than 20 years before closing last year.

An email sent today mentions that Bishop's Mediterranean Grill is opening on Staniford Street, with a sign up for the place saying that it is coming soon. A check on the Yellowbook site seems to confirm this, with the address indicating that it will be taking over the former Staniford Cafe space in the small strip of stores that also houses Viva Burrito and a location of Tedeschi Food Shops.

[June 26 update: A post from the "I Remember Bishop's" Facebook page indicates that there is no connection between the now-closed Bishop's in Lawrence and the restaurant coming to Boston's West End.]

[July 16 update: A poster on Twitter tells us that Bishop's Mediterranean Grill is now open; this has also been confirmed by Yelp, with one photo on that site showing the restaurant's menu including such items as Greek lemon soup, chicken shawarma, stuffed cabbage, falafel, hummus, grape leaves, and spinach pie.]

The address for this new restaurant in the West End of Boston is: Bishop's Mediterranean Grill, 70 Staniford Street, Boston, MA, 02114.


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Steve's Greek Cuisine in the Back Bay of Boston Has Closed

One of the last of the old-school restaurants on Newbury Street in Boston's Back Bay has closed its doors.

Universal Hub is reporting (via Bettlebrox) that Steve's Greek Cuisine is no longer in operation, with a note out front saying that its last day was this past Sunday due to the fact that it lost its lease. The note includes the following message: "We wish to thank you for all your valued patronage to our family business. We hope you continue to enjoy Steve's Greek at Quincy Market, Faneuil Hall. Sincerely, The Kourtidis Family"

[April 2 update: The Boston Business Journal reports that the four-story building in which Steve's was housed--and was owned by the family behind the restaurant--was sold this week for $7.25 million to the Charlestown-based Columbus South LLC.]

Steve's, which has been on Newbury Street since the 1980s, featured Greek dishes such as grilled octopus, avgolemono soup, falafel, mousaka, swordfish steak, souvlaki, gyros, baked lamb, stuffed grape leaves, and pasticho.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in the Back Bay was: Steve's Greek Cuisine, 316 Newbury Street, Boston, MA, 02115.


[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]



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Monday, March 24, 2014

Evan's NY Style Deli Food Truck to Debut in Boston

A North Shore delicatessen is getting ready to debut a food truck in Boston, and it will be set up at several locations in the city.

Eater Boston is reporting that Evan's New York Style Deli in Marblehead is going to be launching a truck on April 1, with such items as bagels, pastrami sandwiches, knishes, and more being offered. The article mentions that the food truck will be open seven days a week, with locations including the Greenway, SoWa, the Seaport District, the Back Bay, and Cleveland Circle in Brighton.

Evan's New York Style Deli has been in business on Smith Street in Marblehead for approximately seven years; its website can be found at http://www.evansdeli.com/ while the Facebook page for the upcoming truck is at https://www.facebook.com/evansfoodtruck


[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]



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Highlights for the Week Ending March 21, 2014

A few more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a new dining spot opening in the Fenway's "restaurant row," one of the best pizzeria in New England making plans to come to the Boston area, and a New York-based group of delis opening a location in Boston. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new review of a restaurant and bar in Cambridge, a blog entry on two new Pinterest food boards, and a photo of a popover from an old-school eatery on Route 1.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Pizzeria Posto in Somerville's Davis Square to Debut a Food Truck

Gyro City Opens in the Fenway's "Restaurant Row" in Boston

Pepe's Pizza Is Coming to Boston

Troquet in Boston Is Planning to Open a Second Location

Ben's Kosher Delicatessen Plans to Expand to Boston

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: The Boathouse in Cambridge, MA

Photo: Basil Fried Rice from All Seasons Table in Malden, MA

New Blog Entry: Two More Pinterest Boards: Seafood, Desserts

Photo: Popover from The Continental in Saugus, MA

Photo: Brownie Sundae from The Boathouse in Cambridge, MA


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Friday, March 21, 2014

The Verb Hotel and Hojoko Restaurant to Open in the Former Howard Johnson Space in Boston's Fenway

A new hotel and restaurant will be opening in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, and it will be moving into the space where another hotel--along with a dining spot and tiki bar--had been.

The Boston Herald is reporting that an an "edgy" and "irreverent" boutique hotel called The Verb is planning to open in the former Howard Johnson Inn space on Boylston Street, with the 94-room spot moving into the renovated building rather than the old building being demolished and rebuilt from the ground up, as some had speculated. The article says that the hotel will include a restaurant and bar, with the 4,000-square-foot eatery serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner--and they will be looking for a chef that "fits in with the vibe of the Fenway." It looks like the place could be opening sometime this summer.

The now-closed Howard Johnson Inn had been home to both the Hong Kong Cafe and the Tiki Hideaway.

[August 3 update: Boston Magazine states that The Verb has opened, and that its upcoming restaurant--called Hojoko--will be run by Tim and Nancy Cushman of the award-winning O Ya in the Leather District. The article says that Hojoko will be a "funky and fun" spot that offers "the Cushmans' brand of Japanese pub fare."]

[July 23, 2015 According to a post from The Improper Bostonian, Hojoko is planning to open later this month.]

The address for this new hotel and restaurant in the Fenway is 1271 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215.


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Pizzeria Posto in Somerville's Davis Square to Debut a Food Truck

The person behind a popular pizzeria, enoteca, and trattoria in Somerville is planning to set up a food truck somewhere in the area.

In an interview with Eater Boston, Joe Cassinelli of Pizzeria Posto in Davis Square said that he is opening a mobile truck that will apparently be at an unspecified location five days a week, with the truck possibly being ready to go around the end of May or early June. This is just one project that Cassinelli is working on these days, with a second location of The Painted Burro (also in Davis Square) coming soon to Boston's Downtown Crossing, as well as a roadhouse-style eatery taking over the Rosebud Diner space in the square.

[August 3 update: According to a Facebook post from Posto, their food truck "has arrived," though it is not yet known when it will officially be up and running.]

Pizzeria Posto first opened on Elm Street in April of 2010, featuring wood-fired pizzas and more. Its website can be found at http://postoboston.com/


[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]



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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cooking for a Cause to Be Held in Cambridge, April 4, 2014

A culinary event that supports a Cambridge community center and social service agency is returning to the area, and once again food, drink, and entertainment will be included.

On Friday, April 4, the 11th annual Cooking for a Cause will take place at the MIT Media Lab on Amherst Street in Cambridge, with the event going from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. A number of familiar folks within the Boston-area restaurant scene will be offering food and drink at the event, including Will Gilson (Puritan & Company), Joy Richard (Citizen Public House), Michael Leviton (Area Four), Chris Coombs (Deuxave, Boston Chops), Tzurit Or (Tatte), and many others, with a silent and live auction also taking place along with music from the Winker Orchestra.

Tickets to Cooking for a Cause cost $125, with proceeds going to the East End House Community Center, a nonprofit social service center that has been around since the 1800s. For more information, go to the following link:

http://www.eastendhouse.org/


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Serenitee Restaurant Group Is Opening The Waterfield Kitchen in Winchester

[Ed Note: This article has been updated several times, including the fact that it was given a name that has since been changed.]

A restaurant group that is based on the North Shore is opening a dining spot just a few miles north of Boston.

According to job posts on both the Craigslist and Glassdoor sites, the Serenitee Restaurant Group is planning too open a new "cutting edge concept" in Winchester that will focus on "organic, local, grass fed ingredients." The restaurant, which does not yet appear to have a name (or an exact address), is one of a few dining and drinking spots that the restaurant group will be opening over the next half year or so, with others being 525 in Magnolia, The Spot in Georgetown, and the Ipswich Brew House in Ipswich.

Currently, the Serenitee Restaurant Group runs Opus in Salem, Maggie's Farm in Middleton, 15 Walnut in Hamilton, Hale St Tavern in Beverly Farms, Cala's in Manchester by the Sea, and Alchemy, Latitude 43, and Minglewood Tavern in Gloucester. Its website can be found at http://sereniteerestaurants.com/

[April 1 update: According to a post within the restaurant jobs section of the BostonChefs.com site, the new restaurant that is coming to Winchester will be a fusion spot that will "play on coastal Californian cuisine and will focus on local, organic grass fed ingredients and creative, unique dishes" and will include sushi among its options.]

[June 30 update: A Twitter poster shows (via a photo) that the new restaurant in Winchester from the Serenitee Restaurant Group will be another location of Alchemy.]

[October 27 update: The New England Real Estate Journal site says that Alchemy will be located at 14 Thompson Street in Winchester, which is where It Rains Fishes/Imari had once been. Also, a Facebook post from the Serenitee Restaurant Group indicates that this will apparently be a move rather than a second location, as a new spot called Pinoli will open in the Alchemy space in Gloucester (that location of Alchemy is now closed).]

[March 18, 2015 update: An email sent to us this week indicates that Alchemy has actually reopened in Gloucester and because of this, the upcoming restaurant in Winchester is now looking for a different name. The message states that the Serenitee Restaurant Group is asking diners for opinions on possible names in a recent blog post, with a number of possible names from which to choose included in a survey.]

[April 14, 2015 update: Based on feedback from diners, the Serenitee Restaurant Group has combined two of the most popular name choices and will be calling the spot The Waterfield Kitchen.]

[September 11, 2015 update: According to a new job post on Craigslist, The Waterfield Kitchen has its grand opening on Sunday (September 13).]


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Gyro City Opens in the Fenway's "Restaurant Row" in Boston

A new dining spot has opened in the Fenway's "restaurant row," with this one being an authentic Greek grill.

A Facebook post from El Pelon Taqueria indicates that Gyro City is now open on Peterborough Street, with its first day in operation apparently being yesterday. A check on the restaurant's website indicates that the place offers several gyro options on its menu, including chicken, veggie, pork, lamb, and sausage, along with salads, avgolemono soup, spanakopita, burgers, souvlaki, and baklava.

Gyro City is open from 10:30 AM to 11:00 PM daily.

The address for this new Greek restaurant in Boston's Fenway neighborhood is: Gyro City, 88 Peterborough Street, Boston, MA, 02215. Its website can be found at http://gyrocityboston.com


[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]



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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pepe's Pizza Is Coming to Boston

A New Haven pizzeria that is often cited as having the best pizza in New England is on its way to Boston.

Eater Boston is reporting (via a Craigslist job post) that Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana--which is also known as Pepe's Pizza--is going to be opening more than one outlet in Boston. The Craiglist post mentions that the restaurant "is hiring Managers for our locations in Boston," though it is not known exactly how many branches of the pizza place will be opening in the area, or where they will be located. (Keep checking back for updates.)

[March 21 update: A new post from Eater Boston confirms that Pepe's is indeed looking to open in the Boston area, with a publicist for the restaurant saying that it is "actively pursuing various real estate opportunities in and around Boston," though "nothing has been signed, sealed or delivered" as of yet.]

Pepe's first started out in New Haven in 1925 and now has two locations on Wooster Street as well as outlets in Danbury, Fairfield, Manchester, Mohegan Sun, and West Hartford in Connecticut, as well as one in Yonkers, NY. The restaurants feature thin-crust pizza, including their signature white clam pie (they also offer salads). The website for Pepe's can be found at http://www.pepespizzeria.com/


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American Bakers Is Opening in Somerville's Davis Square

It looks like a new bakery is on its way to one of the busiest parts of Somerville, though plans for the place seem to be in the very early stages.

The Davis Square LiveJournal blog is reporting that American Bakers is planning to open on College Avenue, moving into the space where Artifaktori had been. A page on the City of Somerville website mentions that the bakery would have 18 seats with 600 square feet of space (plus another 600 square feet for a working area and basement storage), though little other information on American Bakers is available at this point in time, so keep checking back for updates.

[September 11 update: Eater Boston mentions that American Bakers is now open in Davis Square, with the place being a bakery-cafe that offers such items as breakfast sandwiches, soups, salads, panini, pastries, coffee, and tea. EB also says that another location of the spot can be found in Charlestown (on 1st Avenue).]

The address for this new bakery in the Davis Square section of Somerville is 22a College Avenue, Somerville, MA, 02144.


[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]



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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Troquet in Boston Is Planning to Open a Second Location

A high-end French restaurant and wine bar in the heart of Boston is looking to expand, with a second location on the way.

Eater Boston is reporting (via a job post within the BostonChefs.com site) that Troquet on Boylston Street is planning to open a second spot and is currently looking for workers, including a chef de cuisine. It is not yet known where the new location of Troquet will be (and it has not been completely confirmed that it will even be called Troquet--a message sent to the restaurant has not been answered as of yet), so keep checking back for updates.

[March 26 update: A note from Troquet indicates that they are still looking at locations in the local area for their new restaurant and are getting closer to deciding where they will be.]

Troquet, which first opened in 2001 across from Boston Common, is known in part for its award-winning wine list as well as its French and New England fare.

The address for the original Troquet in downtown Boston is 140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02116. Its website can be found at http://troquetboston.com/


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Monday, March 17, 2014

Highlights for the Week Ending March 14, 2014

Several more stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a late-night food truck pilot program planned for Boston, a 40-year-old pizza place closing, and a pop-up restaurant for dogs on the way. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of an Asian restaurant in Malden, a list of closings and openings for March (so far), and a photo of nachos from a restaurant and bar in Somerville.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Late-Night Food Truck Pilot Program Slated for Boston

Hi-Fi Pizza and Subs in Cambridge's Central Square Is Closing

Fenway Franks Hot Dog Stand Coming to Lansdowne Street in Boston

PawPupBoston (a Pop-Up Restaurant For Dogs) Is Coming to Boston

Bone Daddy's Burgers Food Truck Is Shutting Down

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: All Seasons Table in Malden, MA

Photo: Breakfast Quesadilla from Victoria's Diner in Boston, MA

List of Restaurant Closings and Openings for March (So Far)

Photo: Chili Nachos from R.F. O'Sullivan's in Somerville, MA

Photo: Hot and Sour Soup from Wang's in Somerville, MA


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Italian Cafe in Boston's Financial District Has Closed; The Wheelhouse Is Opening in Its Space

An Italian eatery in the Financial District of Boston has closed its doors, and it looks like a new restaurant is moving into its space.

An email sent to us mentions that Italian Cafe on Broad Street is shuttered, with the place apparently closing over the past few weeks (a check on the Yelp site seems to confirm this). It appears that a spot called The Wheelhouse is taking over the space, as a Licensing Board page on the City of Boston website mentions that it is looking to open at the same address, though no other information has been given on the place.

[June 6 update: One of our readers says that The Wheelhouse has opened, though the place does not appear to have a website and no phone number is available right now, so this has not yet been completely confirmed as of yet; expect more updates to come, including what kinds of food items are being served there.]

[June 9 update: A bit more information has come out about The Wheelhouse--the restaurant now has a website, with its menu showing such items as muffins, pastries, bagels, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, soups, salads, and burgers. The Wheelhouse is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday, with hours being 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM. (Its website is at http://www.wheelhouseboston.com/)]

Italian Cafe was known mostly as a takeout spot for commuters and office workers in the Financial District, with breakfast items, pizza, and sandwiches offered. The place had been open for nearly 15 years.

The address for the now-closed Italian Cafe (and new Wheelhouse) is 65 Broad Street, Boston, MA, 02109.


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Ten Tables to Contract; Grass Fed to Expand

The person behind Ten Tables and Grass Fed is going to be shrinking the former back to just one location while expanding the latter.

Eater Boston is reporting that Krista Kranyak is in the process of selling the Cambridge location of Ten Tables (it is going to become a new spot called Homage Bistro), with the Provincetown location already being sold, making the original Jamaica Plain location the only one left. Meanwhile, she is looking to open "several more" branches of Grass Fed, which currently has one location in Jamaica Plain. It is not known exactly where the Grass Fed locations will be, or when they might open, so keep checking back for updates.

[UPDATE: Ten Tables in Cambridge remains in business, with plans to sell the place falling through.]

The original Ten Tables, which is a tiny New American restaurant on Centre Street in JP, opened approximately ten years ago, while the burger bar Grass Fed first opened on Centre Street in 2012.

[Earlier Article]
Homage Bistro Is Coming to Cambridge


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Dave, Dan, and Michael Andelman of The Phantom Gourmet Purchase the Mendon Drive-In

The three brothers behind The Phantom Gourmet have decided to do a bit of shopping, purchasing a landmark drive-in that is also home to a popular snack bar.

According to a Facebook post sent out on Friday, Dave, Dan, and Michael Andelman are the new owners of the Mendon Twin Drive-In, with 2014 being a transition year as the present owners consult with the brothers while also saying their goodbyes to their customers. The note says that the Andelmans are interested in the preservation of the drive-in while also "expanding new horizons," though it is not yet known what the exact plans will be at this point in time, nor is it known if any changes will be made to the snack shack, which features a wide variety of food and drink items, including clam chowder, popcorn chicken, hot dogs, burgers, cheese fries, tacos, burritos, nachos, pretzels, popcorn, soft serve, frozen yogurt, root beer floats, and raspberry lime rickeys.

[April 18 update: A Facebook post from the Phantom Gourmet indicates that the Mendon Twin Drive-In opens for the season this evening, with this also being the Andelman brothers' first day as the new owners.]

The address for the Mendon Twin Drive-In is 35 Milford Street, Mendon, MA, 01756, while its website can be found at http://www.mendondrivein.com/now-showing/


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Ben's Kosher Delicatessen Plans to Expand to Boston

It looks like a small group of delis based in New York will be expanding to Boston.

Grub Street is reporting that Ben's Kosher Delicatessen has plans to expand to both Boston and Washington, DC, with the owner of the deli and his partners looking to open "scores of new restaurants" over the next ten years or so. The article indicates that the expansion into Boston will take place after a new location opens in Scarsdale, NY this summer, though it is not known exactly when (or where) it will open in the local area--or if there will be more than one outlet.

[March 19 update: The Jewish Daily Forward mentions that Ben's Kosher Delicatessen plans on opening only one location in Boston, with the deli opening by 2015.]

Ben's first started out more than 40 years ago in Baldwin, NY, and now has a handful of locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Long Island, as well as one in Boca Raton, FL. Their website can be found at http://www.bensdeli.net/

Thanks to Drew Starr for initially bringing this to our attention.


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Friday, March 14, 2014

Dine Out Boston (Formerly Boston Restaurant Week) to Be Held March 16-21 and March 23-28, 2014

A culinary event with a new name is coming to the Boston area starting this weekend, and a number of restaurants will be participating.

Dine Out Boston, which was formerly called Boston Restaurant Week, will take place from Sunday, March 16 to Friday, March 21, with a break on Saturday, March 22, then it will continue from Sunday, March 23 to Friday, March 28. Restaurants will feature prix fixe lunch and/or dinner menus with three pricing tiers available--lunch offerings are $15, $20, or $25 and dinner offerings are $28, $33, or $38 (courses and prices will vary by restaurant).

For more information on Dine Out Boston (including the restaurants that are participating), please go to the link below:

Dine Out Boston (from bostonusa.com)


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Ban Chiang House in Jamaica Plain Has Closed; New Restaurant to Move In

A Thai restaurant has closed in Jamaica Plain, though a new dining spot featuring Vietnamese food could be moving in.

The Jamaica Plain News is reporting that Ban Chiang House on Centre Street is no longer in operation, having closed sometime over the past week or so. It appears that a Vietnamese noodle shop may be taking over the space where the eatery had been, though plans are in the early stages, with one necessary step being the owner of the proposed eatery meeting with the Public Service Committee of the JP Neighborhood Council, according to the article.

[March 20 update: A new article in the Jamaica Plain News mentions that the spot moving into the former Ban Chiang space will be a Vietnamese and Thai restaurant owned by the folks behind Pho & I on Huntington Avenue near Symphony Hall, with the eatery possibly opening by June. (Thanks to Universal Hub for bringing this to our attention.)]

[March 27 update: A Licensing Board page within the City of Boston website indicates that the new restaurant moving into the Ban Chiang House space will tentatively be called Noodle Barn.]

The address for this now-closed Thai dining spot in Jamaica Plain is: Ban Chiang House, 707 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130.


[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve More Starters and Sides from Restaurants in the Boston Area and Beyond]



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Clover Food Lab to Debut a Truck at Alewife in Cambridge

The folks behind a number of vegetarian food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants are getting ready to expand once again, this time bringing a truck to Cambridge that should be popular with commuters and office workers.

Eater Boston is reporting (via the Clover site) that Clover Alewife will be set up at the VECNA Parking lot on Cambridge Park Drive starting Monday (March 17), with the truck being open on weekdays from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The new truck will be joining existing ones in various sections of the Boston area as well as permanent restaurants in Inman Square, Harvard Square, and Kendall Square in Cambridge, and in Brookline and Burlington.

Cambridge Park Drive is located off Alewife Brook Parkway by the Alewife T station.

The website for Clover can be found at http://www.cloverfoodlab.com/


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upperwest (a New Wine Bar) Hopes to Open in Cambridge

It looks like a new wine bar may be on its way to Cambridge.

According to a License Commission General Hearing page on the City of Cambridge website, upperwest is planning to open on Mass. Ave. between Harvard Square and Central Square, with the restaurant's website indicating that it will be a small, casual wine bar offering cheese, charcuterie, and small plates using locally-sourced ingredients. The website also mentions that the eatery will have food events as well as classes on wine, cheese, and charcuterie.

The hearing page on the Cambridge site says that upperwest will be on the basement level of the building with possible seating for 20, and that it could be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with hours being 8:00 AM to 1:00 AM Sunday through Wednesday and 8:00 AM to 2:00 AM Thursday through Saturday.

The address for this proposed wine bar in Cambridge is 1001 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02138. Its website is at http://www.upperwestcambridge.com/

[October 6 update: Cambridge Day is reporting that plans for upperwest to open at 1001 Mass. Ave. are now in doubt, as the Cambridge License Commission has twice opposed a liquor licence for the place in what was "among the weirdest spectacles" the writer has ever seen at a public hearing, including the board "responding to a local business owner's plea not to have competition." (Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.)]

[February 3, 2015 update: upperwest has just posted what is basically an open letter, giving a "recap" of what has happened over the past several months, including hearings, meetings, a petition, and more, with the end result being that they still have not been able to get the needed licenses to open. The people behind the proposed wine bar are still working on opening the place, however, and they would like to open in the Mass. Ave. space that they have been looking at if possible.]


[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]



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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Late-Night Food Truck Pilot Program Slated for Boston

Starting next month, diners will be able to do some late-night dining at a number of food trucks in Boston.

BostInno is reporting that a pilot program allowing select food truck to stay open until midnight has been approved by the city, with participating trucks at Copley Square, Boston University and Northeastern University taking part. The article mentions that Mayor Walsh may eventually consider expanding late-night hours to other sites depending on how the pilot program goes.

Trucks that will be able to stay open late include BBQ Lamb Brothers, Bon Me, Chicken & Rice Guys, Cookie Monstah, Frozen Hoagies, Mediterranean Home Cooking, Meng's Kitchen, Stoked Pizza, Tea Station, and The Bacon Truck.

Late-night hours will begin on April 1, according to BostInno.


[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve More Starters and Sides from Restaurants in the Boston Area and Beyond]



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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tamarind House in Cambridge Has Closed; Will Be Replaced by New Restaurant

[Ed note: This article was updated on March 14 to reflect new information given, including a tentative name for the new restaurant.]

It looks like a Thai restaurant in the Porter Square section of Cambridge has closed its doors.

Eater Boston is reporting that Tamarind House on Mass. Ave. is shuttered, according to a tipster and a couple of nearby businesses; it appears that the dining spot closed a few weeks ago with the owner apparently deciding to move back to Thailand. The article mentions that a new restaurant that offers both Thai and Vietnamese food may be moving into the space, with the eatery possibly opening on April 1.

[March 14 update: A License Commission General Hearing page on the City of Cambridge website indicates that the dining spot looking to take over the former Tamarind House space will tentatively be called DD Restaurant, and based on the name of the manager--Witoon Shotitana--this could be connected to Pho & Rice, a Thai and Vietnamese dining spot in Somerville (his name is mentioned in the Bizapedia listing for that restaurant).]

Tamarind House had been in business for approximately 15 years, featuring a mix of authentic Thai dishes and Thai-American fare.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in Porter Square was: Tamarind House, 1790 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02140.


[New article from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): Slideshow--Twelve More Starters and Sides from Restaurants in the Boston Area and Beyond]



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