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Spring 2008 openings and closings

Panificio in the Back Bay closed on 4/1/08.

Dairy fresh Candy in the North End is "closed for renovations" but was pretty thin on merchandise during my last two visits. At Neptune I heard the Dairy Fresh owners were "weighing their options."

La Voile is opening for lunch on 4/30 and the patio is now open as are most of the patios on Newbury.

There is a new shop with something going on about cupcakes opening on Mass Ave near Marlborough Street. Signs are in the windows and I heard it is to be a branch of a Hyde Park bakery.


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  1. I saw a story in the Courant that talked about a martini bar opening not far from The Modern condo complex. Sounds like Bob's Southern Bistro space to me, but the story identified it as a project of the folks behind the Parrish Cafe. I wonder if this means that Night Town is a dead duck, or has new backers, or what.

    5 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      I've assumed Night Town was DOA for a while now: the soft open was scheduled for mid-December last I heard, which never happened. And I just checked the bar's MySpace page and noted that its owner last logged in over three months ago.

      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

        So when did Night Town close? Or did it never even really open? For some reason I thought it had been open, at least for awhile, but perhaps not?

        1. re: hiddenboston

          As far as I can tell, it never even opened. Was there even a soft open?

      2. re: MC Slim JB

        While driving by the old Bob's space yesterday I saw a sign that said "coming soon -- Circle". No idea what that is, but I guess that means no Night Town after all.

        1. re: purple bot


          Malcolm Aalders is involved so I guess he decided to go with another concept.

      3. A Hyde Park bakery? Hmmmm....can't think of one.

        1. Noticed while passing on the 66 bus:

          Bottega Fiorentina in Brookine Village has closed (the original, in Coolidge Corner, is still open.) Sign posted says "Coming soon - Bottega di Capri, Under New Management" so I don't expect a huge change.

          Nori Sushi has closed, to be replaced by another sushi place, I couldn't make out the name. "All natural and organic sushi," it says.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Allstonian

            The replacement for Nori Sushi is Genki Ya.

          2. Think the sign at the cc place, said "Sweet" or "Sweets".

            7 Replies
            1. re: Taralli

              Rumour is that this cupcake bakery is from the folks over the road at Sweet And Nasty. I'm not sure if that shop gets much attention on Chowhound.

              Let's hope they fair better than the much-maligned Kickass Cupcakes in Somerville.

              1. re: teaTomE

                very excited about these cupcakes. there are NO good cupcakes bakeries in boston. lulu, kickass, southendbuttery, party favor, all bad bad bad

                1. re: kweesee

                  Wow, I'm hardly a cupcake expert, but I kinda like Lulu's and Party Favors.

                  As a frame of reference, where (nationally) would be some cupcakes that float your boat?

                  1. re: kweesee

                    I thought the red velvet cupcake at SE Buttery was one of the better in Boston. Haven't had PF cupcakes but didn't think the cake was all that. My KA wasn't great, haven't tried them at Lulu but they make an interesting biscotti.

                    1. re: Joanie

                      Oh I have to disagree with the red velvet at SE Buttery. One of the driest cupcakes I've ever had. A complete waste of money.

                      1. re: taves7

                        Only had it once but that time it was moist, a good size, good frosting and not overpriced.

                      2. re: Joanie

                        I've eaten over 15 of the rv's (not in 1 sitting) and not once have I had a dry one.
                        It's an excellent cupcake. No Party Favors pb-filled chocolate cupcake, but excellent nonetheless

                2. There's a new sign/storefront reading "Trata" and newspaper covered windows in the former Tommy's Pizza (or was it Tommy's Lunch?) space on Mt. Auburn in Harvard Square. No further details...

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: mrsx

                    all i know is that it's owned by the daedalus people. nothing else

                    1. re: mrsx

                      It's going to be a sit-down, more upscale pizza place (similar to Cambridge One). They've spent a lot of money on new ovens and generally improving the kitchen. Should be opening in a couple of weeks. Beer and wine in a month or so... I am looking forward to it!

                      1. re: mrsx

                        Is this the space that used to be a Chili's?

                        1. re: hsquare2southend

                          No, it's where Tommys Pizza used to be on Mt. Auburn 2 doors down from Daedalus. It's been open a little while but I haven't had a chance to dry it yet.

                        2. re: mrsx

                          Have eaten at Trata. Fairly tasty, thinnish crust pizza. Glad to have this in the neighborhood as a Cambridge One alternative.

                        3. A new cafe in Cambridge's Brattle Square - Crema Cafe - should be opening soon. Even more exciting is the new "Market in the Square" that's due to open on the corner of Brattle and Church. According to a sign on the window, the market will sell everything from coffee and pastries to omelettes, sushi, hot foods, and also contain a salad bar and a regular dry goods market.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Dea

                            Crema Cafe is open, according to another thread. Is the Market in the Square going into the space that was Sage's once upon a time?

                            1. re: Allstonian

                              Yes, the Market in the Square will be at the old Sage's location in Harvard Square (corner of Church & Brattle).

                              1. re: SEH

                                Yep, I work across the street and a bunch of us already decided we're just going to call it Sage's again, as Market in the Square is a mouthful. Plus we never got over the loss of Sage's.

                                I didn't see that Crema Cafe thread until after I posted here - it sounds like it's going to be a nice addition to the Square!

                              2. re: Allstonian

                                Crema Cafe was not open today, which was a little disappointing given the good reviews from yesterday's soft opening. Does anyone know when they're opening for real?

                            2. Shouldn't surprise many but La Spina in Davis Sq. closed in the past month or so and replaced by some sort of Rosebud setup...I'm assuming similar to the old Rosebud Surrey room.

                              1. Openings soon in Needham: Wild Willys and Tu Y Yo.

                                1. Looks like Alba's new space across Hancock Street from the original Alba, is in the middle of a soft opening. Most regulars have been invited to dine there during the shakedown. They always do a good job, and I can't wait to give it a try.

                                  1. It's sort of an opening but the expansion of Antico Forno (into the old Shake the Tree space) has begun!

                                    1. I walk by Dairy Fresh every morning and there is definitely hammering and sawing going on inside behind the metal doors. They only closed on 3/24. Maybe they are "giving" some space over to Neptune's (which would be great!)

                                      1. Not exactly an opening/closing, but the Craigie Street Bistrot in Cambridge is looking to move to a new location....

                                        20 Replies
                                        1. re: hiddenboston

                                          Real Deal of West Roxbury is opening a new shop in JP near the fire station.

                                          There will be two new ice cream shops on Centre St. in W. Roxbury. One will be next to the Real Deal and the other in the former art store that was burned out (near Continental Dog Grooming).

                                          There is also a sign up at the former Tia Ho (sp?) looking for a restaurant to go into this new space.

                                          Not yet opened, but a fish-to-go store on Centre street diagonally across from the West on Centre restaurant.

                                          1. re: bearzie

                                            Tai Ho? That was the place that had the terrible fire last year, wasn't it?

                                            1. re: bearzie

                                              There's a Blowfish Restaurant opening up on Washington Street between JP and Roslindale (I live in Rozzie, but I don't actually know where the line between the two neighborhoods is). Not sure about the opening date.

                                              1. re: terrilynn813

                                                Where is this in relation to BBQ Town or the Yucatan Tacos? Or is YT changing over?

                                                1. re: Joanie

                                                  It's pretty much that same block on the other side of the street.

                                                2. re: terrilynn813

                                                  Do you know what Blowfish is supposed to be? The folks in the barbershop next to it thought pizza, but they weren't sure. As of last Saturday they had an opening soon banner up.

                                                  1. re: cheesecakester

                                                    Folks on Universal Hub seem to think it's going to be takeaway seafood.


                                              2. re: hiddenboston

                                                Any details on the Craigie Street re-lo? For me anyway, the current digs and parking "situation" have moved past curious oddities and into the realm of moderate annoyances.

                                                1. re: finlero

                                                  I kind of have to believe that Craigie Street already has a new location lined up, though I have no idea where. (Were I to bet, I'd guess the Seaport District.) I heard on the Pat Whitley radio show that La Groceria is moving from its Main St location (where it's been for 30 years) into the current Craigie Street site.

                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                    See, now I heard the reverse: that Craigie Street is moving to the La Groceria space. Hmm.

                                                    1. re: purple bot

                                                      Maybe you're both right and they're pulling the ol' switcheroo. Now that would be interesting!

                                                      If La Groceria does move into the Craigie Street spot, I really hope they improve their food. Folks in the neighborhood might feel jilted otherwise, especially considering that they are losing such a highly regarded restaurant in the Craigie Street Bistrot.

                                                        1. re: galleygirl

                                                          Just across the street from Salts, a culinary empire on main street in Cambridge!

                                                2. re: hiddenboston

                                                  Are they planning on changing the name?

                                                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                    Not many details at this point. I wrote all I knew on my blog, which isn't much. What I do know is that their present location is up for sale, and I doubt they would keep the existing name (unless they move across the street or next door). The name does tend to stick in your mind, however, so perhaps they will keep the name even though they would no longer be on Craigie Street.

                                                    1. re: hiddenboston

                                                      I saw the real estate ad for Craigie Street in yesterday's Globe under Business Opportunities.

                                                      1. re: phonelady

                                                        Orinoco in Brookline Village opened this past week. I saw on this board that When Pigs Fly Bakery is opening in CC in June. Several new openings coming to Washington Sq this spring - Rod Dee, Publick House Gourmet Shop, a bakery, and I believe Publick House is planning another restaurant on Beacon next to their shop. Does anyone know when the new Spanish Tapas place in the South End is opening? Weren't they planning a Spanish market as well?

                                                        1. re: drewames03

                                                          estragon is the restaurant and las ventas is the shop. they're saying to open in may.

                                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                            I went by today, and they said Estragon is due to open next weekend, and Las Ventas should open the following week.

                                                      2. re: hiddenboston

                                                        In today's Herald it says that La Groceria will serve its last meal May 17. The space will reopen " in the fall as Craigie on Main Street, a new restaurant from Craigie Street Bistrot chef and owner, Tony Maws". It sounds as if Craigie Street Bistrot may remain open and La Groceria is closed, not relocating.

                                                  2. The Bottega Florentina in Coolidge Corner closed several months ago, before the one in Washington Sq. It's now a Japanese place which has gotten some good press, but I haven't been there yet. I'm also curious as to what's going into the old Vinny T's spot on Beacon St. I've also heard rumors that the Publick House people are doing something there, but from the new look outside, I can't figure what's going to be on the inside.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: ghostcat

                                                      No, the Japanese place is in the basement space behind Bottega Florentina on Babcock. Bottega Florentina is still there.

                                                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                        Yes, Shiki is the new Japanese restaurant, and it went into the space formerly occupied by Firenze, a sit-down restaurant owned by the same folks as Bottega Fiorentina. Firenze closed about a year ago.

                                                        The Bottega is still open, although as I reported above, the Brookline Village branch is closed and will be reopening under new management as Bottega di Capri.

                                                        1. re: Allstonian

                                                          I believe there was a split between the owners of the two shops, and the CC people owned the Bottega Fiorentina name. That probably explains the minor name change.

                                                      2. re: ghostcat

                                                        The Publick House folks are doing a bbq joint in the old Vinny T's spot.

                                                      3. A new Burrito place - "Mexicali Burritos' is opening up soon at Kendall Sq on Main Street towards central. No doubt to satisfy busy scientists.

                                                        The Miracle/Middlesex owners have their hands on the old Greenhouse Space at Harvard Square.

                                                        The owners of the Plough and Stars are apparently looking into / have bought the space a few doors down on Mass Ave and are planning a bakery with a few seats and a tea menu.

                                                        13 Replies
                                                        1. re: teaTomE

                                                          Any update on the timing with that old Greenhouse space? It seems to have been lingering for a while now?

                                                          Also, I think something may have changed with the Plough's interest in that near-adjacent Mass Ave space but I'm not sure exactly how.

                                                          1. re: mrsx

                                                            I believe the latest Stuff at Night mentions some sort of nightlife destination (no real details) going into the old greenhouse location.

                                                          2. re: teaTomE

                                                            Which "space a few doors down on Mass Ave"? Is this the old record store?

                                                            1. re: jgg13

                                                              Yep, the former Mojo Music location.

                                                              1. re: mrsx

                                                                Ah, I was wondering what would go in there. Wasn't expecting an eatery.

                                                                Speaking of the Central Sq area, Four Burgers is continuing to renovate the old Gandhi space. Did some poking around on google today, they're taking over Gandhi's beer & wine license and are allowed to serve until 1am

                                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                                  Their menu went up in the window this weekend. The "Four Burgers" will be Beefburger, Salmon Burger, Blue Mango Vegan Burger and a Turkey Burger. They are using Brandt beef and have lots of options for garnishes on the burgers.

                                                                  1. re: teaTomE

                                                                    Meh, looks like only one of the four would i even care to eat. Color me a lot less excited.

                                                                    1. re: teaTomE

                                                                      I saw the menu up today - they must have put it up yesterday as I didn't see it on Friday or Saturday. Looking at it, my excitement level has dropped tremendously ... perhaps they'll surprise me but I got a big "meh" reaction from looking at it.

                                                                      However, at the very least it'll probably be better than Hot Off the Press, which IMO is terrible, terrible, terrible (Somehow I keep getting suckered in there, its always extremely slow, the staff kinda suck and I'm almost always disappointed w/ my food .... which is hard to believe as I always liked the one in the Navy Yard).

                                                                      1. re: jgg13

                                                                        I never found Hot off the Press that bad. Sure, not anything I would make a trip for, but I don't find it easy to get a decent sandwich in the area, so at least it offers me that when I run out of ideas for lunch. I will agree though that service is slow, and it kind of baffles me why. It's not like it's ever super-packed, but of the 2-3 workers, only one person makes the food. If there's nothing else to the do, the other worker seem to watch the sandwich maker rather than jump in and help - meanwhile everyone's waiting. Kind of like Mariposa's actually ( talk about s....l.....o.....w service).

                                                                        1. re: kobuta

                                                                          I find their sandwiches to be better than Pressed (which used to be there) but not really any/much better than ABC 2 doors down. For the trouble I get to pay more, wait longer and have surly service. Quite the bargain :)

                                                                          Their breakfast sandwiches though ... those I like.

                                                                            1. re: kobuta

                                                                              The pizza/sub place pretty much right next door. Its in between the Cantab & the dry cleaners. Not sayin' its good, just that I find it to be "just as good" as hot off the press, and they don't have the whole earthy crunchy better than thou thing going on.

                                                                    2. re: jgg13

                                                                      No!!! I am so sad to see that Gandhi is gone! It was the best Indian in Central Square, in my opinion and the owner was the nicest man....

                                                              2. One more Harvard Sq. opening. The Upper Crust is opening on Brattle St. in the old Museum of Useful Things location

                                                                1. Last few days have noticed a hot dog vendor on the upper level of the Harvard T station where you buy passes. Cart says Ashmont hot dog and Italian sausage. Is this the guy who used to be outside?

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Taralli

                                                                    And, the hot dog vendor is back in Copley Square.

                                                                    1. re: Taralli

                                                                      I've been wondering if these are any good- I guess I'll just have to try one and see..
                                                                      Also- Crema Cafe opened today!

                                                                    2. Tavolo (casual Italian) should be opening either later this spring or early this summer in the Ashmont section of Dorchester. It will be run by Chris Douglass, who owns the nearby Ashmont Grill.

                                                                      1. Fred's Franks in Wakefield is open for the season and starting May 6 he'll have pulled pork too (According to his website, www.fredsfranks.com ).

                                                                        Website also says his hours are now Tues-Sat, 11-4, so now those of you who can't get up there on a weekday to try what I consider the second best hotdog in the Boston area can give it a try. Pair it up with a trip to the new Reading Market Basket, scheduled to open today.

                                                                        1. I forgot that we made our first trip to Jake's in Hull for a lobster roll and some salt air. My favorite Nantasket arcade was not open but we did a tour of the town. I think they opened April 1st.

                                                                          1. To those concerned about the Bottega Florintina, it closed over a year ago. The restaurant was sold two years ago and Shiki did not move in there until last year. The Bottega Florintina you see on Harvard St is a wonder Italian Deli, or bottetga. I checked in there today and was told that their restaurant was now on Newbury St. The only thing over Shiki is an apartment.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: ghostcat

                                                                              No. No no no no no. The restaurant FIRENZE, downstairs on Babcock Street, closed a year ago. Bottega Fiorentina is the Italian deli at the corner of Babcock and Harvard, and it HAS NOT CLOSED. However, it had a second branch in Brookline Village. That branch has closed and will be re-opening as Bottega di Capri.

                                                                              1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                And since then they've opened a new branch on Newbury St too

                                                                            2. Stephen Bell (formerly chef/owner) at Savory Tastes in Reading is now heading the kitchen at The Ship in Lynnfield www.theshiprestaurant.com . We were a fan of his restaurant but time will tell if the things we liked most, most notably his personal touch, can translate to such a large space. The menu is mainly seafood oriented, and that's a niche that's not very overpopulated up here, so I hope that gives him an edge towards success.

                                                                              That place (in the Christmas Tree Shops plaza) certainly gets enough traffic, but for some reason seems to be one of those doomed locations- at least 3 places I can think of have opened and closed there in the past few years. Hopefully he breaks the curse!

                                                                              1. Out here in Watertown, a new place Comfort opened upstairs from Molana, the Persian restaurant in Watertown Square. Haven't been there, but you can guess what they serve.

                                                                                Peking Cuisine, the only good Chinese place in town (although Shangri-La is close by), closed down to be replaced with yet another Persian restaurant, Shiraz.

                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Pia

                                                                                  Yes, our server at Donohue's the other night told us that Peking Cuisine had indeed closed down. I always wondered whether it was any good. Any idea when Shiraz will be opening?

                                                                                  1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                    When I got home yesterday, there was a Shiraz menu on my porch.

                                                                                  2. re: Pia

                                                                                    Wasn't there some sort of restaurant in the Comfort space before? I can't remember the type .

                                                                                    1. re: Pia

                                                                                      One more in the same neighborhood: Mayflower, the Chinese restaurant on the corner of Mt. Auburn and Arlington (which always cracked me up when I walked by because the headline on the review prominently posted in the window said "Jury is still out on the Mayflower") is being replaced with Sushiya, a Chinese/sushi place.

                                                                                      1. re: Pia

                                                                                        I was at Super Fusion last weekend and saw a flyer stating that they will be opening a 2nd location in Watertown very soon. I don't remember where exactly.

                                                                                        1. re: Chrispy75

                                                                                          I heard Super Fusion will be opening around Watertown Square close to the Starbucks on Mt. Auburn street. They will be giving Sushi 21 and New Ginza a run for their money with 3 japanese restaurants within 5 minutes walking distance of each other.

                                                                                          1. re: qc204

                                                                                            Actually, Sushi 21 has closed and that's the space that Super Fusion II is going into. I noticed it last night as I was passing on the bus.

                                                                                      2. The sadly short-lived Cafe Italia in Brigham Circle is about to be replaced by a Mexican grill called Montecristo.

                                                                                        Also, I can confirm that New Trend in Allston has closed - I walked past it this evening and there's a handwritten sign on the door.

                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                          Damn. I wonder if all the Cafe Italia locations are closing. I heard that East Boston will be closing soon (if it hasn't already). Not sure about the one in Marblehead...

                                                                                          1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                            D'Parma has opened on Sumner St, one block north of Maverick Square in Eastie. This is a new branch of the place in Winthrop. I went in to get a take-out menu last night (after eating dinner elsewhere), and it seems like a nice space, with a full bar. The manager was very nice, says they've been open 6 weeks and are doing great business (although it was empty at 8 pm on a Friday). The menu seems pretty standard, but maybe this will ease the blow of Caffe Italia closing.

                                                                                            1. re: erwocky

                                                                                              i walked by the eastie branch of caffe italia today and it was locked up tight. all done, i guess. :(

                                                                                              any word on the place the santarpio's people are opening? it's got a sign now: "ecco", but seemingly very little to no activity inside for months.

                                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                Caffe Italia space on Meridien re-opened as La Hacienda, bar w/ TVs - my sense is food just so people don't starve.

                                                                                                1. re: fredid

                                                                                                  The same La Hacienda as the one in Somerville? Something tells me no...doesn't seem like the type of place to branch out like that.

                                                                                                  1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                                    Don't think so - As I said, I don't think food is the point at the one in Eastie.

                                                                                              2. re: erwocky

                                                                                                ecco opening 3rd week of september

                                                                                                1. re: guidochef

                                                                                                  Is this the same Ecco that is in Weymouth? If so, I'll be pretty happy about that (the Ecco in Weymouth is excellent, IMO).

                                                                                          2. Rizelli Cafe, the Turkish restaurant across from the Turkish Family Restaurant in Brookline Village, is now papered over. No surprise. Though the food was better, the place never did any business.

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: galleygirl

                                                                                                Darn! When we were there a couple of weeks ago for the 1st time, folks were bringing in their own bottles of wine.

                                                                                                1. re: Taralli

                                                                                                  Hmm, when I asked, in a very discrete manner, I was told NO..

                                                                                              2. re: lergnom

                                                                                                Is Rizelli definitely closed for good, or just for renovations? This must have just happened(?).

                                                                                              3. I know this isn't a chow-haven or anything, but I heard that Kennedy's pub on Province Street is for sale. I also, don't know if that has any bearing on the rest of the group's empire (i.e. M.J. O'Connor's, Ned Devine's, Solas)

                                                                                                1. Garden of Eden, South End closed. Don't know how they lasted as long as they did.

                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: PJ Mac BJ

                                                                                                    Really? That must have just happened, as I was going to go there a couple of weeks ago and am pretty sure they were still open at the time.

                                                                                                    1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                                      Report in today's Globe said they closed yesterday. The reasoning was no customers.

                                                                                                      1. re: kate used to be 50

                                                                                                        I feel sorry for Garden of Eden's tax woes -- I suspect that was an honest if fatal mistake -- but the reason they lost my formerly regular business is that their food went significantly downhill about five years ago. I used to love their sandwiches, and one day they were suddenly much less generously filled and more expensive.

                                                                                                        The notion the owner put forward in the article, that what people want in the South End is fancier restaurants, is in fact the opposite of the truth. Maybe with high rents, it's impossible for a modest place to deliver high quality without the benefit of a long-term lease negotiated years ago. It's too bad: they're nice people and the patio is terrific, but I couldn't pay the prices for the food they were serving anymore.

                                                                                                      2. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                                        I'm on the Lionette's email list and recently got an email where they were trying to sell "shares" in exchange for groceries from the market..don't recall all the details.

                                                                                                        1. re: 9lives

                                                                                                          Oh I recall why, I am on the email list too

                                                                                                          Before they were what they are(were) now, they were more of a market, technically and legally defined as a market.

                                                                                                          then they switched to the restaurant style , well they forgot to adjust the tax structure in their POS system to reflect the restaurant and not a market....and it took a few years for that 5%tax to add up and for the MA dept. of revenue to also find out.....

                                                                                                          MAJOR tax bill. they were trying to sell shares (basically a membership fee) in order to pay the tax bill. I dont think many people went for it.

                                                                                                          sorry to be off food topic, but that is what happened!

                                                                                                          1. re: Debbiedoesfood

                                                                                                            I know lots of people didn't like this place but I think it's sad they're closing. Is the market still open?

                                                                                                            1. re: Debbiedoesfood

                                                                                                              Here's a couple of Globe articles abour the share-selling:



                                                                                                              Although according to the second article the Lionette brothers had pledged that share money would NOT be used to pay off the tax bill.

                                                                                                              1. re: Debbiedoesfood

                                                                                                                It's too bad they were not located in Cambridge where people are more easily parted from their money to support people who run afoul of their taxes.

                                                                                                        2. I was going on a walking tour of the East Boston waterfront last week and arrived at Maverick Sq. a bit early and after a brief walk, I tried D'Parma. I went in mostly for a glass of wine and because I wanted to use the men's room but found that I had time for a spinach salad, which turned out to be really good. I was told that the place was newly opened, and I sort of sense it will do well. I know I'll make the effort to travel from Brookline to try it some night. Anyone else tried it yet?

                                                                                                          1. Cafe MArliave is set to reopen with an American Menu.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: emilief

                                                                                                              Is Marliave's opening in the same place with the same booths, etc? An American menu would be strange. I have nostalgic memories of that place and it always makes me think of veal parm.

                                                                                                              1. re: pemma

                                                                                                                Same place but I think it has been significantly remodeled. Yes, American seems strange.

                                                                                                            2. Tidbit: JP Licks in old Toscanini's spot in H Sq.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: fredid

                                                                                                                Excellent. Sure to be a madhouse, though.

                                                                                                              2. Apparently ANOTHER Finale is opening in the North End??!!? Is this necessary?

                                                                                                                15 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: fmcoxe6188

                                                                                                                  The continued expansion does make the name a little ironic.

                                                                                                                  1. re: fmcoxe6188

                                                                                                                    Yes, I wrote about it in my blog about a week ago. Looks like the new Finale will be along the Greenway where Martignetti's used to be.

                                                                                                                    1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                                                      Hm-is that where I read it? I have a pet peeve for when chains feel the need to inundate an area- esp in a city the size of Boston- 4 is a bit excessive

                                                                                                                      1. re: fmcoxe6188

                                                                                                                        Not only that - but the North End!? There are plenty of dessert options in the neighborhood. I guess not everyone is interested in cannoli, tiramisu, or gelato. But still, why would you get dessert in the North End at Finale? I was sad to see Martignetti's go. IMHO, having Finale open there doesn't really add to the neighborhood. Especially if Dairy Fresh is not going to reopen. Does anyone know anything about that?

                                                                                                                        1. re: kallis33

                                                                                                                          I noticed recently that the construction activity has stopped and that the metal door is completely down. When I could hear construction noise, the metal door was 1/2 up. Not so these past few days.

                                                                                                                          I hope they reopen. I would hate to see Dairy Fresh close.

                                                                                                                          And Finale - don't get it and never have. I'd rather a cannoli at Mike's (which I consider low on the scale of good eats).

                                                                                                                          1. re: kate used to be 50

                                                                                                                            But they also have lots of salads and lunches now, slightly different from other styles in the north end.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                              Finale serves salads and lunch? I thought they were just desserts? Hmmm, clearly I haven't been in a long time.

                                                                                                                              1. re: kate used to be 50

                                                                                                                                Yup- they have a Prelude dinner for the pre- theatre crowd as well as lunch menus. They started that back in 2005 or so. Honestly-Im not opposed to Finale- I really like their concept I just think that its going a bit over the top at this point. And esp in the North End where there are so many other, better (IMO), dessert places.

                                                                                                                                1. re: fmcoxe6188

                                                                                                                                  I think it's grotesque. Yes, the North End has been changing for awhile, that's life, but the Italian bakeries are the 1 thing that remained relatively untouched the entire time I was living there.

                                                                                                                                  Unless things have changed drastically in the past 10 months (and maybe they have?), for Finale to move in there as, they would readily admit (let's remember the place is the brainchild of HBS grads, not chefs), a franchise (I assume centralized) is just greed and disrespect in a neighborhood where most of the restaurants didn't even serve desserts in part so you could hit one of the coffeehouses/bakeries (yes, yes, in part to have an excuse to turn over tables, surely. But still).

                                                                                                                                  The argument that they serve other things leaves me cold. You want some sort of non-Italian lunch, well, there's lovely little indie-owned La Volle Nolle (unless it closed?), and it's 2 min. walk to Faneuil Hall, where the eats won't be better or worse than Finale. I'm surprised the fairly active neighborhood associations went for this.

                                                                                                                                  Am I way off to be heartbroken?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                    Nope- Im heartbroken as well- and I think that greed IS at the top of the list. Though honestly- I think that people flock to the NE for the traditional Italian so hopefully they wont see fit to go to Finale...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: fmcoxe6188

                                                                                                                                      The neighborhood has changed significantly in the past 5 years - some good some bad. I was upset to see Graffitti close it's doors and Frank close up shop (Abruzzese Meat Market). I was glad to see Hanover Wine and Spirits clean up their store and facade and welcomed the addition of Marco and Mare to the neighborhood. While I loved the old world feel of Modern, their remodeling does remind me of actually being in a legit Italian pastry shop. I'm looking forward to seeing the old Martignetti's building undergo a facelift - I hope Graffitti reopens and can add some outdoor seating. However, it will be interesting to see how Finale fits in with the rest of the North End. Unfortunately, I think it was the clueless tourists and too many obnoxious college students that ignited my move after 5 years.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sterndogg

                                                                                                                                        Yeah, the coed flood was a real downer. If I hadn't left town altogether, I probably would have moved out this year too, still reluctantly, but rent had gotten out of control. Which probably means more Finales, no more Dairy Freshes.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                      Nope. I live in the North End and I am heartbroken. AFAIK, La Volle Nolle is still open. When I want sandwich, Italian or otherwise, I would be more likely to walk over to J. Pace & Son than go to Finale. But that's just me.

                                                                                                                        2. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                                                          i had heard that was going to be a citizen's bank. huge space for finale to fill --wonder if it's being split up.

                                                                                                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                            i've heard it is being divided into three units. Finale, Citizens, and I know that the Caffe Graffitti family was looking to reopen there as well, but I haven't heard anything about that since about January

                                                                                                                      2. Oh, that makes me sad. When I lived in the North End several years ago, Dairy Fresh was on my regular shopping routine. The neighborhood is changing so fast, it seems.

                                                                                                                        1. City Feed market and sandwhich shop in JP is opening a second HUGE location on Centre Street, right across from JP Licks. Can't wait for this. Love their coffee and espresso, healthy vegetarian funky sandwiches, and organic produce. Not sure when it's going to open, but there's a lot of work happening there.

                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: terrilynn813

                                                                                                                            Real Deal just opened in JP (next to JP Seafood on Centre Street). Anyone know how their sandwiches - particularly veggie versions - compare to City Feed?

                                                                                                                            1. re: jpcat

                                                                                                                              Dunno, they lost me before they even opened with their awning promising that they serve, among other things, "gangster wraps."

                                                                                                                              Bad puns are second only to deliberate misspellings on my "I will never ever eat there" list. I refuse to patronize any establishment that sells "chowdah," for instance, or "lobsta."

                                                                                                                              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                                                                                I dunno. Brookline Spa also has Gangster Wraps - named after an odd variety of real-life and fictional gangsters - and that place is pretty well liked.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Allstonian

                                                                                                                                  I'm pretty sure the same people own both the Brookline Spa and both Real Deals

                                                                                                                                  1. re: purple bot

                                                                                                                                    Close. It's brothers... different ownership, same family. Friendly competition (Spa rocks).

                                                                                                                                2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                                                                                  It gets worse. The Carmella Soprano and the Uncle Jr. ar two of their choices along with references to the Godfather. Guess this is the Strega version of a snadwich shop (shoppe?) Although, I have to admit that Dr. Jekyl is a clever name for a veggie burger. Guess I'll order by pointing, or just wait for City Feed.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jpcat

                                                                                                                                    I think the C. Soprano is a tasty sandwich and it's huge. I get 3 meals out of it for $5.95. Had another panini recently from the W. Rox location and that was good too, something with chicken. While I too can't stand the spelling of "chowdah" etc., it's not gonna stop me from eating it if it's good.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                                                                                    I hate places named after food that makes it sound like the food is the owner -- "Focaccia's", "Orzo's" ,etc.

                                                                                                                                  3. re: jpcat

                                                                                                                                    I've tried the West Roxbury location a number of times and, while I really wanted to like them, I don't. Their stuff is okay, but City Feed is a lot better in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                  4. re: terrilynn813

                                                                                                                                    I talked to the owners over there - looks like it'll be July 1 now.

                                                                                                                                  5. Maybe old news but I heard that Strega is opening up a gourmet pizza joint on Hanover Street in the space that housed Grill 417 aka Emedio's aka Emelio's.

                                                                                                                                    1. The Bear Rock Cafe in Woburn closed over the past week or two....

                                                                                                                                      ....Um, I said The Bear Rock Cafe in Woburn closed over the past week or two....

                                                                                                                                      ...Don't everyone all speak at once now!

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                                                                        Odd, our office had a catered lunch from them this Friday 5/30/08. Perhaps there are several outposts?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Food4Thought

                                                                                                                                          The one in Reading is still open (and I believe it might be the only Bear Rock left in Massachusetts).

                                                                                                                                      2. Tango Mango is opening in the old Hungry Coyote space on Moody in Waltham. Any recent experiences at the Newton location? Just wishful thinking that they've improved. Sure would be nice to have a decent burrito place in Waltham.

                                                                                                                                        1. When Chinatown Seafood in Coolidge Corner sold it's licence to Finale, I was heart broken. This was a place where I met every Friday night with some othe "foodies" and we developed a friendship that we still share. I didn' think Finale would have a chance of suceeding in Brookline where dining out means a take out meal for the next day. I was really mistaken. Finale was a success from the day it opened, and although I've never been in there, mostly because of spite. it's become an asset to Coolidge Corner. I don't think they've ever made a bad corporate decision and the location on the wonderful No.End Section of the Greenway, is pure genius on their part. I wish them well, althought I'll still not induldge in their desserts--that's only personal.

                                                                                                                                          1. walked by the recently closed caffe italia in eastie the other night. a banner saying "la hacienda -- restaurant & bar-- opening soon" was in the window. paint cans, etc. inside. a van marked "ole restaurant & catering, arlington" was pulling away from the back door. are these 2 projects related? is ole any good?

                                                                                                                                            frankly, i'm bored silly by the thought of another mexican joint in my neighborhood.

                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                              I don't suppose it is in any way related to the La Hacienda in Somerville? Does anyone know if they are connected?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                The Cafe Italia in Brigham Circle also became a Mexican/burrito joint. Haven't tried anything yet, one of the quickest turnarounds I've ever seen.

                                                                                                                                                Unfortunately, Blue Frog Bakery is no longer moving around the corner to the nicer, larger space by the insurance company on Centre St. Couldn't come to an agreement he said.

                                                                                                                                              2. Just walked by Charlie's/Tommy Doyle's/Upstairs way yesterday...Charlie's is opening a beer garden out back (not even close opening at this point). Looks like it'll be sizable. Yippee!

                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: digga

                                                                                                                                                  Another new opening - the KFC/Taco Bell across from Ali Baba in Porter Sq on Mass Ave has a menu posted in the window. "Banjo" - BBQ and deli combo (it looks like there is a location in N. Weymouth).

                                                                                                                                                  BTW, Ali Baba looked forlornly empty tonight, around 930-10pm. I have to remember to try that place. I know there have been some favorable reports (from Hidden Boston?).

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: digga

                                                                                                                                                    Yes, I am the one person in the Boston area who has gone to Ali Baba. ;-b

                                                                                                                                                    Seriously, I don't know how the place stays in business. It seems empty more often than not, and they have to be paying some pretty high rent there. I hope they make it, but I don't know....

                                                                                                                                                2. La Brace on Salem St. is gone. I'm surprised they lasted as long as they did. The food was decent but the service was bad. Servers and staff tried hard but obviously had little experience and poor training. And more than twice I had servers who would hang outside the front door (sometimes with the owner) smoking butts before showing up with my food. Disgusting.

                                                                                                                                                  Too bad....the owner was a nice lady. She should have hired pro's vs. family and friends.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Jo Jo TaiPei has opened this weekend in the old New Trend Eatery spot in Allston. Very good Taiwanese restaurant with some Szechuan dishes as well. The other diners were all having the crushed ice with taro and red bean dessert. Looks excellent.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Well, I know no one cares about this place, but what the heck happened to Planet Pizza in JP? It's been closed for at least 2 weeks now and while it's no loss, it's certainly convenient (for a soda) and I'm curious. At first I thought an illness or death, but the laundromat next door is open, same owners. Then I thought health code violation, but this is a very long time for that unless it's something huge. Anyone have any ideas? I'd love for a cute little place to go in there.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Harvard Square's Market in the Square is finally open. Stopped in at lunch today. The space was gutted and renovated in a clean minimalist design and feels much larger than it used to when it was a Sprint store, and when it was Sage's Market before that.

                                                                                                                                                        The salad and hot food bar is small, but has a wide variety - everything from spinach pita (aka Spanikopita) to fried bananas to teriyaki chicken to baby spinach salad with mushroom and sauteed red onions and more. The price is $6.99 per pound regardless of whether you get hot food or cold (unlike Broadway Market on the other side of Harvard Yard which has different prices for different sections of its food bar). I think $6.99 is an appropriate price point - not a bargain nor out of range.

                                                                                                                                                        There was also a beautiful selection of freshly made sushi with two chefs standing behind it, ready to take a custom order. Free miso soup comes with any sushi order. There were two other soups beside the miso soups, but I can only remember that one was minestrone.

                                                                                                                                                        Next to the sushi was a sandwich bar with a broad menu of wraps and sandwiches. I was pretty overwhelmed by then so can't tell more than that, but it looked interesting.

                                                                                                                                                        Added to all this was a wide selection of snacks, chips, cookies, a ton of teas (all bagged), and two small case holding dairy items like cheese and yogurt. Oh, and a bunch of fresh fruit and vegetables for sale.

                                                                                                                                                        There is a case for cookies and pastries near the front registers and also some coffee machines. The cookie case was sparsely stocked (as were some grocery racks in back) so I'm looking forward to seeing what they fill those spaces with. I had lunch from home with me today, so only bought a brownie ($2.00), but haven't tried it yet. My DC did get a large container of food from the food bar and liked everything she picked. All was subtly seasoned which she liked as it allowed her to add salt and pepper when she wanted (much harder to tone down overly seasoned food). She allowed me to pick a few things from her plate - the cucumber in the cucumber and baby mozzarella salad was crunchy with a surprising hint of basil (I had expected cilantro or parsely); the coleslaw had a slight sweet-vinegar tang, and the fried banana had that grilled sweetness I like.

                                                                                                                                                        There's a bit of bar seating at the front of the market overlooking the sidewalk in front of Brattle, and a few tables and chairs overlooking the Church Street side. Since I literally work across the street I doubt I'll ever sit there to eat, which is probably a good thing since all seating was filled when I was there.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Soleil Cafe in Teele Sq is papered over today. I read the blurb in the window but it didn't stick with me. Owners from the Modern in the North End are taking it over? Is that correct?

                                                                                                                                                          Too bad - we wish Soleil kept different hours (every time we looked, it was always closed). Pleasant space and gentle people behind the counter.

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: digga

                                                                                                                                                            > Owners from the Modern in the North End are taking it over?

                                                                                                                                                            If true, that would be beyond awesome.

                                                                                                                                                            I agree, Soleil kept such erratic, stand-offish hours that I'm amazed it lasted as long as it did.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: finlero

                                                                                                                                                              Even if you're a fan of Modern and Italian pastries (which I'm not for the most part), wouldn't you rather have a cafe that serves real food and sandwiches rather than lots of cookies and cream filled things? To each his own. I only ever seemed to be in Teele Sq. on Sundays, so never got to Soleil.

                                                                                                                                                          2. I had hoped to go to Publick House's BBQ joint after a sad meal at T-Rex but I called Publick House and they told me that they're not opening until Monday.

                                                                                                                                                            1. not Spring but Summer 08..Max & Dylan's has opened in the old West St Grill location.

                                                                                                                                                              Glanced at the menu..didn't look overly exciting..but hopefully a reasonable option for the neighborhood.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Sabor do Brasil across from DeMoula's in Somerville has closed and there is a new restaurant Somerville Cuisine (its making me think Haitian, with Sunrise Cuisine and Highland Cuisine and the palm tree, but no info) going in there. Couldn't find any licensing info to search either. I had a really nice Dobradinha from Sabor once and a few decent plates of the day early on, but even before the Somerville Ave construction they had scaled back enough that they fired their delivery drivers (the lifeline for most brazilian restaurants). They might have competed with Branca's, but there is a lot more competition today and their going downhill food couldn't keep up on price or quality. The Brazilian restaurant (land and sea) further up the street, next to the original "Bar Brasil" doesn't seem to be doing any business and even Razzy's has seemed slower but haven't been in there.

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: itaunas

                                                                                                                                                                  BTW in other Somerville Brazilian news, what was Bahia Grill and then Cafe Varanda has changed ownership again and is now Bom-de-Boca Grill. According to the local Brazilian paper they are charging $6.99 per Marmitex (fixed price lunch box from buffet and churrasco, employees of local make it up for you and generally 2 meat/main choices, otherwise its per-lb).