Monday, June 30, 2008

D Street Cafe to Open July 3 on the South Boston Waterfront

A new restaurant is coming to the South Boston waterfront.

The D Street Cafe, which will be located at 600 D Street, will offer casual comfort food (lobster rolls, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, and ice cream) and will include outdoor seating for 80 people. It will also offer takeout food for workers who come here during the week, and live music will be featured on Thursday nights.

The D Street Cafe will be a seasonal restaurant, open from May to October six days a week (it will be closed on Sundays). Hours will be 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM (Monday-Wednesday, Friday, Saturday), and 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM (Thursday).

Bob Wiggins of Gourmet Caterers and Darryl Settles of The Beehive in the South End are the folks behind the D Street Cafe.

July 4 in Boston

With the fourth of July approaching this Friday, just a quick reminder that not all restaurants will be open that day. It is definitely a good idea to call ahead before heading over to any dining spots in the area.

As far as where to go on July 4 for dining in the Boston area, many folks seem to like to head to the coast, particularly the North Shore and Cape Ann, where there a plenty of clam shacks as well as a number of outdoor dining options. A few names that come to mind are Woodman's and Farnham's, both in Essex, the Lobster Pool in Rockport and Captain Carlo's in Gloucester. All of these North Shore/Cape Ann places have outdoor dining, and all of them feature seafood.

Another idea is to head to Bristol, RI, which has a terrific July 4 celebration. Some restaurants to consider in that town are Quito's (outdoor seating, excellent seafood, waterfront location) and Leo's in the center of town (outdoor dining, good Italian cuisine).

If you are going to be in Boston, dining along the Freedom Trail, somewhere on Newbury Street or on the Waterfront may be nice options. Many of the restaurants in these areas also have outdoor dining, so if you are looking to dine al fresco, you should be able to have your pick of places in these areas.

If you are indeed looking to do some dining outdoors for the fourth of July, this link (from our blog) has some information that may be of help to you:

Again, call ahead to make sure these restaurants (or any other restaurants you are considering) are open on the fourth....have a happy fourth of July!

The Merrimack Restaurant in Manchester, NH, Has Closed

A local institution in Manchester, NH has closed its doors.

The Merrimack Restaurant, a family-owned diner on Elm Street that has been a stopping point for presidential candidates for years, shut down over the weekend. According to WBZ 1030, the two sisters who owned the downtown Manchester dining spot sold the place, with the Boston Globe mentioning that an upscale restaurant may open in the vacated space.

The Merrimack Restaurant had been in business since 1980.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Review: Vinny T's, Lexington

A large group of us went over to Vinny T's of Boston on Waltham Street in Lexington a couple of weeks ago. I don't usually go to chains, and I had heard many negative things about Vinny T's (especially over the past year or two), so I went there with fairly low expectations. As it turns out, the place wasn't all that bad, and is in fact a decent place to go if you have about 15 people, as we did.

Because our group was so large, the staff sat us upstairs, which was a rather attractive (and quiet) dining area. We ordered a couple of plates of fried calamari for an appetizer--the calamari was tender and not rubbery at all, and the batter wasn't too greasy. Salads were decent overall, though they were a bit on the generic side with too much iceberg lettuce for my liking. As far as the entrees that everyone ordered, it seemed that most folks enjoyed their meals (including myself). I ordered the fettucine carbonara which had a nice mix of eggs, cream, Romano cheese, scallions, and bacon, and was reasonably priced at around $12.00. The only minor complaint about my dish was that it was a bit too salty, but overall, it was pretty tasty. The portion was huge (which is what you come to expect at Vinny T's), so I had plenty for lunch the next day.

Service was nearly perfect, as our waiters were always around when we needed them and they were completely professional from start to finish.

My overall view of our meal was a positive one--perhaps surprisingly so considering what I had heard about Vinny T's from others. I don't see myself rushing back to Vinny T's, as there are a number of Italian restaurants that I would rather go to, but in retrospect, it really wasn't all that bad of a place.

Here is the address and phone number for Vinny T's in Lexington:
Vinny T's of Boston
20 Waltham St
Lexington, MA 02421
phone: (781) 860-5200

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bobby C's Ristorante Opens in Melrose

A new restaurant opens this week in Melrose.

Bobby C's Ristorante is now open for business (dinner only, for now) at 2 Main Street in Melrose, a short distance south of the center of town. According to an email from the owner of the restaurant, Bobby C's is open for dinner from 4:00PM-10:00 PM Sunday through Thursday, and 4:00PM-11:00 PM Friday and Saturday.

As we get more information on Bobby C's, we'll be sure to post it here...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Latest Review: Lompoc Cafe, Bar Harbor, Maine

photo of Lompoc Cafe, Bar Harbor, MaineThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for the Lompoc Cafe , an eclectic restaurant hidden away on the backstreets of Bar Harbor, Maine. The Lompoc Cafe features mostly healthy, organic food, much of which is made with locally-grown products. Indoor and outdoor dining can be found here, as well as entertainment on weekends and a bocce court in the outdoor dining area. To read more about the Lompoc Cafe in Bar Harbor, please click on the link above.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Notes and Photos: Barbecue Beach Party, Boston, June 19, 2008

I spent the evening at the Phantom Gourmet's BBQ Beach Party at City Hall Plaza in Boston, just getting back a little while ago. I'm glad that this year, I went on a weeknight, as the lines were nonexistent and there was no sun blazing straight down on everyone (I went around noon on Sunday last year--never again). This year, I tried four different items at four places, two of which I had visited last year. Here is the rundown:

photo of Willingham's, BBQ Beach Party, Boston, 2008 Started at Willingham's (Memphis, Tennessee. I tried their pulled pork sandwich. It was pretty good, but a bit bland, even after putting some of their sauce on the meat. But their specialty is ribs, and a friend of mine who went said that the ribs at Willingham's were about the best he has ever had.

photo of Porky N Beans, BBQ Beach Party, Boston, 2008 From Willingham's, went right over to Porky n' Beans (St. Lucie, Florida). I ordered the boneless rib sandwich, which I liked better than the pulled pork at Willingham's. The meat was incredibly rich and tender, with a slight hot dog taste to it, and a deliciously sweet sauce that they poured on top of the meat. After awhile, the meat was almost too rich to eat, so I didn't quite finish the sandwich, but it really was quite good.

photo of Jack's, BBQ Beach Party, Boston, 2008 We took a bit of a break after Porky n' Beans, then headed over to Jack's Down Home Barbecue (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). I had been to Jack's last year and really loved their pulled pork sandwich; this year, I ordered their pulled pork nachos plate. The nachos were basic, and the cheese was Velveeta (or something similar to Velveeta), but the pulled pork was outstanding once again, making this plate my favorite of the night up to this point.

photo of Q BBQ, BBQ Beach Party, Boston, 2008 We finished the evening at Q BBQ (Richmond, Virginia), which was another repeat for me. Last year, I had a hot dog with chili; this year, they were no longer serving hot dogs, so I went for the beef sandwich. It was not quite a brisket sandwich and not quite chopped beef, but was somewhere in between, but the meat had some tremendous flavor to it, and the sauce on the sandwich was the best I had all night.

I would have liked to have tried some of the other places at the BBQ Beach Party, but my stomach wouldn't allow it. My favorite dish of the night? I'm wavering between Jack's pulled pork nachos and Q BBQ's beef sandwich, perhaps giving the nod to Jack's, mainly because the pulled pork was so good.

For all who go to the BBQ Beach Party this weekend, have fun!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party to Be Held June 18-22, 2008

The Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party is coming to City Hall Plaza in Boston once again, this time from June 18 to June 22.

Participants this year include Aussom Aussie BBQ (Sydney, Australia); Cowboys Barbeque and Rib Co. (Weatherford, Texas); Porky n' Beans (St. Lucie, Florida); Rasta Joe's BBQ (Plymouth, Indiana); Willingham's (Memphis, Tennessee); Jack's Down Home Barbecue (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania); Q BBQ (Richmond, Virginia); Johnson's Bar-B-Que (Chesapeake, Virginia); Butch's Smack Your Lips BBQ (Mt. Laurel, New Jersey; and Firefly's Bar-B Que, which is located right here in the greater Boston area.

For more information on the Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party, including hours, ticket information, and entertainment, please go to the Phantom Gourmet link below:

Latest Review: La Siesta, Winthrop

photo of La Siesta, Winthrop, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for a Mexican restaurant in the center of Winthrop called La Siesta Restaurante. La Siesta, which was recently expanded and renovated, is a dining spot that features both authentic Mexican cuisine and Mexican-American dishes. The menu includes tortilla soup, burritos, enchiladas, tacos, and more, as well as nightly specials. The restaurant has three dining areas and enough room to fit about 100 people. To read more about La Siesta Restaurante in Winthrop, please click on the link above.

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Food Site:

A new food-based site has come to the Boston area. How2Heroes is a how-to video site based near Inman Square in Cambridge that produces how-tos from professional chefs, mixologists, and folks with recipes and ideas to share. Also included are brief videos of the people behind the Web site. And How2Heroes welcomes visitors to upload their own videos.

To see the site, please go to the following link:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Food Stands at Fenway Park Failed Opening Day City Health Inspections

According to the Boston Globe, concession stands at Fenway Park failed city health inspections on opening day this year (April 8), with no action taken to resolve the issue until the middle of May.

Today's Globe article mentions that 19 home games were played before the food stands finally passed inspection, and that the slow response had sparked the city into attempting to shut down Fenway Park's concession stands unless the problems were resolved.

For more information on this story, go to the Boston Globe article below:

Fenway Food Stands Failed Inspections

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Grecian Yearning Diner in Allston Heavily Damaged By Fire

The Grecian Yearning Diner, an Allston restaurant, was hit by a fire late this afternoon, causing extensive damage. The dining spot, which is located on Harvard Street in this busy Boston neighborhood, may be a total loss, according to one local news outlet.

The fire, which went to four alarms, resulted in heat-related injuries to two firefighters, according to the Boston Channel. Neither injury appears to be serious.

The Grecian Yearning has been a popular place for breakfast and takeout over the years, with college students frequenting the place partly because of their basic, inexpensive meals.

Give Us Your Restaurant Reviews

Our site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) includes a number of dining spots across New England that we have not yet been to, but consider to be places of interest, as they seem to fit into our theme of little-known restaurants that are local favorites. There are so many of these restaurants, however, that we have had to narrow down the restaurants mainly to places that have something particularly interesting or unique, such as outdoor dining along a river, a location in an historic structure, mountain views from a deck, hard-to-find cuisine such as Polish food, and so on.

Over the past few weeks, we have added a number of these "unevaluated" restaurants to this section of the site, including the following:

Lenny's, Branford, CT
Angelico's, East Hampton, CT
Dexter's Doghouse, Wilton, CT

McMahon's Knox Grille, Camden, Maine
Krista's Restaurant, Cornish Village, Maine
Cole Farms, Gray, Maine
Fisherman's Friend, Stonington, Maine

Hu Ke Lau, Chicopee, MA
Restaurante Cesaria, Dorchester, MA
Gramp's Restaurant, Holyoke, MA
Sharky's Cantina, Oak Bluffs, MA
Sam Diego's Mexican Cookery and Bar, Plymouth, MA
Autentica, South Hadley, MA
Rovezzi's Ristorante, Worcester, MA

Ellacoya Barn and Grille, Gilford, NH
The Woodshed, Moultonborough, NH
Peyton Place Restaurant, Orford, NH

Tweet Balzano's Family Restaurant, Bristol, RI
Caffe Itri, Cranston, RI
El Rancho Grande, Providence, RI

Perfect Pear Cafe, Bradford, VT
Tully and Marie's, Middlebury, VT
The Barn Restaurant, Pawlet, VT

If you have been to any of these restaurants and would like to post reviews on them, please go to the following link:

Unevaluated Restaurants Around Boston and New England

Thanks for any reviews you give us!

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Impastable Dream in Ogunquit Has Closed

After 18 years in business, the Impastable Dream in Ogunquit has closed its doors.

Located between the center of Ogunquit and Perkins Cove, the Impastable Dream was a pleasant Italian restaurant with a romantic feel to it.

A note on their Web site indicates that the owners may be retiring from the restaurant business.

We at Boston's Hidden Restaurants and Boston Restaurant Talk will indeed miss the Impastable Dream, a restaurant that was good enough (and little-known enough!) to be featured within our site.

Latest Review: Gran Gusto, Cambridge

photo of Gran Gusto, Cambridge, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for Gran Gusto, an Italian restaurant on Sherman Street near where West Cambridge and North Cambridge meet. Gran Gusto is located in a rather generic office building, but the atmosphere of the restaurant borders on romantic, while the food is at times outstanding. The traditional Neapolitan pizza, which is cooked in a wood-fired oven, is perhaps the standout dish at Gran Gusto. To read more about Gran Gusto in Cambridge, please click on the link above.

Friday, June 06, 2008

New Restaurants, June, 2008: Maya Sol, Shabu, Four Burgers

Several new restaurants have opened up in the Boston area during the first few days of June (and the last few days of May), including Maya Sol, a Mexican and Salvadoran restaurant in East Somervile; Shabu, a Japanese restaurant in North Quincy; and Four Burgers, a burger joint in Central Square, Cambridge. The addresses for these new restaurants can be found below:

Maya Sol:
179 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

397 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA 02171

Four Burgers:
704 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139.

For continuing updates on restaurant openings and closings in the Boston area, feel free to subscribe to the following RSS feed:

RSS button Subscribe to Boston Restaurant Openings and Closings Feed

Thursday, June 05, 2008

James Hook and Company Back in Business, With a Little Help

Boston landmark James Hook and Company, which was destroyed in a fire last week, is up and running once again, thanks to a couple of its competitors.

According to NECN, P.J. Lobster in South Boston is sharing its lobster tanks with James Hook, and seafood dealer John Nagle Company is lending them some office space.

At this point in time, it does look like James Hook and Company will rebuild, though the new place might not be in the original location.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Latest Review: Nick's Famous Roast Beef, Beverly

photo of Nick's Famous Roast Beef, Beverly, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for a roast beef joint in North Beverly called Nick's Famous Roast Beef. Located at a busy intersection in a nondescript strip mall, Nick's Famous looks like a typical sub shop from the outside, but the roast beef sandwiches at this little spot are among the best in the Boston area. To read more about Nick's Famous Roast Beef in Beverly, please click on the link above.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Links to Boston and New England Restaurant Menus

The Boston's Hidden Restaurants site has a section that includes links to menus from restaurants across New England. If you are a restaurant owner or manager and would like a free link to your online menu, please contact us and we will place a link in our menus section within a day or two.

Here is a link to the menus section:

Boston and New England Restaurant Menus