Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fillet of Soul Pop-Up Restaurant Coming to Brighton

Another pop-up restaurant is on its way to the Boston area, and this one will focus on healthy takes on soul food.

According to The Boston Phoenix and Eater Boston, the person behind 3 Scoops in Brighton (Wheeler del Torro) will be opening Fillet of Soul, a pop-up that will be open through the month of February and will bring its southern-style food directly to people's doors via a delivery service. A few of the items that will be offered from the pop-up include faux chicken and waffles, macaroni and cheese with soy cheese, and "cleaned up" versions of black-eyed peas and collard greens.

Del Torro will also be hosting Dining in the Dark events in February at 3 Scoops, which is located at 403 Washington Street.

For more information on the Fillet of Soul pop-up restaurant, please go to the Boston Phoenix and Grub Street Boston links below.

[Boston Phoenix]
Wheeler del Torro talks healthy soul food, plus recipes that won't kill you

[Eater Boston]
Fillet of Soul, a Healthy Soul Food Pop-up

Cinquecento to Open in Former Rocca Space in Boston's South End

The group behind several South End restaurants are going to be opening an Italian eatery in the SoWa space where another dining spot had been until closing just over a year ago.

Based on information from both The Boston Globe and Grub Street Boston, The Aquitaine Group is planning to open Cinquecento on Harrison Avenue in the SoWa section of the South End, taking over the former Rocca spot (Rocca closed at the beginning of 2011). The Globe article mentions that the new restaurant will feature mid-priced Italian food, and that extensive renovations are being done, including the atrium being demolished and the second floor being enlarged.

[February 28 update: According to the Craigslist site, Cinquecento is now hiring managers and is planning to open sometime this spring. The post also states that job candidates must have experience in high-volume "fine dining" establishments, which may indicate that Cinquecento could perhaps be more on the high end of the mid-priced spectrum that we had mentioned earlier.]

[November 14 update: An email sent to us from CBH Communications indicates that Cinquecento is hoping to open "right after Thanksgiving."]

[November 26 update: A new job post on Craigslist mentions that Cinquecento plans to open this Friday (November 30).]

The Aquitaine Group operates four other restaurants in the South End--Aquitaine, Metropolis Cafe, Union Bar and Grille, and Gaslight. It also runs Aquitaine in Chestnut Hill and Aquitaine at Legacy Place in Dedham.

The address for this upcoming Italian dining spot in the South End will be: Cinquecento, 500 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118.

For more information on the opening of Cinquecento, please go to the Boston Globe and Grub Street links below.

[Boston Globe]
Reversing a restaurant curse

[Grub Street Boston]
The Aquitaine Group's New Restaurant Will Be Called Cinquecento, Might Channel Keith McNally

Monday, January 30, 2012

Highlights for the Week Ending January 27, 2012

Several more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a sandwich shop moving from Lawrence to the Back Bay, a Boston episode of a popular food show on the way, and a Fenway farm stand closing down. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) posted an updated review of an old-school Italian restaurant in Roslindale as well as a blog entry on romantic restaurants and a photo of a chocolate cake from a new location of a Boston-area bakery and pastry shop.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Naked Pizza to Close Its Brighton Store, Make Brookline Store Base of Operations

Wichit Is Moving from Lawrence to Boston's Back Bay

Redbones May Be Opening a Restaurant in East Somerville

Boston Episode of "Bizarre Foods" to Be Shown on February 13, 2012

Marshall's Fenway Farm Stand Is Closing

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: Pleasant Cafe in Roslindale, MA

Blog Post: Ten Romantic Restaurants in the Boston Area

Updated Random Restaurant and Food Generator

Photo: Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Drizzle from Montilio's in Braintree, MA

Question: Favorite Hot Dog Stand in New England?

First Printer Plans to Open in Cambridge's Harvard Square February 4

More than two years after we first wrote about it, a restaurant and bar that features traditional American, New American, and southern fare is getting ready to open in Cambridge's Harvard Square.

According to UrbanDaddy, the First Printer is looking to open this Saturday (February 4) on Dunster Street, moving into the space where Herrell's Ice Cream had been for more than a quarter century until closing in 2009. Based on our earlier post as well as UrbanDaddy's article, it looks like the First Printer will feature such items as lobster hush puppies, clam chowder, burgers, hot dogs, frogs' legs, fried alligator, and crawfish. The restaurant will also have a full bar.

The address for this soon-to-open restaurant and bar in Harvard Square will be: The First Printer, 15 Dunster Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138.

[Earlier article]
Herrell's Ice Cream in Harvard Square Closing; First Printer Opening in Its Place

Rod Dee Is Open Once Again in Boston's Fenway Neighborhood

A popular Thai restaurant in Boston's Fenway neighborhood that was destroyed in a fire a few years ago is now open once again.

According to a poster on Chowhound (and confirmed by the El Pelon Taqueria Twitter page), Rod Dee has reopened on Peterborough Street, making it the third spot in the Fenway's "restaurant row" to open back up (the other two being El Pelon and Thornton's Fenway Grille). The Thai spot had been one of several eateries that burned to the ground in early 2009, with Greek Isles, Sorento's, and Umi apparently deciding not to come back to Peterborough Street.

Rod Dee also has locations in Brookline's Washington Square and Cambridge's Porter Square, with another location of the Thai restaurant returning to the Coolidge Corner section of Brookline sometime this year. (Its Coolidge Corner spot closed in the summer of 2010.)

The address for the reopened Rod Dee in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston is: Rod Dee, 94 Peterborough Street, Boston, MA, 02215. The website for Rod Dee can be found at http://www.roddee.net/

Friday, January 27, 2012

Prana in Newton Corner Has Reopened

A vegan restaurant in Newton Corner that closed last summer has reopened, with a new owner, an updated menu, and a slightly different name.

An email sent by the restaurant indicates that Prana is open once again on Centre Street, having opened up once again in the fall. The email mentions that the chef from the previous incarnation of the dining spot (which was called Prana Cafe) remains at the restaurant, and the menu includes a number of additions. Some of the items that can be found at Prana include bean chili, glazed turnips, naan pizza, a kelp noodle salad, pesto primavera, marinated portabella, walnut lentil croquettes, crepes, and zucchini lasagna.

Prana is open for lunch and dinner daily.

The address for this reopened restaurant in Newton Corner is: Prana, 292 Centre Street, Newton, MA, 02458. Their website can be found at http://www.eatatprana.com/

Will Zing! Pizza in Cambridge Ever Reopen?

Several months ago, a pizza spot in the Porter Square section of Cambridge closed for "renovations," and today it remains shuttered, with no sign of life. So is Zing! Pizza gone for good, or will it reopen at some point? As of now, there doesn't appear to be a definitive answer, though things admittedly do not look good.

Based on the Yelp and Davis Square Live Journal sites, it appears that Zing! Pizza, which first opened in 2008, may be closed for good, as the former site simply has a "Closed" label at the top of the Zing! page, while the latter site includes posts that indicate the Mass. Ave. eatery will probably not reopen. Meanwhile, the Zing! website has a note on the home page stating that the restaurant is "going through a reorganization and will be closed until further notice."

Until we receive 100% confirmation on their closing (a "For Rent" sign, a new business moving in, etc.), we will just have to say that Zing! is closed for now and might not be coming back.

On a related note, the nearby Cafe Zing, which is connected with Zing! Pizza, remains open inside Porter Square Books (in the Porter Square Shopping Center).

The address for Zing! Pizza is 1925 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02238.

Naked Pizza to Close Its Brighton Store, Make Brookline Store Base of Operations

A New Orleans-based pizza place that has two locations in the Boston area is going to be closing one of its shops and making its other location its area headquarters.

According to their blog, Naked Pizza will shutter its Brighton location on Monday (January 30) while keeping its Brookline location open and making it the base of operations in the Boston area. The blog entry mentions that Naked Pizza can reach 90 percent of its Brighton delivery customers from their Coolidge Corner shop, and they have included a new delivery map within the blog entry (link: http://www.thirdslice.com/blog/2012-01-we-are-moving-our-brighton-store).

The blog entry also indicates that Naked Pizza is thinking of expanding in the Boston area, as they are looking at sites in Jamaica Plain, Cambridge's Porter Square, and the MetroWest region.

Naked Pizza first opened on Washington Street in Brighton in February of 2011, with their Beacon Street location in Brookline opening a few weeks later.

The website for Naked Pizza can be found at http://www.nakedpizza.biz/

[Earlier Articles]
Naked Pizza Opening in Brookline's Coolidge Corner
Naked Pizza Is Opening in Brighton

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rustic Table Opens in Winthrop

A new restaurant has just opened in Winthrop, and the person behind the place happens to own the restaurant next door.

An email sent to us by The Inn at Crystal Cove indicates that Rustic Table is now open on Shirley Street, moving into the space next door to Alia Ristorante where Gary's Crystal Cove Grill had been. (Alia is the owner's other restaurant.) Based on photos of the menu from the email, it appears that Rustic Cove focuses mainly on comfort food and seafood dishes, including such items as fish cakes, wings, burgers, a pulled pork sandwich, steak tips, chicken pot pie, paella, pan-fried cod, lobster macaroni and cheese, seafood casserole, and blackened salmon. The dining spot also offers beer, wine, and cocktails.

Alia Ristorante has been featured on our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants), with the review being at the link below.


The address for the new Rustic Table in Winthrop is: Rustic Table, 503 Shirley Street, Winthrop, MA, 02152.

Wichit Is Moving from Lawrence to Boston's Back Bay

A breakfast and lunch spot in Lawrence that features an array of sandwiches is getting ready to move to the Back Bay of Boston.

According to their Facebook page, Wichit on Union Street in the Everett Mills building has closed and is moving to Boston, and a post on the EveryBlock Boston site indicates that their new address will be 244 Newbury Street in the Back Bay, which is near the Fairfield Street intersection. Wichit first opened in the historic Everett Mills in Lawrence in late 2009, replacing the Mill City Gourmet. The restaurant offers bagels, frittatas, burritos, soups, salads, and sandwiches, including such hot and cold sandwiches as NY strip sirloin, pastrami, chicken, turkey, prosciutto, veggie, and tuna. Sandwiches at Wichit come with such toppings and extras as Gruyere cheese, shredded sauerkraut, roasted garlic aioli, sauteed portabella mushrooms, dried cranberries, apple wood bacon, avocado, and more.

[May 29 update: According to their Facebook page, Wichit will be opening on Newbury Street sometime this summer.]

[December 18 update: Eater Boston is reporting that Wichit is now open on Newbury Street.]

Our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) has featured Wichit as a place to check out for sandwiches, with the review being at the link below.

Review of Wichit in Lawrence, MA

The website for Wichit can be found at http://www.wichitsandwich.com/

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chili Cook-Off Coming to Church January 28, 2012

A food event is on its way to the Fenway neighborhood of Boston this weekend, and the focus will be on chili.

An email sent by Dramshop Hospitality indicates that the First Annual Chili Cook-Off is going to be held at Church Restaurant & Nightclub on Kilmarnock Street this Saturday, January 28, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The event will feature local spots facing off against each other, with the winner being crowed the Chili Champion (Judge's Choice and People's Choice). Participating places include Church Restaurant & Nightclub, The Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar, Fenway Park, Jerry Remy's, Sweet Caroline's, Sweet Cheeks, Tasty Burger, and Thornton's Grill.

Tickets to the Chili Cook-Off, which is sponsored by Root Licquer, cost $8 online at http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/90141

The address for Church is 69 Kilmarnock Street, Boston, MA, 02215. Their website can be found at http://www.churchofboston.com/

Chocolate Festival Returning to Cambridge's Harvard Square January 27-29, 2012

An event that features all things chocolate returns to Harvard Square in Cambridge this weekend.

According to HarvardSquare.com (the Harvard Square Business Association website) and Grub Street Boston, a three-day chocolate festival will be held once again in the square, with events taking place from Friday, January 27 through Sunday, January 29. On Friday, Dining in the Dark will take place at Nubar on Garden Street, with the focus being on eating in a pitch-black environment. On Saturday, a chocolate treasure hunt will take place at Deguglielmo Plaza on Brattle Street, along with a chocolate sampling event there as well, and an Art of Chocolate Tasting will be held at the Russell House Tavern on JFK Street along with a Death by Chocolate Murder Mystery at Fire + Ice on Church Street. On Sunday, a chocolate tour will be featured in the square, as well as a second Dining in the Dark, with this one being at Upstairs on the Square on Winthrop Street.

More events will take place at the Harvard Square Chocolate Festival as well--for more information, please go to the links below.

Warm, Dark, Sweet and Luscious: Chocolate Festival in Harvard Square 2012

Prepare to Eat Tons of Chocolate in Harvard Square This Weekend

Redbones May Be Thinking of Opening a Restaurant in East Somerville

It looks like a popular BBQ restaurant in the Davis Square section of Somerville could be planning to open another dining spot, with this one possibly being in the East Somerville neighborhood of the city.

According to a neighborhood meeting flyer sent to us by one of our readers (and confirmed by the East Somerville Main Streets Facebook page), Redbones on Chester Street is looking at the space on 118 Broadway where Khoury's State Spa used to be. This is the same space that another new restaurant called La Brasa had been planning to move into, but has since decided to open at 130 Broadway instead. The neighborhood meeting on the potential opening of a restaurant by the Redbones folks will be held on January 30 at 6:00 PM at the 118 Broadway site.

[January 26, 2012 update: According to an update on the Grub Street Boston site, the rep for Redbones states that "the word on expansion is not right now, though occasionally we scout locations." The neighborhood flyer, however, mentions that "the potential tenant [of 118 Broadway] is Redbone's of Davis Square," and that the owner of Redbones "will be present to present his plan." More updates on this are surely on their way, so keep checking back.]

[April 25, 2012 update: Based on an article from the Somerville Patch, Redbones is no longer looking at the 118 Broadway space, as another restaurant will be moving in there instead.]

Redbones has been busy over the past year, opening a rib shack in Cambridge's Kendall Square as well as putting a food truck on the road.

The Redbones website can be found at http://redbones.com/

[Earlier Article]
Update: Daniel Bojorquez from Natick's Sel de la Terre to Open La Brasa in East Somerville

Boston Episode of "Bizarre Foods" to Be Shown on February 13, 2012

Last summer, we reported that the host of a popular Travel Channel food show was filming in the Boston area, and now, a date has been posted for the episode.

A note from one of our readers (which has been confirmed by the Travel Channel blog) indicates that the Boston episode of Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods will be shown on Monday, February 13, 2012, starting at 9:00 PM. Based on our earlier article on where Zimmern went while in Boston, the episode may include most, if not all, of the following places: 5 Corners Kitchen in Marblehead; Patriot Seafoods in Salem; Simply Khmer in Lowell; Il Panino Express, Salumeria Italiana, Gennaro's 5 North Square, and Modern Pastry in Boston's North End; o ya in the Leather District; Coppa in the South End; Clio Restaurant in the Back Bay; Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury; and Savenor's Market in Beacon Hill.

Bizarre Foods has been on the Travel Channel for more than five years, focusing mainly on exotic foods and what locals like to eat in various parts of the world. For more information on the show, please go to the following link: http://www.travelchannel.com/TV_Shows/Bizarre_Foods

[Earlier Article]
The Travel Channel's Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods Takes a Trip to the Boston Area

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

American Lamb Jam to Be Held in Cambridge, February 19, 2012

A culinary competition that focuses on lamb is returning to Cambridge next month, and once again, a number of area chefs will be participating.

An email received from Baltz and Company indicates that the third annual American Lamb Jam will be held on Sunday, February 19, from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square. Once again, The American Lamb Board is partnering with BostonChefs.com for this event, which will feature an array of lamb dishes created by chefs from 606 Congress, Bistro du Midi, Citizen, Clink, Garden at the Cellar, Henrietta's Table, La Laiterie Bistro, Oleana, Pain D'Avignon, Storyville, Red Lion Inn, Rialto, Russell House Tavern, Sel de la Terre, Summer Winter, Tavolo, The Fireplace, and Tomasso Trattoria. Lamb dishes will be paired with beers from area breweries, including Berkshire Brewing Company, Blue Hills Brewery, Cape Ann Brewing, Harpoon Brewery, Ipswich Ale, Mayflower Brewing Company, Pretty Things Beer and Rapscallion. In addition to sampling lamb dishes, guests of the event will also be able to view butchery demonstrations by Chris Douglass and Nuno Alves of Tavolo as well as Josh Pert of the Meat House. The event will be hosted by Billy Costa of TV Diner.

Chefs who are participating in the American Lamb Jam will compete for the title of Boston Lamb Master, along with an opportunity to face other chefs at a Master Lamb Jam in the fall.

Tickets to the 2012 American Lamb Jam cost $50 each and include all food and beverages.

[February 15 update: The American Lamb Jam is sold out.]

For more information on the upcoming American Lamb Jam in Cambridge, please go to the link below.


iYO Cafe Is Opening in Somerville's Davis Square

[Ed note: This article was edited on January 25 to reflect the fact that iYO Cafe is neither connected to the Vietnam-based frozen yogurt chain with a similar name, nor the Denton, TX shop with an identical name.]

It looks like a frozen yogurt shop is going to be opening in the Davis Square section of Somerville.

According to a planning staff report on the City of Somerville website, iYO Cafe is looking to open on Elm Street where the Farmers Bounty convenience store currently resides. The report mentions that the 68-seat iYO Cafe will focus on such items as frozen yogurt, pastries, coffee, and tea, with self-serve frozen yogurt stations and a self-serve topping station within the space. Proposed hours for the cafe are 7:00 AM to 12:00 AM, seven days a week. An email sent by the owner of the shop states that the place will also offer personalized fruit blends and smoothies as well, and that the space will include cafe-style seating, a fireplace, Wifi, and a "drawing room," which will be a dedicated space where customers can work individually or with advance notice, reserve the entire space for a study group, or an event such as a child's birthday party.

Contrary to what was originally reported, iYo Cafe is not connected to the Vietnam-based iYO frozen yogurt chain, nor is it affiliated with the iYO Cafe in Denton, TX.

Expect a spring opening for iYO Cafe in Davis Square.

[August 3 update: According to a poster on Chowhound (and confirmed by their Facebook page), iYO Cafe is now open.]

The address for this new cafe in Somerville is: iYO Cafe, 234 Elm Street, Somerville, MA, 02144. Their website can be found at http://iyocafe.com/

The PDF file from the City of Somerville site that contains this information is at the link below:

Planning Staff Report [PDF file]

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

Ginger Explosion 3 Is Coming to Somerville, February 6, 2012

A culinary event that focuses on ginger is returning to Somerville early next month, and once again, a few Boston-area spots will be participating.

According to wheretoeat.in, Ginger Explosion 3 is going to take place at P.A.'s Lounge on Somerville Avenue on Monday, February 6, 2012 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. The event will include samplings of ginger-based food dishes from Bambara in Cambridge, Dosa Temple in Somerville, the Herb Lyceum in Groton, and Petit Robert Bistro in Boston and Needham. Tickets to the event cost $13 (they go on sale at 4:00 PM today), with the price of admission including a complimentary ginger cocktail from Domaine de Canton. Proceeds from the event support the Somerville Arts Council's ArtsUnion project, which helps increase the cultural economic development of the Union Square section of Somerville.

The address for P.A.'s Lounge is 345 Somerville Avenue, on the western edge of Union Square.

For more information on Ginger Explosion 3, please go to the link below.


[February 2 update: Ginger Explosion 3 is sold out.]

Monday, January 23, 2012

Update: Marshall's Fenway Farm Stand Is NOT Closing

[Ed note: This article was edited on January 31 to reflect the fact that Marshall's will not be closing after all.]

A farm stand in the heart of Boston's Fenway neighborhood that looked to be closing has gotten a new lease on life.

According to an earlier note on their Facebook page, Marshall's Fenway Farm Stand on Boylston Street was supposed to have shut its doors on Sunday, January 29, with the post mentioning that their lease was up and they did not have another spot available at the present time. A poster on the Chowhound site had said that the building in which Marshall's resides was going to be torn down to make way for a "high rise of expensive condos and a Target."

A more recent Facebook note, however (on Tuesday, January 31--thanks to the poster below for letting us know), indicates that Marshall's will NOT be closing, and that they will apparently be reopening next Monday (February 6). Hours for Marshall's will be 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM, except for Wednesdays and Sundays, when they are apparently closed. The note on their page concludes with a "big thanks...to Samuels Associates for listening to the Fenway Community."

The folks behind Marshall's Fenway Farm Stand also have a farm stand on Concord Street in Gloucester.

The address for Marshall's in Boston is: Marshall's Fenway Farm Stand, 1345 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215. Their website can be found at http://www.marshallsfenway.com/

Barney Fanning's Is Opening in Former J. A. Stats Space in Boston's Financial District

An Irish pub is getting ready to open in the Financial District of Boston, taking over the space where another restaurant and bar had been until closing recently.

According to their Facebook page, Barney Fanning's is going to be opening on Broad Street, moving into the former J. A. Stats spot at the Franklin Street intersection. The Facebook page for Barney Fanning's mentions that they had been hoping to open earlier this month, though their website still says "Coming Soon" and a more recent Facebook post says something about the pub possibly "having a Super Bowl Bash." Based on a post within J. A. Stats' Facebook page, their other location--Stats Bar & Grille on Dorchester Street in South Boston--will remain open and they will be accepting old gift cards at that location.

The name of the new pub comes from a person who was involved in the Broad Street Riot, a fight between firefighters and members of an Irish funeral procession that occurred in Boston in 1837.

[January 27 update: A call placed to the restaurant indicates that Barney Fanning's is now open.]

The address for the now-closed J. A. Stats (and new Barney Fanning's) is 99 Broad Street, Boston, MA, 02110. Their website can be found at http://www.barneyfannings.com

Highlights for the Week Ending January 20, 2012

A number of stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including another cupcake shop opening in downtown Boston, a culinary event to support President Obama coming to the area, and a local food truck gaining national recognition. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) posted a featured review of a ramen place in Cambridge as well as a photo of a meat pie from an Australian spot and a new "random restaurant and food" generator.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Crumbs Bake Shop Is Apparently Opening in Boston's Financial District

Third Annual Chili Cup Coming to Ned Devine's in Boston

Chefs for Obama to Be Held in Boston

Staff Meal Truck in Boston Is Awarded the 2011 Food Truck Rookie of the Year

The Group Behind Marliave and Grotto May Open A Restaurant Where Pops Used to Be

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: Sapporo Ramen in Cambridge, MA

Photo: Meat Pie from KO Catering and Pies in South Boston, MA

Discussion on Regional Food Items

Random Restaurant and Food Generator

Updated Review: Niko's Restaurant in Weymouth, MA

U-Sushi Takes Over GinGa Space in Brookline's Coolidge Corner

A new sushi restaurant is opening in the Coolidge Corner section of Brookline, moving into the space where another sushi spot had been.

According to The Brookline TAB and Wicked Local, U-Sushi is replacing GinGa on Beacon Street, with a poster on the Yelp site mentioning that the owners of GinGa apparently decided to retire. Based on the Yelp poster and a poster on the Chowhound site, it appears that U-Sushi may have opened already, though we will try to confirm this. [January 23 update: According to one of our Twitter followers, U-Sushi is indeed open.]

GinGa first opened in 2008, featuring an array of sushi items as well as Japanese noodle and rice dishes, teriyaki, and more.

The address for the now-closed GinGa (and the new U-Sushi) is 1393 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA, 02446.

Moko Japanese Restaurant Is Opening in South Boston

The person behind a Japanese restaurant in the Back Bay of Boston is getting ready to open a new sushi spot, with this one being in Southie.

According to The Boston Globe, Moko Japanese Restaurant is going to be moving into a space on E Broadway in South Boston that is a couple of blocks west of the L Street intersection. A poster on Chowhound mentions that the new eatery, which is owned by the person who owns Samurai on Boylston Street in the Back Bay, appears to be on the verge of opening, if not open already.

[February 16 update: Thrillist Boston reports that Moko is now open.]

The Globe states that Moko will have about 1,200 square feet of space, with a capacity of just over 40. The place will be open for lunch and dinner, with hours likely being from 11:00 AM to 12:00 AM on weekdays and 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM on weekends.

The address for this new sushi restaurant in South Boston is: Moko Japanese Restaurant, 647 E Broadway, Boston, MA, 02127.

For more information on the opening of Moko, please go to the Boston Globe link below.

Licensing Board approves new sushi restaurant on E. Broadway

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Townsend's in Hyde Park Has Closed

A restaurant and pub in Hyde Park that Boston's Hidden Restaurants (our sister site) recently picked as the best Irish restaurant and pub in the Boston area has closed its doors.

An email sent by one of our readers stated that Townsend's on Fairmount Avenue was closing, and a subsequent check on the business shows that the place is indeed shuttered, with notices on the front indicating that the restaurant is no longer in the space. No other information was given in the notices, and it is not known exactly which day Townsend's shut down, nor is it known whether the restaurant will be moving to another spot (see comment below).

Townsend's first opened in early 2008, bringing to Hyde Park a place to get a mix of Irish, New American, and traditional American dishes, along with a variety of beer and wine. The dining and drinking establishment was picked by Boston's Hidden Restaurants as the best little-known Irish pub for 2011, and it has been featured within the site as well. The review of Townsend's can be found at the link below:


The address for this now-closed restaurant and pub in Hyde Park was: Townsend's, 81 Fairmount Avenue, Hyde Park, MA, 02136.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Crumbs Bake Shop Is Opening in Boston's Financial District

It looks like a chain of cupcake shops will be opening their first location in Massachusetts, with the store being in the heart of downtown Boston.

According to posters on the Chowhound site, Crumbs Bake Shop is planning to open on Federal Street in the Financial District, moving into the space where Copley Flair used to be. We asked (via Twitter) the New York-based chain if they were indeed coming to Boston, and received a response in the form of a smiley face, which seems to confirm what the Chowhound posters said.

[March 13 update: A Chowhound poster mentions that a sign in the side of the doorway of the upcoming Crumbs space in the Financial District indicates it will be opening on Monday, March 19. (The Crumbs Facebook page stated that it would open this week, but the opening has apparently been delayed just a bit.)]

[March 19 update: The Crumbs website states that their Boston location is now open. They also have a special deal through March 30--if you buy one cupcake or taste pack, you get a second one free.]

Crumbs Bake Shop features regular-sized cupcakes as well as "colossal" cupcakes, which are a whopping six and a half inches high. Cupcake flavors include carrot, chocolate, caramel apple, cheesecake, vanilla, candy, cookie dough, mudslide, red velvet, raspberry, coconut, and more.

The address for this new cupcake shop in the Financial District is: Crumbs Bake Shop, 176 Federal Street, Boston, MA, 02110. Their website can be found at http://www.crumbs.com/

A "Boutique" Restaurant Company to Open Locations in Stoughton and Westborough

A restaurant company is getting ready to open a couple of upscale dining spots in the Greater Boston area, though it is not known at this time exactly who is opening the eateries.

According to a post on the Craigslist site, a "boutique" restaurant company with 14 upscale restaurants is looking to open new locations in Stoughton and Westborough this spring. The post mentions that the company currently has locations in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, but no name is given--or any other information, for that matter.

The job post (which will likely be taken down soon, as most Craigslist job posts are) can be found at this link: http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/fbh/2806314049.html

We will continue to try to find out the name of the restaurant company that is opening these two places, but if you have any thoughts as to who it might be, please post your comments below.

Buca di Beppo in Lexington Has Closed

A chain of Italian restaurants that first came to the Boston area in late 2010 has shut down one of its locations.

According to The Boston Globe, Buca di Beppo in Lexington is now closed, though the other locations of the Minneapolis-based chain will remain open in Dedham, Seekonk, and Shrewsbury. The article mentions that the eatery, which moved into the former Vinny T's space on Waltham Street in October of 2010, was shuttered in part because of customer "traffic," and that all employees of the Lexington location of Buca di Beppo have been moved to other Massachusetts locations.

Buca di Beppo first started out in 1993, featuring mostly a mix of Northern and Southern Italian fare in a family-friendly environment.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in Lexington was: Buca di Beppo, 20 Waltham Street, Lexington, MA, 02421.

For more information on this story, please go to the Boston Globe link below.

Italian restaurant Buca di Beppo closes in Lexington

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Raven's Nest in Walpole Has Become The Patriot's Nest (for Now)

An Irish restaurant and pub in Walpole Center has decided to temporarily change its name, in a humorous bid to keep Baltimore Ravens fans away.

According to their Facebook page, The Raven's Nest on Route 1A is now The Patriot's Nest, with piece of material that says "Patriot's" covering the part of the sign that ordinarily says "Raven's." According to a note on their page, the pub has made the name change to "ensure no Raven fans come 'round here this weekend en route to the game."

After the game is over (which the Patriots will presumably win), the place will be called The Raven's Nest once again.

If you would like to see a picture of the temporary sign at The Raven's Nest (er, the Patriot's Nest), please go to the following Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=352246821453076&set=a.170227982988295.44255.136502639694163

The address for The Raven's Nest is 998 Main Street (Route 1A), Walpole, MA 02081.

303 Cafe in East Boston Has Closed

It looks like a restaurant in the Jeffries Point section of East Boston that has been in business for about five years has closed its doors for good.

A message sent to us from a follower of our Hiddenboston Twitter page mentions that a sign on the door of 303 Cafe on Sumner Street says "closed for renovations." A call placed to the restaurant indicates that their phone is now out of service, while a check on the Yelp site shows the "Closed" label at the top of the page for the dining spot.

303 Cafe first opened in 2007, bringing to the Jeffries Point neighborhood a place featuring an eclectic mix of New American cuisine and comfort food. A few items on their menu included frittatas, seafood linguini, chili cheese fries, arroz con pollo, steak tips, and mushroom risotto.

A Boston Globe article from last summer pointed out that 303 Cafe had been in financial trouble, actually closing very briefly in August. The article mentioned problems with debt and legal issues affecting the restaurant for awhile.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in East Boston was: 303 Cafe, 303 Sumner Street, East Boston, MA, 02128.

Third Annual Chili Cup Coming to Ned Devine's in Boston, February 16, 2012

A culinary event that features chili will be returning to Boston, and once again, a number of local dining spots will be taking part in the competition.

An email sent from The Briar Group indicates that the 3rd annual Chili Cup will be taking place at Ned Devine's in Boston's Faneuil Hall on Thursday, February 16 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The event will be featuring all-you-can-eat chili along with prizes and other specials. Competitors include The Baseball Tavern (who won last year), Dillon's, Flat Iron Tapas Bar & Lounge, Game On!, The Greatest Bar, The North Star, and others. The winner of the event (which is based on consumer vote) will be awarded the 2012 Chili Cup.

Proceeds from the Chili Cup event will benefit Community Work Services, an organization that helps folks transform their lives through employment.

Tickets to the event cost $20, and can be ordered via the link below.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Needham Looks to Lift Its "Dry Town" Status

A western suburb of Boston that has basically been a dry town since Prohibition may be getting ready to consider loosening the rules a bit.

According to The Boston Globe, folks in Needham could soon be voting on whether to allow alcohol to be sold in stores, and if so, whether package stores could sell all types of alcohol or just beer and wine, and whether supermarkets could sell beer and wine in addition to wine and cheese shops doing so. (The article mentions that there may be other options as well.)

Currently, Needham is mostly--though not completely--dry, with one bar in town (inside the Sheraton hotel) and restaurants with capacities of over 100 being allowed full liquor licenses (smaller restaurants can get beer and wine licenses, but not full liquor licenses).

[November 8 update: The Boston Globe is reporting that Needham voters have supported--by a wide margin--a ballot question allowing the retail sale of ­alcohol. The article states that a total of six liquor licenses will be available to stores, with two more licenses coming in 2018.]

For more information on this story, please go to the Boston Globe link below.

Needham considers store sales of alcohol

Legal Sea Foods Is Featuring Azorean Food This Spring

A local chain of seafood restaurants is going to be adding a new section to their menu for one month, and it will be focusing on food from a group of islands that are west of Portugal.

According to the Portuguese American Journal, Legal Sea Foods will offer Azorean fare on their menu between March 14 and April 11 as part of a promotional campaign of the Azores as a destination for tourists. The article states that dishes that will be served on the "Menu Azores" at Legal during this time period will include fish that is caught in the Azores along with local preserves, pepper, and queijadas, which are a type of cheese tart served as a dessert. Legal Sea Foods will include images of the areas where the products come from, and they will offer tourist information about the islands as well.

The Legal Sea Foods chain includes locations within Boston at Long Wharf, Park Square, Copley Place, the Prudential Center, and Logan Airport, with Legal Harborside and Legal Test Kitchen being in the Seaport District of the city. Other locations can be found outside of the Boston city limits as well (including two in Cambridge), and a couple of Legal C Bar restaurants are located at Logan Airport and Dedham.

For more information on this story, please go to the Portuguese American Journal link below.

Menu Azores: Azorean food to debut at Boston area restaurants

Chefs for Obama to Be Held in Boston, January 31, 2012

A private cooking competition and food tasting in support of the President of the United States is on its way to Boston later this month.

An email sent by Eat.Live.Blog indicates that Chefs for Obama will be held on Tuesday, January 31 at The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts on Tremont Street in Boston's South End. The event, which begins at 6:30 PM, will feature the following area chefs: Jody Adams (Rialto and Trade), Jamie Bissonnette (Toro and Coppa), Chris Coombs (Deuxave and dbar), Evan DeLuty (Stella), Tiffani Faison (Sweet Cheeks), Will Gilson (The Herb Lyceum), Gordon Hamersley (Hamersley's Bistro), Barbara Lynch (No. 9 Park, B&G Oysters, Stir, The Butcher Shop, Drink, Sportello), Barry Maiden (Hungry Mother), Seth Morrison (The Gallows), Rebecca Newell (The Beehive), Marc Orfaly (Pigalle and Marco), Brian Reyelt (Franklin Cafe, The Citizen, Tasty Burger), and Ting Wen Yen (Oishii). Guest judges will include Diane Patrick, Governor Deval Patrick, and Chef Ming Tsai.

Tickets to the event cost $250.00 (General Admission), $500.00 (General Admission including chef's cookbook + entry into drawing to judge the competition), and $1,000.00 (HostCookbook + entry into drawing to judge the competition + pre-reception with Chefs).

For more information on the Chefs for Obama event, please go to the following link:


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Staff Meal Truck in Boston Is Awarded the 2011 Food Truck Rookie of the Year

A national magazine that focuses on food trucks has just come out with its picks for the best new trucks, and a Boston food truck topped the list.

According to Mobile Cuisine Magazine, the Staff Meal Truck is the 2011 Food Truck Rookie of the Year, topping such trucks as Famous Naters (Chattanooga, TN), Kangaroostaurant (Appleton, WI), Fish Out of Water (Orlando, FL), and Gourmelt (Reno, NV). Based on the results shown on the Chicago-based magazine's site, the Staff Meal Truck won in a landslide, with a total of 3393 votes (Famous Naters, which came in second, received 1735 votes).

Staff Meal features an eclectic mix of foods such as arepas with pickled watermelon slaw; chestnut and lardo cannoli; chorizo, rice, and beans in a steamed bun; Chinese sausage; a salisbury steak sandwich; and pig's ear macaroni and cheese. The truck can be found at a number of locations in the city, including Stuart Street by the Hancock tower, Boylston Street by the Boston Public Library, Washington Street in the South End, Chinatown Park, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

For more information on this story, please go to the Mobile Cuisine Magazine link below.

Staff Meal Truck is the 2011 Food Truck Rookie of the Year

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.

Nguyen's Vietnamese Cuisine and Sushi Bar Is Coming to Swampscott

A Vietnamese restaurant and sushi bar is on its way to the North Shore, though it doesn't look like it will open for another year or so.

According to The Swampscott Patch, Nguyen's Vietnamese Cuisine and Sushi Bar is coming to Humphrey Street (Route 129) in Swampscott, moving into a space on the eastern edge of the town center and a few blocks east of the Lynn border. The article mentions that the owner also runs Maki's Sushi Bar in Peabody with his brother, and he currently works a day job at 114 BMW in that community.

The menu at Nguyen's Vietnamese Cuisine and Sushi Bar will feature a number of traditional Vietnamese dishes, including pho, which is a traditional Vietnamese soup, and a variety of vegetarian options will also be offered as well. Once the building is renovated and the restaurant opens (possibly in January, 2013), it will have both indoor and seasonal outdoor seating, with a capacity of up to 75.

[August 22, 2013 update: According to a Facebook post from North Shore Dish, a sign permit has been granted for Nguyen's Vietnamese Cuisine and Sushi Bar, and a check on the restaurant's Facebook page indicates that progress is being made in its construction, though there is no specific opening date for the place as of yet.]

The address for this upcoming dining spot in Swampscott will be: Nguyen's Vietnamese Cuisine and Sushi Bar, 286 Humphrey Street, Swampscott, MA, 01907. Its Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/NVCSB

For more information on the opening of this restaurant, please go to the Swampscott Patch link below.

Vietnamese Restaurant Seeks Liquor License From Selectmen

News Elsewhere: iPhone Apps for Cheap Eats, New York Restaurant Week, and More

A few other stories and articles concerning food and restaurants have come out over the past few days, including the following:

>> Cheap Eats: 5 iPhone Apps for Frugal Foodies [Mashable]

>> Bennigan's Brand Revival in 2011 Launches Legendary Comeback [Sacramento Bee]

>> Restaurant Week Returns To New York City With Prix-Fixe Dining Deals [CBS New York]

>> Confirmed! Gordon Ramsay to open first L.V. restaurant at the Paris" [Vegas Deluxe]

>> Boners BBQ Bashes Customer On Facebook And Twitter, Social Media Battle Ensues [Huffington Post]

The Group Behind Marliave and Grotto May Open A Restaurant Where Pops Used to Be

The folks behind a couple of Boston restaurants may be looking to open another spot, with this one being in a South End space where a popular eatery had been.

According to food writer MC Slim JB via the Chowhound site, the people who run Marliave in downtown Boston and Grotto on Beacon Hill are apparently interested in the former Pops space on Tremont Street. (Pops was a comfort food spot had closed in the fall of 2011 after being open for about four years.) MC Slim had initially mentioned within the Chowhound thread this past Saturday that he had "heard a rumor the Grotto / Marliave folks were looking at it," but several hours later put up another post, stating that "it now looks like the Pops thing is happening." He also said that there doesn't appear to be any information on a concept for the place.

Marliave is a local landmark that has been around since the 1880s, though it closed for awhile a few years back before the Grotto folks reopened it. The restaurant focuses mainly on classic American and New American fare. Grotto is located on Bowdoin Street, just down the hill from the State House, and features mostly Italian and Mediterranean food.

The address for the space that the Marliave/Grotto people are apparently looking at is 560 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, 02118.

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.

Pops Restaurant in Boston's South End Has Closed

Monday, January 16, 2012

Highlights for the Week Ending January 13, 2012

Several more stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene were posted over the past week, including changes to the North End restaurant scene, a coffee bar opening within a frozen yogurt shop in the Back Bay, and the return of a burrito competition. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) had an updated review of a burger spot in Somerville as well as a photo of a pastry from a South End bakery and a question for readers on a popular side dish.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Ristorante Damiano Has Been Replaced by Carmelina's North End

Newbury Street Coffee Opens Within BerryLine in Boston's Back Bay

Eight Food Trends for 2012, As Seen by Boston-Area Chefs

Burrito Bowl II to Be Held at Poe's Kitchen at the Rattlesnake

Food Truck Pilot Program Proposed for Brookline

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

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

Photo: Triple Mousse Chocolate Cake from Flour in Boston, MA

Question: Boston-Area Restaurant with the Best Onion Rings?

Updated Review: The Squires in Hanover, MA

Boston Restaurant Closings and Openings for January, 2012 (So Far)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ginger Exchange in Cambridge Is Opening Mission Sushi and Wok in Mission Hill/Brigham Circle

[Ed note: This article was updated on January 24, 2013 to reflect a name given for the restaurant, along with other information.]

The Mission Hill/Brigham Circle space where an eclectic comfort food spot had been until closing last spring may not be empty much longer, as an Asian restaurant in Cambridge is planning to open a new eatery there.

According to Universal Hub, the folks behind the Ginger Exchange on Cambridge Street in Inman Square are seeking permission to acquire the beer and wine license formerly owned by The Savant Project, a Tremont Street restaurant that closed in May of 2011. The article mentions that if all goes as planned, the Ginger Exchange owners will be opening a sushi bar in the space, though no other details (including a name) seem to be available at this point in time.

[May 17 update: It looks like the new Mission Hill/Brigham Circle location of the Ginger Exchange may be close to being up and running, as a Craigslist post states that the Cambridge-based restaurant is hiring for an upcoming grand opening (though it does not specify where). There may be one or more additional locations of the Ginger Exchange on the way as well, as the post says that the eatery "is looking for management candidates for their NEW restaurant locations" (plural).]

[January 24, 2013 update: The name of the upcoming restaurant from Ginger Exchange is Mission Sushi & Wok, and it will focus on sushi and stir-fry dishes. It appears that the restaurant is on the verge of opening, as their Facebook page (which is at https://www.facebook.com/MissionSushi) mentioned a couple of weeks ago that it should be opening in a couple of weeks.]

[March 3, 2013 update: According to their Facebook page, Mission Sushi & Wok is now open.]

The Ginger Exchange first opened its doors in the fall of 2009, bringing to Inman Square a dining spot that features mostly Japanese fare, including sushi, noodle dishes, and rice dishes.

The address that this new restaurant in the Mission Hill/Brigham Circle neighborhood of Boston is 1625 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, 02120.

For more information on this story, please go to the Universal Hub link below.

Shuttered Mission Hill eatery could become edgy sushi place

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.

[October 9 update: Eater Boston mentions that plans for a new Ginger Park in the Mission Hill/Brigham Circle area have fallen through, as the restaurant now plans to open in the former Betty's Wok and Noodle space just up the road on Huntington Avenue.]

Providence Restaurant Week to Be Held January 15-28, 2012

The city of Providence is getting ready for a restaurant "week" that lasts for most of the rest of this month.

According to the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, Providence Restaurant Week will be starting up on Sunday, January 15, and will continue until Saturday, January 28. Many of the city's best restaurants will be participating this year, with such dining spots as Bacaro Restaurant, Caffe Dolce, Chardonnay's, The Dorrance, Gracie's, Hourglass Brasserie, Libations Restaurant & Lounge, Meritage, New Rivers, Parkside Rotisserie & Bar, Red Stripe, Rick's Roadhouse, Spats Restaurant and Bar, and Trattoria Zooma taking part in the event.

The cost for a three-course lunch at any of the restaurants is $14.95, with three-course dinners costing $29.95. In addition, some restaurants will be having 2 for 1 specials.

For more information on Providence Restaurant Week, please go to the link below.


Winter Market to Start at Mahoney's in Winchester

Yet another indoor winter farmers' market is coming to the Boston area starting tomorrow, and this one will be a few miles north of the city.

According to their website, Mahoney's on Route 3 in Winchester is opening a Winter Market on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, with more than 25 vendors on hand. A few items that will be available include fruits, locally-grown root vegetables, herbs, olive oils, baked breads, cheeses, meats, smoked fish, desserts, and coffees, along with some jewelry and clothing. Vendors such as Cannistraci Fine Foods, Centerville Pie Company, Coastal Vinyards, The Danish Pastry House, Deb's Cookies, Doves and Figs, J&B Butcher, KO Catering Company, Soluna Garden Farms, and Westport Rivers Winery will be at the market, which will be held each Saturday through March 17.

The Mahoney's location in East Falmouth will be having a winter farmers' market as well.

The address for Mahoney's in Winchester is: Mahoney's, 242 Cambridge Street (Route 3), Winchester, MA, 01890. Their website can be found at http://www.mahoneysgarden.com/

Owner of Stella in Boston's South End Considers Opening a Burger Place

It looks like the chef/owner of an Italian restaurant in the SoWa district of Boston's South End may be thinking about joining the burger craze.

A Boston Globe article on possible 2012 restaurant trends includes a post from Evan Deluty of Stella on Washington Street, who predicts affordable burgers being a possible trend for the year. In the post, Deluty also indicates the possibility of being part of the trend, stating that he is "looking at potentially doing a burger place." The chef/owner of Stella also looks at restaurants that are playing a role in the burger craze, including Wahlburgers in Hingham, Tasty Burger in the Fenway (which is planning to expand), and Burger Dive, which hopes to open in Somerville's Assembly Square.

Stella is a chic yet affordable Italian eatery in SoWa that features such dishes as grilled Italian sausage, spicy mussels, grilled pizza, tagliatelle bolognese, house-made gnocchi, honey-glazed salmon, and seared duck breast. The address for the restaurant is 1525 Washington Street (next to Blackstone Square).

Information for this article comes from the Boston Globe link below:

Hot restaurant trends of 2012