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What's new and good in Worcester?

I just moved back to the area and it looks like there are a lot of new bars and restaurants in Worcester. I've tried (and love!) Armsby Abbey. What else is new? I read one post of a visitor to Worcester and one reply with a list of a few places to try, but no description or info other than the names. Thanks!

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  1. How long have you been away? Armsby is definitely the most exciting place to open in, say, the last two years. Assuming you've been away 5 years or so, here are some places that, while less new, are quite good:

    Bocado, a tapas restaurant with a good Spanish wine list and great variety of cold and hot tapas.

    Via on Shrewsbury St is the latest venture of the Worc Restaurant Group (Sole, 111) and offers a very flexible menu of Italian and Italian-inspired dishes with great flavors in a nice space with a lot of options from very casual nibbling to upscale.

    The Citizen, where the Firehouse used to be on Exchange St., has a terrific bar scene with vintage cocktails, a wine shop, and a menu built interestingly around good cheese, charcuterie, and chocolate. Lots of nice pressed sandwiches. Bartenders who know their stuff.

    Baba, on Park Ave: the best sushi I've ever had. gorgeous, inventive, fun. Probably the best restaurant in Worcester.

    Welcome back to Wormtown!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Rick_V

      P.S. Here's a thread you might want to read, even though a few of the places mentioned (Block 5, Pearl, Bomboo Hut) have closed since: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/358099

      1. re: Rick_V

        Ditto Baba..Mom loved Via ...

        Rick very cool u r using the name LB Worm coined, Wormtown...

        1. re: phelana

          A 3rd for Baba - some of the best sushi I've ever had. Drinks are a little pricey but the sushi makes up for it. Make sure to get a couple hand rolls, chef's choice. You won't be disappointed.

      2. re: Rick_V

        Thanks for the tips, Rick. I grew up in the area, but left for college, then was on the west coast for 12 years, so it's been a long time. The places you mention sound great! I'm looking forward to trying them.

        1. re: TownSpa

          Oh, and One Love on Main St for a soulful and delicious Jamaican experience (BYOB).

      3. I can tell you that the brand new Jewel Box is new and bad. ;)

        4 Replies
        1. re: invinotheresverde

          What didn't you enjoy about Jewel Box? I had a good experience there with a selection of appetizers recently (not "oh my god this is fabulous!" but certainly decent).

          1. re: GSM

            Let's just say that an "Asian" restaurant owned by white dudes, where the food is cooked by Brazilians, isn't really my bag. Everything I tried wasn't any different than my local takeout, except that it costs 50% more.

            1. re: invinotheresverde

              Point taken-- though the same might be said of all of the restaurants owned by that guy (I think he's tried something from every conceivable ethnic group!).

              1. re: GSM

                Seems that if John Elkhay, from Providence, opens a place, the Niche group will soon open a similar thing...

        2. I recently had some good pho and goi cuon at Pho Viet on Chandler St, just past the hill from Park Ave.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Dinsdale45

            I had a great "seven courses of beef" at Pho 2000 (in the old Bamboo Hut building). Give it a try - it just opened this past fall.