Friday, February 27, 2009

UPDATE: Bella Luna and Milky Way Lounge Moving Soon

[NOTE: This article contains some important corrections, as we had mistakenly reported that the Milky Way Lounge will be closing. It is not, and will indeed be following Bella Luna to the new location in the Brewery Complex; it is just the bowling alley that will not be moving with them. Sorry for the confusion on this...]

Jamaica Plain will soon be seeing a beloved restaurant and lounge complex moving to a new location.

According to a press release from Image Unlimited Communications, Ltd., Bella Luna and The Milky Way Lounge on Centre Street will soon be relocating, with the process starting on March 21. And while both Bella Luna, a popular Italian eatery, and the Milky Way, a lounge and bowling alley that had been a favorite hangout for years, will be reopening at the Brewery Complex on nearby Amory Street in early to mid April, the bowling alley will sadly not be making the trip to the new digs. Features such as Skee Ball and other great things like Free Parking and a Teen Music Program will be offered at the new location, however.

Both businesses will be closing on Centre Street on March 21, with a "parade" from the old location to the new Amory Street location for Bella Luna and the Milky Way on March 22. For more information on this New Orleans-style event, please check back at the Milky Way/Bella Luna site at as "moving day" approaches.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Allston Union Cafe to Open on Harvard Avenue

Another new restaurant is apparently coming to Allston. According to EveryBlock Boston, a business license was issued to the Allston Union Cafe earlier this week. The exact address is uncertain at this time, but it appears that this restaurant and cafe will be opening on Harvard Avenue in the heart of Allston, somewhere in the block where Grecian Yearning used to exist before a fire destroyed the family-owned Greek restaurant in early June of 2008.

We will try to find out more information on the Allston Union Cafe over the coming weeks, so keep checking back...

[OCTOBER 1 UPDATE: Union Cafe is now open. A poster on the Chowhound site mentioned that it features all all-day breakfast dishes and has rotisserie chicken on its lunch menu.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Latest Review: Boucher's Wood River Inn, Wyoming, RI

photo of Boucher's Wood River Inn, Wyoming, RIThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for Boucher's Wood River Inn, a restaurant in Wyoming, Rhode Island. Located just off Route 95 between the Providence area and the Connecticut border, Boucher's Wood River Inn is one of the only dining options along this stretch of highway. The restaurant is housed in a rustic 19th-century building that is cozy and comfortable. The menu at Boucher's Wood River Inn is mostly traditional American fare, with soups, salads, and sandwiches, as well as more substantial entrees. To read more about Boucher's Wood River Inn in Wyoming, RI, please click on the link above.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Soleil Cafe in Somerville Closes

According to posters on both Chowhound and Yelp, Soleil Cafe in Somerville has closed.

Soleil Cafe, which was located on Broadway in the Teele Square section of the city, was an Italian cafe that featured foods found in the Campania region of Italy. The menu included salads, sandwiches, and pastas, as well as cookies, cakes, pastries, and authentic Italian gelato.

The restaurant had only been open since August of 2008.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ten Tables Opens in Cambridge

Ten Tables, a tiny but popular New American restaurant in Jamaica Plain, has opened a second restaurant on Craigie Circle in Cambridge where the Craigie Street Bistrot used to be. The new Ten Tables in Cambridge will be bigger in size than the original Ten Tables in JP, with room for about 50 diners.

The Craigie Street Bistrot has moved across town, into the spot that used to be occupied by La Groceria on Main Street near Central Square. It is now called Craigie on Main.

Here is the address and phone number for the new Ten Tables in Cambridge: Ten Tables, 5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138. Phone: (617) 576-5444.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ristorante Pavarotti Opens in Reading

A second upscale Italian restaurant has opened its doors in Reading Center. Ristorante Pavarotti opened for business last week on Main Street in this northern suburb of Boston, and is located just two blocks south of Venetian Moon, another dining spot featuring Italian cuisine.

Ristorante Pavarotti takes over the spot formerly occupied by Savory Tastes. Before that, another restaurant called Foccaccia (which currently has a branch in Wilmington) occupied this space.

The address for Ristorante Pavarotti is: Ristorante Pavarotti, 601 Main Street, Reading, MA, 01867. The phone number is (781) 670-9050. The restaurant will be open for dinner only, 7 nights a week.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Review: Upper Crust, Watertown

Earlier this week, a large group of us went over to the Watertown location of the Upper Crust, a rapidly-expanding pizza place mostly in the Boston area. I used to go to the Lexington location often to do takeout, and while never totally in love with the pizza there (many people are), I thought it was decent enough. But after going to the Upper Crust in Watertown the other night, I'm not sure I'll be heading back anytime soon.

When we walked in, the place was nearly empty. We grabbed a long table in the back and went to the counter to order four large pizzas--one plain, one veggie, one with half pepperoni and half hamburg, and one with half roasted red peppers and half spinach. The pizzas soon came out and with the first bite of a plain slice, I knew that this pizza wasn't up to the standards of the pies I've enjoyed from the Lexington location. Most of the flavor came from the salt, with the tomato sauce and cheese having little taste, and the crust being bland as well (perhaps because it was a tad undercooked). The pizzas with toppings were of varying quality, with my favorite probably being the slices with the roasted red peppers. But none of them impressed me all that much, and comments from most folks at the table ranged from not-so-good to just ok.

Hopefully this was just an aberration, but this was simply not great pizza. As I said, I have liked the pies at the Upper Crust in the past, so I may be willing to try again one of these days. But with places such as Regina's in the North End, Santarpio's in East Boston, the Lynwood Cafe in Randolph, and Monte's in Lynn, I'll probably be in no rush to return.

Upper Crust on Urbanspoon

House of Blues Opens Today in Boston; J. Geils Plays Tonight

The House of Blues is opening its doors today on Lansdowne Street near the Kenmore Square section of Boston. And to celebrate the opening of the blues club, the J. Geils Band and Andrea Gillis will be performing this evening. Upcoming shows include The Gipsy Kings on February 20, B.B. King and Buddy Guy on February 22, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic with Spiritual Rez on February 25, and Tom Jones on March 1.

The House of Blues is a chain of blues clubs that had included a branch in Harvard Square that closed more than five years ago. The new House of Blues across from Fenway Park has much more space than the former Harvard Square location, with a large concert hall, a full-service restaurant, and a retail shop.

The address for the new House of Blues is: House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne Street, Boston, MA, 02215. The phone number for the box office is (888) 693-BLUE.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Event: Chefs Cooking for Hope, March 5, 2009

It is almost time once again for the charity event "Chefs Cooking for Hope." Presented by the Friends of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, this year the event will feature chefs from a number of popular Boston restaurants as well as a silent auction where folks can bid on retail, sports, and vacation packages.

The 11th annual Chefs Cooking for Hope will be held on Thursday, March 5, 2009 from 6:30 to 9:00 PM at 125 High Street in the Financial District of Boston. Tickets are $100 each, with proceeds helping fund cancer research and care at Dana-Farber.

For more information on Chefs Cooking for Hope, please go to the link below:

Tory Row Coming to Harvard Square, Cambridge

The spot in Harvard Square formerly occupied by the Greenhouse Cafe will soon be home to a new cafe called Tory Row. According to The Harvard Crimson, Tory Row should be open on Brattle Street by the end of February, though the exact date is still up in the air. The Crimson also mentions that the cafe will have a capacity of 80 and have European and American touches.

The owner of Tory Row also runs several other restaurants in the Boston area: Audubon Circle, a restaurant, bar, and burger joint near Kenmore Square; Cambridge 1, a pizza place with locations in Harvard Square and Fenway; Middlesex Lounge, a watering hole near MIT; and Miracle of Science, a bar and grill also near MIT.

For more information on the upcoming opening of Tory Row in Harvard Square, please go to the Harvard Crimson link below:

New Cafe To Open In the Square

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Latest Review: Via Lago, Lexington

photo of Via Lago, Lexington, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for an Italian cafe, restaurant, market, and caterer called Via Lago in Lexington. Via Lago, which is located on the western edge of Lexinton Center near the Minuteman Statue, is mostly known as a catering place, but it also features a cafe-style dining spot at breakfast and lunch, and a slightly upscale sitdown restaurant at dinner. All kinds of sandwiches (including paninis) are offered at lunch, while more substantial dinners (as well as sandwiches) are offered at dinner. To read more about Via Lago in Lexington, please click on the link above.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

News in the Leather District Closes

News, an upscale restaurant and lounge in the Leather District of Boston, has closed its doors. This trendy dining spot and watering hole near South Station and Chinatown shut down about a week ago with little fanfare.

News was mostly popular with a younger crowd due in part to the fact that it was open late and had a varied drink menu. It also featured a "Ladies Night" on Wednesdays. The food at News was mostly upscale American and pub grub.

It is not known at the present time what will be going into the space vacated by News.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Four's to Open a New Location in Norwell

The Four's Restaurant and Sports Bar will be soon be opening a third location, with this one being in the suburbs south of Boston. According to the Patriot Ledger, The Four's will be opening a third location in Norwell around the beginning of April (the second one is in Quincy Center).

The Four's first opened around North Station in Boston in 1976, with the Quincy location opening up in the mid 1990s. According to the restaurant's Web site, Sports Illustrated rated them as the #1 sports bar in America.

To read the full story on the opening of The Four's Restaurant and Sports Bar in Norwell, please go to the Patriot Ledger link below:

Restaurant group in expansion mode

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Latest Review: Tennessee's, Braintree

photo of Tennessee's, Braintree, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for Tennessee's Real BBQ, a barbecue joint located just outside of South Braintree Square near the Union Street exit off Route 3. Tennessee's is a rather plain-looking place from the outside (and looks a bit like a chain, and it is, albeit a local one) and has the feel of a fast-food joint inside, but some of the best barbecue in the Boston area can be found here. Menu items range from pulled pork to ribs to macaroni and cheese and much, much more. To read more about Tennessee's Real BBQ in South Braintree, please click on the link above.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pizzeria Regina to Open Six New Locations

Pizzeria Regina, a classic Boston pizza joint that has slowly expanded from its original North End location over the years, will apparently be expanding much more in the near future. According to a couple of recent postings from Regina's on Craigslist, the pizzeria will be opening new branches in Watertown, Peabody, Danvers, North Attleboro, Hyannis, and Manchester, NH.

Regina's started out in 1926 in the North End of Boston, eventually being taking over by Polcari's Restaurant in 1946. Since then they have expanded to a number of locations, including Auburn, Boston (Faneuil Hall, Prudential Center, and South Station), Braintree, Burlington, Holyoke, Kingston, Marlborough, and Medford, as well as Providence, RI, and Paramus, NJ. The pizza at the North End location is seen by many as perhaps the best in the Boston area.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Coach House Grille Restaurant Opening in Sudbury

The Clarion Carriage House Inn on Route 20 in Sudbury will soon be getting a new restaurant. According to a job posting on Craigslist, the Coach House Grille Restaurant will be opening within the hotel sometime in March, and will feature breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as brunch, with the cuisine being regional New England food.

As of now, we are not sure whether this is indeed the same restaurant as The Coach Grill just up the road in Wayland; as soon as we hear one way or the other, we will update this post.

Grand Chinatown Opens in North Quincy

North Quincy has become a restaurant row of sorts for lovers of Asian cuisine, and now yet another new restaurant has come to the neighborhood. Grand Chinatown is a spacious Chinese restaurant that is now open on the part of Billings Road that dead ends near the train tracks (just off of Hancock Street). And according to posters on Chowhound, this new restaurant is owned by the same people who run East Chinatown, a smaller Chinese restaurant located right around the corner on Hancock.

The menu at Grand Chinatown offers up a variety of authentic Chinese and Chinese-American dishes, and also features hot pots and porridge.

The address for Grand Chinatown is: Grand Chinatown, 21A-25 Billings Road, Quincy, MA 02171. The phone number for the restaurant is (617) 472-9928.

Pho and Rice Opens in Somerville; Zoe's Moves

A new Vietnamese restaurant called Pho and Rice has opened on Beacon Street in Somerville. It has moved into the spot where the highly-rated Chinese restaurant Zoe's, used to be, with Zoe's moving across the street. (Zoe's is now on the same side of the street as O'Sullivan's and Danny's Diner.)

Friday, February 06, 2009

New Boston Globe Column: Dinner with Cupid

A new dating column has been started by the Boston Globe. Dinner with Cupid, which will run on a regular basis both on and in the Boston Globe Magazine, will allow singles to be paired up on blind dates, with the newspaper covering the cost of the meal. In return for the free meal, participants who are chosen have to tell the Globe how the date went, with their comments being posted in both the magazine and on the Web site.

For more information on this new dating column in the Boston Globe, please go to the following link:

Latest Review: Equator, Boston

photo of Equator, Boston, MAThe latest review on the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Web site is for a Thai restaurant in the South End of Boston called Equator. Located on Washington Street near the Massachusetts Avenue intersection, Equator is a bit off the beaten path, not getting the crowds that some other South End restaurants tend to get. The Thai cuisine at Equator is excellent, and they also feature a few Korean dishes in addition to traditional American food. The atmosphere is classy and understated, and is a nice spot for a date or a quiet dinner. To read more about Equator in the South End of Boston, please click on the link above.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cibo (North End) Closes; Panza Opens in Its Place

Cibo, a tiny Italian restaurant located in the heart of the North End of Boston, closed its doors a few weeks ago. Replacing this Hanover Street dining spot is a place called Panza, which also features Italian food.

The address for Panza (as well as the now-closed Cibo) is 326 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113. The phone number is (617) 557-9248.

Thanks to one of our emailers for letting us know about Cibo's closing.

Habanero Mexican Grill Coming to Allston

It looks like a new Mexican restaurant will be coming to the Allston neighborhood of Boston. EveryBlock Boston reports that a business license was issued to Habanero Mexican Grill this week and the restaurant will eventually be moving into the spot vacated by Eats and Treats (166 Brighton Avenue). Eats and Treats was a French-style creperie that closed its doors about a month ago.

More to come on Habanero Mexican Grill as its opening date gets closer...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Excelsior in Boston Has Closed

Thanks very much to a poster on the Chowhound site for bringing to our attention the fact that Excelsior in Boston has closed. A high-end restaurant on Boylston Street across from the Public Gardens, Excelsior featured mostly New American cuisine as well an extensive wine list (and an actual three-story wine tower within the restaurant) that included hundreds of different wines. Excelsior first opened its doors in 2003 and went on to become one of Boston's most popular restaurants.

UPDATE: According to the Excelsior Web site, the restaurant has officially closed and will re-open as another dining spot sometime this fall.

Rangoli in Allston Is Closing Today

Rangoli Restaurant, an Indian dining spot in Allston that has been around for about 15 years, is serving its last diners today. The Brighton Avenue restaurant will be closed for good as of 9:00 this evening, according to their Web site.

The owners of Rangoli will continue to honor gift certificates at their other restaurant--Tanjore in the Harvard Square section of Cambridge. (Tanjore is located at 18 Eliot Street in the heart of the square. Their phone number is 617-868-1900.)

Fire Destroys the Tan Turtle Tavern in Northeast Harbor, Maine

Yet another fire has ravaged the little town of Northeast Harbor, Maine. This time, the Tan Turtle Tavern and an apartment above were destroyed in a blaze that took place on Friday, January 23. According to the Bangor Daily News, the popular restaurant on Main Street was closed and going through renovations when the fire hit, and the upstairs apartment was vacant. The newspaper goes on to say that the owner of the Tan Turtle Tavern does plan to rebuild.

Last July, another fire hit Main Street in Northeast Harbor, destroying three buildings, with a restaurant and bakery called the Colonel's being a total loss.

Thanks to for letting us know about the latest fire in Northeast Harbor.

For more information on this story, please go to the Bangor Daily News link below:

Tan Turtle Restaurant fire under investigation

Monday, February 02, 2009

Rock Bottom in Braintree Has Closed

The Braintree location of the Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery chain shut its doors yesterday evening. According to the Patriot Ledger, the restaurant, which was located in the South Shore Plaza near the Braintree Split, decided to close after seven years because of a decline in business. The Ledger also reports that there probably won't be any other closures within the company.

Rock Bottom is a chain of about 30 restaurants that features handcrafted beers and pub grub. Most of their restaurants are located in the Middle Atlantic region, the Great Lakes and Midwest, and the West Coast. There are currently no other Rock Bottom locations in New England. (CORRECTION--THE ROCK BOTTOM IN THE THEATER DISTRICT OF BOSTON IS STILL OPEN. -Ed)

For more information on the closing of Rock Bottom in Braintree, please go to the link below:

Braintree Rock Bottom restaurant to close on Sunday