Boston
2007

There's a little something for everyone in the Fenway with the opening of Church, a new restaurant/music venue that even offers free parking. Chef Andrew Beer (ex- Aquitaine Bis, Upstairs on the Square, and 209 Boston) created the eclectic menu.

Adam Halberg has left the South End's new hotspot, the Beehive. Becca Newell (also formerly of Aquitaine Bis) and Kevin Crawley of Coriander Bistro in Sharon are the new co-executive chefs.

In related news, Daryl Settles, the Beehive's co-owner, is selling his iconic soul food eatery Bob's Southern Bistro. Settles bought the restaurant (formerly called Bob the Chefs) in 1990 and transformed it into a destination that drew celebrities and locals alike. New owner Malcolm Aalders plans to change the restaurant's name to Night Town and will serve traditional American fare.

The steakhouse craze has even hit Beantown's newest neighborhood, the Seaport, with the opening of Morton's earlier this month. This second Boston location features a 100-seat waterfront patio and two boardrooms for private dining.

NYC-based sushi chain Haru is opening in the Prudential Center space formerly occupied by Dick's Last Resort. This is the first New England location eatery, which has six other sites in New York and Philadelphia.

Suzanne Eliastam, Pierre Honegger, and chef/owner Stephane Santos have opened La Volie on Newberry Street. They relocated the brasserie from Cannes, where it has been open since 1947.

The northern suburb of Burlington used to have a better reputation for its medical facilities than fine dining. But then along came L'Andana by the Commonwealth Restaurant Group (see Dateline, July). And now there's Summer Winter, offering modern American food by JBF Best Chef Northeast nominees Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier of Arrows and MC Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine. Summer Winter also boasts a four-season greenhouse.

Stix Restaurant and Lounge (the restaurant that replaced Bomboa) has a new chef, Peter Eco, who previously worked at Clio and Upstairs on the Square.

Elizabeth Navisky
Posted 11/20/07
Have more information about the Boston restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

Eastern Standard has a new executive chef. Marco Suarez (ex-Bouchee and Tremont 647) has moved over to the Kenmore Square hotspot, where he is making his mark with new items like bluefoot chicken coq au vin and housemade charcuterie. Suarez replaces Jamie Bissonette, who is now at KO Prime.

Petit Robert Bistro is expanding yet again. In addition to its Kenmore Square and South End locations, the French eatery will be adding a third site in the former Copia space in Charlestown early next year. The 180-seat eatery will feature both a dessert bar and an oyster bar.

The Savant Project, a new restaurant/lounge run by Luis Sanchez, the man behind Sauciety and Birch Bar at the new Westin Waterfront, and Benny Kraines, formerly of Cambridge Common, opened in September. The venue boasts a heated outdoor patio and dishes like steak with yuca fries cooked up by Isaac Kaufman (ex–chef de cuisine at the North End's Mare).

Cambridge's Harvest has a new pastry chef. Jonathan "Jed" Hackney, who was most recently an instructor at the New England Culinary Institute and executive pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Bachelor Gulch, Colorado, will now be cooking up sweets for the Harvard Square mainstay.

Also in Cambridge, Ole Mexican Grill will soon have a new sibling in the neighborhood. In early November Ole's Erwin Ramos will open Olecito, which will feature Mexican street fare.

Elizabeth Navisky
Posted 10/24/07
Have more information about the Boston restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

The old Charles Street Jail in Beacon Hill is now the Liberty Hotel. Clink, one of the hotel’s cleverly named eateries, is a bar and restaurant run by the hotel’s executive chef, Michael Goodman (ex-Napa in Dubai). Scampo (Italian for “escape”), a contemporary Italian restaurant operated by Boston nightlife powerhouse Patrick Lyons and JBF Award–winning chef Lydia Shire, will debut later this fall.

In Downtown Crossing, the former Peking Tom’s has reopened as Kingston Station, a 100-seat American bistro. The chef is Steven Cicerano, formerly of Temple Bar in Cambridge.

Charlestown’s Copia has closed after less than a year. No word yet on the future of the space.

In the South End, Coda has opened in the former Tim’s Tavern spot on the corner of Columbus and Dartmouth. Chef Simon Robinson (of Common Ground) is cooking up comfort food classics.

Elizabeth Navisky
Posted 9/26/07
Have more information about the Boston restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

The Back Bay space that was formerly Bomboa will soon be home to Stix, where more than half of the menu will be served on sticks infused with a variety of flavors, like Indian mango curry and garlic and herbs. The restaurant is located next door to 33 Restaurant & Lounge and shares the two of the same owners, Greg Den Herder and Igor Blatnik, who have teamed up with Steven Carreiro for this venture. Both restaurants are looking for chefs as 33’s former chef, Anthony Dawodu, is now executive chef of the Caneel Bay Hotel and Resort in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Just in time for fall, a new executive chef is coming to Harvest in Harvard Square. Mary Dumont, named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs of 2006 for her work at Dunaway Restaurant at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, will replace Keith Pooler, who has moved on to the Stonehedge Inn.

Z Square, also in Harvard Square, has announced a second location across the river in the long-empty Boston University–owned space that once housed a branch of Campo De Fiori. The new Z Square will feature the original restaurant’s signature California-style cuisine.

Boston food icons (and sweethearts) Chris Myers (Radius, Via Matta, Great Bay) and Joanne Chang (Flour) are joining forces to open Myers+Chang, a new Asian eatery in the South End. Alison Hearn, who has worked at B&G Oysters, Craigie Street Bistrot and Ten Tables, will be the chef.

Andrew Coleman (who previously worked at Bravo at the Museum of Fine Arts) will be the new chef at the Met Bar and Grill in the Natick Collection when it opens in September.

The deMagistris brothers (Dante, Damien, and Filippo), who own Dante in Cambridge, plan to open Fire House, a 130-seat eatery in a converted fire station, in Spring 2008. The menu will feature rustic Italian cuisine in a country-casual setting.

Elizabeth Navisky
Posted 8/29/07
Have more information about the Boston restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

In Boston, getting your food and fashion fixes in one spot is à la mode. First there was Newton eatery Pava, connected to the upscale boutique Tess and Carlos. Now Michael Leviton, chef/owner of Newton’s Lumiere, has partnered with Michael Krupp and Shaka Ramsay to open Achilles, a retail/restaurant spot in the ever-blossoming Fort Point Channel area. The store will carry high-end fashion lines for men and women, while the restaurant will feature an American-inspired menu focusing on sustainable, local ingredients. Both are set to open in the fall.

Chris Douglass is continuing to expand into Dorchester. The chef/owner of the famed Icarus and the more casual Ashmont Grill in the Ashmont is now working on an Italian eatery in the new Ashmont subway station. Look for Tavolo to start serving pizza, pasta, and panini in early 2008.

The Federalist, located in Beacon Hill’s XV Beacon Hotel, has transformed into Mooo, a steakhouse. Dave Hutton remains the chef de cuisine.

The South End neighborhood known as SoWa (south of Washington Street) continues to boom with the debut of the long-awaited Gaslight Brasserie du Coin, a venture of the Aquitaine Group (Metropolis Cafe, Aquitaine, Union Bar and Grille, Aquitaine Bis, and the Armani Cafe). Longtime A.G. employee Chris Robbins has created the menu of “neo-brasserie classics.”

Elizabeth Navisky
Posted 8/1/07
Have more information about the Boston restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

The buzz about the Beehive has had swarms of food lovers anticipating the opening of the South End eatery and jazz venue. The doors are now open with Adam Halberg (ex-Via Matta) at the helm as executive chef. Mike Pagliarini, longtime sous-chef at Radius, will take the chef de cuisine position at Via Matta.

It’s been a busy spring for this year’s JBF Best Chef Northeast award winner, Frank McClelland of L’Espalier. After his win he announced the opening of a second branch of Sel de la Terre, the restaurant he co-owns with executive chef Geoff Gardner in Natick. Now comes the news that the much acclaimed L’Espalier is moving from its location in a Back Bay brownstone to the new Mandarin Oriental Boston Hotel & Residences, slated to open in July 2008. McClelland also plans to open a third Sel de la Terre in the hotel.

The Metropolitan Club is expanding. Come September, the Met Bar & Grill will debut at the Natick Collection, featuring an upscale burger bar where executive chef Todd Winer will debut the Met’s new signature cooking method—a vertical grill that cooks the burgers upright rather than flat. Diners will be able to choose from a variety of fancy and unconventional toppings like Kimchi, truffle oil, or pan-seared foie gras.

Also due in September is L’Andana, a new venture from Jamie Mammano and the Commonwealth Restaurant Group (Mistral, Teatro, Sorellina, the Federalist). The “Italian country grill” will be located in the northern suburb of Burlington. David Blessing (ex-Aujourd‘hui at the Four Seasons), who has been cooking at Sorellina and Mistral since last fall, will be the chef de cuisine.

Chef/owner Pino Maffeo has transformed his Restaurant L into Boston Public Meat. Although the menu now has more of a steakhouse spin (with dishes like organic hanger steak) some signature Restaurant L favorites (like roasted Laotian ribs with Thai sauce) remain.

And finally, expect some changes in Harvard Square. Conundrum, which replaced the longstanding Iruña, has closed. Likewise, the Greenhouse Coffee Shop has evaporated into the ozone. Stay tuned for news of replacements…

Elizabeth Navisky
Posted 7/03/07
Have more information about the Boston restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

Suburban fans of Sel de la Terre won’t have to trek into the city to savor the restaurant’s Provençal morsels now that a second eatery is planned for the Natick Collection. Executive chef/partner Geoff Gardner and co-owner (and 2007 JBF Best Chef: Northeast) Frank McClelland have tapped longtime Sel chef Daniel Bojorquez to run the new kitchen. Former Quince chef Ian Grossman will be general manager when the branch opens this September.

The Back Bay will soon welcome Vlora, a pan-Mediterranean restaurant owned by husband-and-wife team Aldo Velaj and Cindy Tsai. Though named after Velaj’s hometown in Albania, the restaurant will focus on tastes from Southern Italy and Greece.

Another husband-and-wife team, Tim and Bronwyn Wiechmann, recently opened TW Food in the Cambridge space that formerly housed Aspasia. Tim was previously the head chef at Jamaica Plain’s Ten Tables (where he met Bronwyn, the restaurant’s former manager). Most recently, Tim trained in France at Joël Robuchon’s Atelier. TW Food will focus on fresh, modern cuisine with an emphasis on sustainably raised ingredients.

Julia Brant, most recently of the Black Cow Tap & Grill in Hamilton, Massachusetts, has joined Caliterra Bar & Grille in the Hilton Boston Financial District, where she plans on showcasing the best of both Californian and Italian cuisine.

Elizabeth Navisky
Posted 5/23/07
Have more information about the Boston restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

Wagyu and Kobe for everyone! The restaurant formerly known as Spire in the Nine Zero Hotel—the one Ken Oringer will be heading up, see Dateline February—has a new name (KO Prime), chef de cuisine (Jamie Bisonette, formerly of Eastern Standard), and concept (modern steakhouse). And, as if Oringer weren’t busy enough, he and partner Michael Ginor of Hudson Valley Foie Gras have also launched La Verdad, a Mexican eatery across from Fenway Park boasting 14 different types of tacos.

Turner Fisheries has a new executive chef. Mauro Gomez, most recently of the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida, will be bringing some South Florida flair to the traditional New England seafood house.

Todd English is in the process of securing a location in Post Office Square for a gourmet burger bar to be called Oliver’s. Look for a fall 2007 opening.

Surf and turf redefined: Sushi TEQ, opening mid-month in the InterContinental Boston, will serve diners quality sushi paired with vintage tequila—hence the catchy name.

Irish chain Jurys Hotel has hired one of their own, Eileen O'Donoghue, to direct the kitchen for all of the property’s venues, which include Stanhope Grille, Cuffs-An Irish Bar, and Il Barista.

Elizabeth Navisky
Posted 4/25/2007
Have more information about the Boston restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

Former Salamander sous-chef Michael McEwen is now creating upscale comfort food at Glynn Group’s new South End bistro, Brownstone.

Tim and Nancy Cushman have opened O-Ya, an upscale Japanese restaurant in the Leather District that boasts a sushi menu and delicacies like an eight-ounce Wagyu steak for a whopping $145.

There’s a new Italian option in Somerville’s Davis Square courtesy of chef Robert DeSimone who, with help from Marisa Iocco of Bricco, has opened Sagra in the former 400 Highland space.

Elizabeth Navisky
Posted 3/28/07
Have more information about the Boston restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

Former Metropolitan Club chef Jeffrey Fournier has opened 51 Lincoln in the Newton space that previously housed Le Soir. Mark Allen, Le Soir’s owner, will be opening a new restaurant in sizzling South Boston.

In April, JBF Award winner Ken Oringer (Toro, Uni, Clio) will begin duties as consulting chef for Spire in the Nine Zero hotel, where he will oversee culinary direction and menu development.

JBF Award winner Barbara Lynch (No. 9 Park, The Butcher Shop, and B & G Oysters) has signed a ten-year lease in the Fort Point Channel waterfront development area. Nabbing a neighboring space is Seth Greenberg, co-owner of the South End’s Mistral, who is planning an affordable bistro. Stay tuned for opening dates.

The Sapphire Group will shuffle chefs for its March opening of RoccaBlu’s chef Tom Fosnot will man Rocca’s stoves while sous Michael Kraus will be promoted to fill Fosnot’s spot.

Michael Scelfo of the North End’s (non-Italian) North Street Grille, is now at the Good Life, where he has revamped the menu to include updated American classics.

Elizabeth Navisky
Posted 2/28/07
Have more information about the Boston restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.