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Dec 30, 2008 10:02 AM

Winter 2008/2009 Openings and Closings

It seems like there have been many more restaurant openings than closings in the Boston area over the past few weeks, but I'm thinking that with the economy the way it is, this is bound to change.

Any notable openings or closings that anyone can think of so far this winter (or very late fall)? Here are a few:

Basha Cafe, Cambridge (Middle Eastern)
Max & Dylan's, Charlestown (upscale comfort food)
House of Siam, South End (Thai)

Brown Sugar Cafe, Fenway (I believe they are now officially closed)

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  1. Ueno Sushi on Washington Street (next to PI Alley) is gone. Not necessarily notable...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bob Dobalina

      Did the one in Faneuil Hall close, too?

    2. Malcom adders much discussed, often disregarded place wher Bobs the Chef's was.

      1 Reply
      1. I know everyone cares about this one: The Last Drop (I think that's the name), formerly Father's whatever number at Marlboro and Mass Ave has closed. I was surprised to see that.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Joanie

          Was that place connected to The Last Drop in Oak Square (Brighton)? I used to go to that one and it was certainly a bit dicey at times.

          1. re: hiddenboston

            I don't know if the Last Drops are related but the previous incarnation on Marlborough street - the late somewhat-lamented (by my old college friends) Fathers Five - was definitely dicey. But on Sundays they had dollar pitchers (of Old Milwaukee, but still) and hot dogs for a quarter, and I could look past all sorts of diceness for that deal.

          2. re: Joanie

            This makes me sad... I remember, kind of, many foggy nights spend here trying to cram in a few final shots before last call. place introduced me to the Royal Flush.

            1. re: Joanie

              So the Last Drop will now be the Corner Bar. And there's a cafe opening next to Sweet on Mass Ave. which may or may not have been mentioned. And I'm sure someone must have talked about this, but I was surprised to see that Rangoli had closed. Wasn't that a favorite of everyone's? And did someone mention the new cafe on Cypress St. across from that market? It looks cute while driving by.

              1. re: Joanie

                Rangoli has been on a download slide for a number of years, I'm afraid. And now that they're in the midst of one of the more happening restaurant rows in town, they just couldn't compete.

            2. Walked by the Carving Station at 1 Beacon St. yesterday and they were dismantling everything. I had some hopes for this place before they opened but after a few visits they completely failed to impress so I never returned. Nevertheless, they always seemed to do a brisk business, so I was surprised to see them closed.

              2 Replies
              1. re: StevieC

                I'm not surprised. They weren't very good.

                I think they were owned by Pressed Sandwiches(which I also don't care fo)r; which also closed it's store on Bedford St.

                Hot Tomatos, the NE sandwich shop is opening across the street.

                Bina, and Oceanaire are notable openings. There's a new "small plates" place on Hanover..Damiano's?

                1. re: StevieC

                  The only time I ever bothered with that place was when they had a $2 (or so) special for their bbq beef sandwiches. It wasn't very good, and I never understood the attraction.

                2. After many, many years and many fine pizzas and cheap drinks the Highland Cafe in Malden is closing tomorrow

                  Bacci's in Stoneham opened in November

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: pemma

                    What? No! I've been going to the Highland for many years now and have some truly great memories of the place. Ughhh, another one of my old-time favorites is closing.

                    1. re: hiddenboston

                      Carving Station is the same ppl as Pressed Sandwiches... They also have their hands in Johnnies on the Side... and i believe are linked in to Z Square...

                      1. re: Mr Bigglesworth

                        We went to Johnnie's on the Side for a party and thought it was TERRIBLE. BAD food and odd set up.

                    2. re: pemma

                      Bacci's in Stoneham is not related to the Bacci's in Saugus, BTW. It's different owners.

                        1. re: almansa

                          Nope, but if it's the same owners who bought them out in Wakefield, I wouldn't bother. Not sure if it is.

                          1. re: Chris VR

                            No, the Bacci's in Stoneham has nothing to do with Wakefield. The owners have been in and out of the restaraunt business a long time. I've been to Stoneham a couple of times and it's quite good. Not gourmet by any means, but good, solid Italian-American and barbecue. (Actually the menu is similar to the Highland, but I have not tried their pizza yet.) Gnocchi was very soft and fluffly, veal parm was very tender. Both times there they were pretty busy. Waitresses are Highland-like -- veterans a little rough around the edges, but nice. Prices are quite reasonable. A nice neighborhood spot.

                            1. re: Chris VR


                              Did Bacci's Saugus change? I hadn't gotten pizza from them in well over a year, since before the closing of the Wakefield branch. I did get pizza from them a couple of weeks ago (I actually went there to order and wait), and I was underwhelmed.

                              1. re: Karl S

                                No, they're the same owners. I agree, I feel like the quality has declined a bit... or the recipe? Something has changed. Although at a birthday party I went to recently where the pizzas were from Bacci's, everything was pretty good.

                                1. re: Chris VR

                                  I also tested an old standby of mine that I haven't gotten pizza from in at least 5 years - DiPietro's on Highland Ave in Malden (for a long time - before the advent of Bacci's, they were the only place around that had good *sliced* meatballs, NY-style, rather than the ubiquitous crumbled hamburger lamely passing for meatball; of course, now the gold standard for meatball pizza locally is Angela's CFP, which has superlative sliced meatballs). I hadn't realized they renovated. The sauce was a touch sweeter than I remembered it (not nearly bad enough to reject, but I have an alarm system for sweeteners in sauce on pizza).

                                  1. re: Karl S

                                    My standard these days for delivery is Vinnie's in Malden, but they also seem sweeter than they used to be, so I tend to stick with the white pizzas.

                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                      Vinnie's brochures illustrate pan pizza - not my fav style at all, bottom crust never develops properly - are they cooked in pans or on the oven shelf directly?

                                      And is Two Paisans still OK?

                                      1. re: Karl S

                                        pan pizza aka sicilian style thick n chewy
                                        the only pizza i can eat cold

                                        1. re: Karl S

                                          Hmm, I'm not sure how it's cooked. it's not a chewy Greek-style crust, or a Sicilian style crust. They do offer that I believe but I've never gotten it. All the pizzas I've ordered from this menu seem to be cooked on the oven shelf if I had to guess.

                                          I haven't been back to Two Paisans recently, I think they don't deliver my way and that's generally how I'm getting pizza these days.

                                          1. re: Karl S

                                            Two Paisans is still pretty good, although they roll the pizzas and use a lot of bench flour which to my taste sometimes gives a bitter flavor to the crust.

                                            Most pizza joints I go to do offer sliced meatball (hamburger pizzas too, although featured more at greek joints and don't remember crumbled meatballs). Certainly Amici's and Puccios in Medford, Armando's, Ernesto's and Haymarket.... Crumbled or pellet sausage, that's another story though.

                            2. re: pemma

                              I am heartbroken over Highland Cafe closing. Does anyone know why this happened, or where their pizza guys will be working now? I will follow them!