Thursday, July 31, 2008

2008 Restaurant Week Boston Starting August 10

The 2008 version of Restaurant Week in Boston is beginning in less than a couple of weeks. Starting on August 10 and ending on August 22 (with one day off on August 16), Restaurant Week will feature more than 200 restaurants this year. All meals are three-course prix-fixe, with lunch being $20.08 and dinner being $33.08.

To find more information about Boston Restaurant Week 2008, please go to the link below:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Healthier Foods Coming to Dunkin' Donuts

Starting in August, Dunkin' Donuts will start to feature some healthy food items on their menu.

According to the company Web site, Dunkin' Donuts will begin to offer a couple of flatbread sandwiches (turkey sausage and vegetable) that are made with egg whites, with each item being under 300 calories and with 9 grams of fat or less.

Dunkin' Donuts, which is based in Canton, MA, is offering these items as part of the launch of a menu of healthier items called DDSMART. This menu includes a reduced-calorie Berry Smoothie and an unsweetened iced tea.

Red Robin Opens at Patriot Place (Next to Gillette Stadium) in Foxborough

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers has become the first restaurant to open at Patriot Place’s north lifestyle center in Foxborough.

According to the Boston Business Journal, Red Robin became the first business to open at Patriot Place’s north lifestyle center when it opened on Monday. Eventually, more than 60 restaurants, shops, and entertainment spots will reside in Patriot Place’s north lifestyle center, which is located next to Gillette Stadium (home of the New England Patriots) on Route 1 in Foxborough.

Red Robin, which started out in 1969, has more than 400 restaurants across the United States and Canada today. The restaurant chain, which is based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, offers more than 20 burgers on their menu, as well as soups, salads, and other entrees.

For more information on the opening of Red Robin in Foxborough, please go to the Boston Business Journal link below:

Burger joint first at Patriot Place

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bennigan's Files Chapter 7; Both Eastern Massachusetts Locations to Close

The Bennigan's restaurant chain filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection this week, and will be liquidating all of its company-owned locations, including two locations in the Boston area.

According to the Associated Press, the approximately 160 Bennigan's locations that are owned by franchisees will remain open, while the approximately 150 company-owned Bennigan's locations will shut down.

The two Bennigan's locations that will be closing in Eastern Massachusetts are in Boston (Park Plaza) and Peabody.

Fire, Explosions Rock Northeast Harbor, Maine; Colonel's Restaurant Destroyed

A fire and series of explosions that apparently started in the Colonel's Restaurant destroyed a part of Northeast Harbor this morning.

According to the Bangor Daily News, three Main Street buildings were destroyed in the fire, which started at about 3:00 AM, and that the explosions were believed to have been caused by propane tanks in the Colonel's, a popular dining spot and bakery in the heart of the town.

WMTW in Portland also mentions that a number of residences above the businesses on Main Street were also destroyed.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Latest Review: The Gull Restaurant, Gloucester, MA

photo of The Gull Restaurant, Gloucester, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for The Gull Restaurant, a seafood restaurant on Route 133 in Gloucester. Located on the Annisquam River near Gloucester Harbor, The Gull Restaurant is just far enough away from the harbor and downtown area to keep it from being as well-known (and touristy) as some of the other Gloucester seafood places. It is a family-friendly dining spot with scenic views of the river from the windows of its main dining area. To read more about The Gull Restaurant in Gloucester, please click on the link above.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

BurgerWorks Coming Soon to North Beverly

A new burger joint is coming to North Beverly next month. According to the Salem News, BurgerWorks will be opening in the spot where Big Bully's used to be on Route 1A in the North Beverly Plaza, and it will be run by the people who used to own Yanks, a high-end restaurant that is located in Beverly Farms.

The Salem News mentions that sliders, or mini-burgers, will be offered at BurgerWorks, in addition to regular burgers.

To read more about the opening of BurgerWorks in North Beverly, please click on the Salem News link below:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Melting Pot (a Fondue Restaurant) Is Coming to Boston

Downtown Boston will soon become home to a popular fondue spot.

According to, the Melting Pot will be opening in the Park Plaza Hotel on Arlington Street in Boston by the middle of August. It will have a large seating area of just under 7,000 square feet that will accommodate nearly 200 diners.

The Melting Pot, which first opened in Florida in 1975, is a chain of upscale but casual fondue restaurants that presently has about 130 locations in 35 states. Two other Melting Pot restaurants already exist in the Boston area, with one in Bedford and the other in Framingham.

Latest Review: Common Ground Cafe, Dorchester, MA

photo of Common Ground Cafe, Dorchester, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for a quirky, eclectic restaurant in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester called the Common Ground Cafe. Owned by Twelve Tribes, a religious community, the Common Ground Cafe is a dark, intimate dining spot with healthy, organic food made from scratch. The cafe shares its space with a natural food market which is owned by the same people. To read more about the Common Ground Cafe in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester, please click on the link above.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Seven Starbucks Stores to Close in Massachusetts

Starbucks announced that seven stores in Massachusetts will be closing over the coming months.

According to the Boston Business Journal, Starbucks locations in Burlington, Dartmouth, Newton Centre, North Attleboro, Sharon, Stoughton, and Worcester will be shutting down.

As reported earlier, a total of 600 Starbucks will close throughout the United States over the next year or so.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

L’Espalier Moving to Boylston Street in September

One of Boston's best restaurants will soon have a new home.

According to the Boston Globe, L’Espalier will be moving from its present Gloucester Street location to the Mandarin Oriental Boston Hotel and Residences on Boylston Street. The move should happen in September.

The Globe mentions that L’Espalier will close its Gloucester Street location at the end of August.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Latest Review: Allora Ristorante, Marlborough

photo of Allora Ristorante, Marlborough, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for Allora Ristorante, an upscale Italian and Mediterranean restaurant in Marlborough. Located across the street from Lake Williams near the intersection of Route 20 and Route 495, Allora Ristorante has a large outdoor deck with views of the lake, and a menu that features a variety of dishes from the Mediterranean. To read more about Allora Ristorante in Marlborough, please click on the link above.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Restaurant Closings and Openings, Late June and Early July, 2008

Several restaurants in the Boston area have closed over the past couple of weeks, with a few others opening during the same time period.

Three restaurants that have recently closed include Ortanique, a Jamaican restaurant in the Huron Village section of Cambridge; Ali Baba, an Afghan and Indian restaurant in North Cambridge near Porter Square; and India's Finest, and Indian restaurant in Wakefield.

Taking the place of Ali Baba is a Nepali, Indian, and Tibetan restaurant called Annapurna.

If you know of other restaurants that have recently opened or closed, please let us know. Thanks!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Review: Doyle's, Jamaica Plain

photo of Doyle's, Jamaica Plain, MAA long time ago, I used to be a semi-regular of sorts at Doyle's on Washington Street in Jamaica Plain, but I haven't been going there quite as often over the past few years (mainly because I have so little opportunity to go to restaurants that I am not actually looking to feature on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants site). But at the last minute, a group of us went got over to Doyle's the other night, and it was pretty much what we expected--decent food, tremendous atmosphere, and excellent people-watching from our table that was in the bar area.

We settled into our seats after a very short wait and started with beers (I ordered a Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout--excellent) and salads (average, with lots of iceberg lettuce), though the dressing was pretty good). For our meals, we had a variety of items, including roast pork loin, scallops, and sirloin steak, which is what I ordered. My steak was perfectly cooked and had very little fat, and the baked potato was oddly shaped, but tender and tasty. We skipped desserts, as they were out of nearly everything we were interested in.

As usual, I was awed by the classic old-Boston vibe. My seat, with its back to the wall at one end of the bar area, was particularly good, as I could soak in the atmosphere of the entire room. Our waitress just added to the overall feel of the place, as she was a veteran of the place, and as friendly (and funny) as could be.

Once again, Doyle's impressed; the food may not be the best in Boston, but it is good, solid fare, and the atmosphere simply takes you away to a different era when neighborhood joints such as this one were found all over Beantown. I just hope Doyle's is around for a long time to come, as there are fewer and fewer of these types of places in the Boston area with each passing year.

Doyle's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Latest Review: Villa Mexico, Boston

photo of Villa Mexico, Boston, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for a Mexican restaurant on the northern edge of Beacon Hill in Boston called Villa Mexico. A tiny takeout spot located in the back of a gas station convenience store on Cambridge Street, Villa Mexico is like no other Boston restaurant. The friendly little dining spot features homemade burritos, tamales, tacos, and much more, including one of the best salsas in the Boston area. To read more about Villa Mexico in Boston, please click on the link above.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Maddie's Sail Loft in Marblehead Is Open Once Again

Maddie's Sail Loft, a Marblehead restaurant and bar that closed earlier this year, is once again open for business.

The reopening of this Old Town institution will surely be well-received by folks who have been going to Maddie's for years. Around since the 1940s, Maddie's has been a favorite of those who enjoy the gritty but friendly feel to the place, as well as the often-strong drinks and the decent seafood.

According to the Boston Globe, the restaurant will retain the same look, with changes coming only to the menu.

You can find Maddie's on State Street in the historic section of Marblehead.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Starbucks to Close 600 Stores

Starbucks announced after the closing bell on Tuesday that it will be closing 600 stores across the United States.

According to the Associated Press, the Seattle-based coffee chain will be opening less than 200 new stores in the country over the coming fiscal year.

As of now, it is unknown how many Starbucks in the Boston area will be closing, if any.