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Is CF Donovan's in Hyde Park Open Yet?

hiddenboston Mar 1, 2007 11:07 AM

I remember the owner telling me last year that they were shooting for last November, but it sounds like they had some delays. Any word yet?

  1. p
    Pegmeister Feb 2, 2009 03:52 AM

    I'll probably kick myself for bringing back this very old thread, but here once again is an update. I was at the Savin Hill location for lunch over the weekend. Broiled scallops were delicious by the way, and when I asked about Hyde Park, I was told that they have hired staff for the new location and it looks good to go. Still no actual date though. At this point I'll have to go when it opens because I would like to see what took so long.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pegmeister
      KBA Feb 7, 2009 07:27 AM

      I stopped in recently at Savin Hill and was pleasantly surprised with improved service. (In general, I have never found the food to be bad...) Previous visits had found the waitstaff and owner inattentive. I was so pleased with this recent experience, I asked the waitress her name (Denet, (sp?) pronounced like Rene...). This young lady was very pleasant, quick to check on my order, helpful in making a selection and showed the ability to check on me a couple of times without being intrusive. In addition, when I was finished, another waitress noted my empty dishes as she passed by and quickly picked them up and took them away... This type of good service has not been witnessed for some time....
      I have been concerned that CFD's was going downhill, but if this improved service is a sign of a continued concerted effort to win customer loyalty then I feel there is a great future for both Savin Hill and hopefully Hyde Park!

    2. g
      gardgen Sep 8, 2008 05:43 AM

      Went by Saturday, no sign of life that one would expect with a restaurant getting ready to open....

      3 Replies
      1. re: gardgen
        hiddenboston Sep 8, 2008 06:25 AM

        Good Lord. I just noticed that I started this thread in March, 2007, and mentioned that they had been hoping to open in November, 2006. It's like a miniature Big Dig!

        1. re: hiddenboston
          KBA Oct 8, 2008 05:38 PM

          Just curious - maybe we should update this weekly or monthly! Is anyone hearing anything about the Hyde Park opening or never opening? Has the owner just given up?
          Is the Dorchester restaurant still worth going to?

          1. re: KBA
            Roons Oct 9, 2008 09:23 AM

            I had lunch at the Savin Hill location a few weeks ago. I asked the day bartender about the Hyde Park location. She said it was going to open, but didn't know when. She mentioned that Arthur had hired her away from the Seaport Morton's to manage catering & functions at the HP restaurant.

            By the way, the food at the Savin Hill restaurant is still great!

      2. c
        catsmeow Aug 25, 2008 03:32 PM

        Today, I had lunch at the Savin Hill one. I asked for an update regarding Hyde Park and was told it was going to open Sept. 1.....that's this coming Monday!

        4 Replies
        1. re: catsmeow
          Pegmeister Aug 26, 2008 04:24 AM

          Don't get your hopes up to high. If you notice my June 9th post. Arthur had told me they would be open July 9th.

          1. re: Pegmeister
            catsmeow Aug 26, 2008 06:04 AM

            True...fingers crossed.

          2. re: catsmeow
            hiddenboston Aug 26, 2008 07:20 AM

            This September 1 or next?

            1. re: catsmeow
              firewrx612 Aug 26, 2008 04:45 PM

              I think I'm going to take an "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude with this place.

              However, I'm looking forward to it, since that will make two decent places with decent beer with in staggering distance, hoorah.

            2. JudyHP Jun 3, 2008 04:58 AM

              Activity Alert - Outside facade has been painted and worked on just this week. saw carpenters working inside yesterday afternoon as I drove by and windows were open. Don't know if it is still going to be a CF Donovan, but something is happening....I've got my fingers crossed...

              3 Replies
              1. re: JudyHP
                Pegmeister Jun 9, 2008 04:49 AM

                It feels like ground hog day all over again, but here goes. I was at the Savin Hill location yesterday for the first time in a few months, and there have been a few more changes. A management team has been hired for the Hyde Park location and they are, I guess, sharpening their skills at Savin Hill for the moment. While, I hate to post a date, it's my understanding that the target date is July 9th. They haven't put the chicken curry back on the regular menu, but they did have it listed as a special. It's a little different then before, as they've added some carrots and yellow peppers to the sauce. It's still spicy and it was quite good. It's still a good spot to have a few and watch the game.

                1. re: Pegmeister
                  Joanie Jun 9, 2008 05:09 AM

                  I just noticed this thread started in March 07. Wow.

                  1. re: Pegmeister
                    catsmeow Jun 9, 2008 07:20 AM

                    Keeping my fingers crossed(again!). Can't wait for Townsends to open it's cafe/bakery too. I'm often in the Hyde Park area during the day and Tutto Italiano has been the only bright light in a sea of mediocre sub shops.

                2. ChickenBrocandZiti Mar 9, 2008 05:44 PM

                  At this point who cares. Savin Hill spot used to be good but is terrible now, so why do we need another bar with crappy flavorless food.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ChickenBrocandZiti
                    Pegmeister Mar 10, 2008 04:59 AM

                    Can't agree with you that it's terrible "now" when was the last time you were there? If it was a year ago I would agree, but that chef is long gone. I had dinner there yesterday and it was great. Perfectly creamy delicious mac & cheese; chicken fingers that were crisp and moist, and they must have looked good to other diners as well. No sooner had my order come out but 4 other parties ordered them. My DC had the surf and turf and seemed pretty pleased. The place was packed on a Sunday afternoon just as it was on Friday evening.

                  2. h
                    hipersons Feb 27, 2008 06:02 PM

                    My biggest regret about moving out of Savin Hill was leaving my favorite restaurant behind .... glad they're opening another one!

                    19 Replies
                    1. re: hipersons
                      Pegmeister Feb 28, 2008 03:32 AM

                      Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like Hyde Park will be opening. Also, CF Donovans in Savin Hill is no longer open for lunch. However, the Savin Hill location is jammed on Friday and Saturday nights and quite busy during the work week, so it is still thriving. I really miss having lunch there on the days that I can ditch work a little early though. The kitchen is doing a great job. I had the chicken curry the other night and I've been thinking about the buffalo chicken potato skins as a treat for tonight.

                      1. re: Pegmeister
                        Joanie Feb 28, 2008 03:41 AM

                        The HP location won't be opening at all? If so, what happened?

                        1. re: Joanie
                          Pegmeister Feb 28, 2008 03:44 AM

                          Don't have any real solid info; but the rumor is that he's talking about selling it. Financially, it may have been too much, and I'm sure the economy isn't helping.

                          1. re: Pegmeister
                            hiddenboston Feb 28, 2008 04:58 AM

                            If this is indeed true, it may actually be a good thing (although not for Hyde Park folks!), as now maybe they can concentrate on their one location--and perhaps start opening for lunch again.

                            1. re: hiddenboston
                              catsmeow Feb 28, 2008 05:06 AM

                              That's so disappointing. About 2 months ago they were advertising for help for the Hyde Park location. It sounded hopeful. Is it because of the problems he was having with the Dot chef a while ago? Hyde Park needs a couple of restaurants. If another sub shop opens in that space I'll scream! Townsends and the cafe next door are taking a lot longer to open now too. I hope it's not a sign......

                              1. re: catsmeow
                                pkbbp Feb 28, 2008 06:49 AM

                                I actually heard yesterday from a reliable source that Donovan's in Hyde park is "back on" and should be opening in the next month or two. Not sure what the Townsend issue is. It looks from appearances like they are ready to go.

                                1. re: pkbbp
                                  Pegmeister Feb 28, 2008 07:41 AM

                                  I will be really surprised if it opens. The person slated to be the Hyde Park Manager was laid off.

                                  1. re: Pegmeister
                                    pkbbp Feb 28, 2008 08:43 AM

                                    I was thinking the same way but the word I got yesterday made me think it was still possible. In any case let's hope he either opens there or sells to someone who will open a full service resaurant. Hyde Park has long been lacking in dining options.

                                    1. re: pkbbp
                                      Pegmeister Feb 28, 2008 09:03 AM

                                      Yes, I suppose it's still possible, and I would love to see the Hyde Park location open.

                                  2. re: pkbbp
                                    Roons Feb 28, 2008 11:46 AM

                                    I heard the same thing - also from a reliable source. I was told that the owner has been going through a personal issue and the HP project was put on hold until the issue was resolved. I was also told that May might be realistic for opening.

                                    1. re: Roons
                                      doeyf Feb 28, 2008 05:04 PM

                                      A very reliable source - realistically- C F Donovan's in HP will never open.

                                      1. re: doeyf
                                        Joanie Feb 29, 2008 04:01 AM

                                        I was watching Phantom Gourmet and they talked about the two locations, then I realized it was an older episode. Damn.

                                        In the meantime, has anyone tried the cooked fish from that fish market in Cleary Sq? I've asked this before but no replies.

                                        1. re: Joanie
                                          catsmeow Feb 29, 2008 04:16 AM

                                          I was wondering the same thing about that fish market. The other day, I looked inside as I was waiting at the light and a few people were in there waiting at the counter. If I'm around there for lunch next week, I'll try it and start a new thread on it. I'm really disappointed about Donovans. Hopefully it'll be opened by someone else.

                                          1. re: catsmeow
                                            baconodka Apr 28, 2008 11:43 AM

                                            I have gotten fish for grilling at the fish market in cleary (believe it's called Blue Water Fish Market) a number of times in the past. Usually just get a decent-sized snapper, and they've always been nice looking, fresh and delicious off the grill. The only food I had gotten in the past were the pattys or a piece of coco bread to go.

                                            This past weekend I decided to branch out and try the fish sandwich. You can chose your fish; I just got catfish. They cut it off of a fresh filet, not frozen, bread it and then fry it as you wait (takes about 10 minutes start to finish). The breading is light and crispy, and the fish was fried perfectly - moist inside. They serve it on homepride bread. You can get cheese, but I just had tartar sauce. It was delicious. looking forward to trying their fish and chips, with maybe a different type of fish.

                                            They also had some good looking fish curry and what looked like some spicy fried chicken that also looked good.

                                            The guy who owns the place is incredibly nice.

                                          2. re: Joanie
                                            bearzie May 5, 2008 06:40 PM


                                            I felt obliged to try the fried haddock from Blue Water Fish Market in Cleary Square so I could answer your question.

                                            I tried the haddock fried fish sandwich. Not bad for $4.00 on wheat bread but not a destination. It's cooked to order. Better than you could do at McDonalds but nothing great.

                                            If you've been to Star Fish in Egelston Station, it's similar to that and the same price.

                                            That being said, the uncooked fish at Blue Water was a little scary looking. The red snapper in particular looked old.

                                            I've tried the fresh haddock at Star Fish @ $6.99/lb and it was good. And the rest of the fish looks very good They don't sell alot of variety. They have snapper, whiting, haddock, shrimp and maybe a couple of others. Although the haddock was good, it wasn't thick. I imagine that fish is graded and thicker pieces would be priced higher.

                                            And the reason Donovans isn't opening any time soon in HP is because the owner is going through a divorce. I've heard the nasty attitude of the owner. I was trying to put together a catering function with him and he called my office and thought he didn't leave a message. Lots of explatives. He had no idea that he left his mark on his phone call. If he speaks like this in passing, I'm glad I don't work next to him. No wonder he has lost so many chefs recently.

                                            1. re: bearzie
                                              Joanie May 6, 2008 05:48 AM

                                              Thanks for the reports. I'll have to give it a shot altho fried fish on wheat bread isn't my first choice. Have never gone to Star Fish either but have been curious. I don't cook a lot so the fried/cooked product is what I'm wondering about.

                                              1. re: Joanie
                                                bearzie May 7, 2008 06:00 PM

                                                Fried fish on wheat wouldn't be my first choice either but for $4.00 includng tax, it's worth it. I had never heard of fried fish on bread til I saw it there. It's actually not a bad idea. I tried their onion rings. Star Fish uses fresh onions. They are sliced thick. They're pretty good, not fantastic, but since I don't eat fried food very often, I would save those calories for my yearly visit to the Clam Box. There seems to be a lot of foot traffic into Star Fish so I think the freshness of their fish is very good.

                                                As far as fresh fish, they did have salmon. I think it was as steaks. If I remember correctly, you just tell him how thick you want the steak and he cuts it from the whole fish. He definately didn't have swordfish.

                                                Tagging onto a recent thread about the new Market Basket in Reading, I got their fresh swordfish there this past Saturday. It was $5.99/lb. I could be imagining this but it seemed like it might have been pumped up with water. That could explain the price.

                                                1. re: bearzie
                                                  gourmaniac May 8, 2008 11:52 AM

                                                  Thanks for the response. Answered my own question by going there yesterday They didn't have haddock but did have fresh salmon steaks (cut from whole fish), whiting, porgy and snapper. i got a piece of whiting that i steamed with spinach, tamari and ginger and the fish was fresh and inexpensive ($6.99/lb). Also noted fried whole clams dinner for $8.50. If they're any good, that's a great price. I'll be back.

                                              2. re: bearzie
                                                gourmaniac May 6, 2008 05:54 AM

                                                I've been curious about star fish. $6.99 for haddock is quite a good price. Do they sell salmon or swordfish?

                          2. r
                            Roons Mar 30, 2007 12:46 PM

                            I live in Hyde Park and recently heard that they're hoping to be open by the end of April. I was told that, during construction, the owner decided to re-design the interior of the restauarant and that put the renovation on hold.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Roons
                              Pegmeister Apr 2, 2007 04:20 AM

                              It will be at least until the end of April. Donovans also lost their chef to Amhreins about 3 weeks ago and he was suppose to start up the Hyde Park location. The new chef started last week and he will be doing double duty at Donovans in Hyde Park. Not sure how that will work out!

                              1. re: Pegmeister
                                hiddenboston Apr 2, 2007 06:04 AM

                                I asked the owner of Donovan's on Saturday if they would be open in Hyde Park within the next two weeks and he patted his buddies on the shoulders and said, "Only if these guys say a prayer for me." But he thought that, yeah, it would be two or three weeks.

                                BTW, a more detailed report to come (when I have time!), but just to let folks know, the quality at Donovan's in Dorchester has not dropped a bit; in fact, the meals we all had on Saturday (there were several of us there) may have been the best yet, and I've been there many times. Great to see that they got another top-quality chef in there!

                                1. re: OLDCHEF
                                  hiddenboston Apr 2, 2007 07:14 AM

                                  I had a feeling he had a good background. To be honest, I was blown away by the food there Saturday night, and I've been there many times. The people who I was there with who were making their first trip to Donovan's couldn't say enough about the place.

                            2. JudyHP Mar 2, 2007 04:40 AM

                              Based on my daily drive-by, onstruction looks like it is going slow, but I think they are doing a lot of interior work now. I don't think it will be open by St. Pats (only 2 weeks away!). Other Hyde Park news - a new wine and cheese store is having their ribbon cutting on Saturday (with the Mayor) at Noon. It's on Fairmont Ave, in a brand new building. It's called Albert Winestein, and they will be featuring wines, cheeses, and specialty beers. I'll be interested to check it out.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: JudyHP
                                Bostonbob3 Mar 2, 2007 04:57 AM

                                Albert Winestein???

                                Okay, coffee just shot out of my nose.

                                1. re: JudyHP
                                  hiddenboston Mar 2, 2007 05:11 AM

                                  That's the best name I've heard for a place since Orinoco: A Latin Kitchen (something about that cheesy name that makes me laugh--great place, though), or Burp Castle in the East Village of NYC, where I was enjoying adult beverages a few nights ago.

                                2. p
                                  Pegmeister Mar 1, 2007 11:19 AM

                                  The owner says he's "optimistic" that he'll be open for St. Patrick's Day!!

                                  1. b
                                    Bostonbob3 Mar 1, 2007 11:10 AM

                                    This should answer your question:


                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Bostonbob3
                                      hiddenboston Mar 1, 2007 11:13 AM

                                      Brilliant work, Bob! :-) Actually, I remember that it was not too long ago when Donovan's Web site really left something to be desired, so perhaps the fact that the Hyde Park page is under construction doesn't necessarily mean anything. I definitely can't wait to check the new place out--it should be a big draw for Hyde Park.

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