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September 2011 Openings and Closings

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Any of you hear anything about upcoming openings and closings for this month? I know that Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge has their grand opening Monday (and a soft opening likely for today), and Five Horses Tavern may be opening today. Also, Basha in Cambridge may be closing to make way for a new restaurant apparently coming from the owner of Casablanca.

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  1. Catalyst in Kendall is estimating a September 10th opening date. Firebrand Saints also in Kendall, looks pretty near finished last time I walked by.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Matt H

      Cocktail menu giggle at Catalyst:

      Mexican Sand

      An Interpretation
      Mezcal, Cherry *Herring*, Vermouth, Orange 10 - yikes!

      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        The fish-accented cocktail is a frontier that has been underexplored, to say the least.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Heh - why not?
          Hendricks, Pernod, PEI Mussel - 10
          Aquavit, Vermouth, Shallot, Oyster - 12
          Mackerel and PBR tall boy - 6

        2. re: Bob Dobalina

          le sigh. in my next life i want to come back as a menu fairy and fix all these embarrassments with a wave of a glittery wand and no shame on the establishment.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            I'll nominate you for the job just because you've started my morning with a fun thought.

            Could I borrow your wand once in a while to convert some of the chains in the Back Bay to real restaurants? Or, would I need a magic sword for that task?

            Penny
            http://www.bostonzest.com/

            1. re: BostonZest

              a sword and a dragon, i fear.

      2. Mt. Everest Kitchen on Brighton Ave is apparently going to be replaced by a Chinese and Japanese place called O Yummy Cuisine.

        O Crappy Name.

        -----
        Mt. Everest Kitchen
        182 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jenny Ondioline

          Could have been worse: could have been Y Yummo.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        2. Storyville, a nightclub with food, craft cocktails (they're calling that aspect of it a "speakeasy"), and live music, is opening Sept 9 in the old Saint space in the Copley Square Hotel. Chef is Louis DiBiccari (ex Sel de la Terre Back Bay), bar program by "English Bill" Codman (ex L'Espalier, Woodward, most recently at Island Creek Oyster Bar). They kept this one under wraps pretty well.

          The name has a long history, originally New Orleans' red-light district in the late 19th century. The first Storyville in Boston was a jazz club in this same spot and later in Harvard Square in the 1940s. It moved Kenmore Square in 1950 (where Uno is now); I remember its incarnation there as a rock club in the 80s.

          Same operator as Saint is behind it, so the commitment to good food and drink is a big question mark in my mind; nightclub people rarely stick with it once they build a customer base of nightlife people. But they're starting out with an excellent team.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          -----
          L'Espalier
          774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

          Sel de la Terre
          774 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199

          Island Creek Oyster Bar
          500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

          2 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            As reported in the Globe Calender magizine today.

            As far as I know, George Wein, of Newport Jazz Festival fame created one of the Storyville venues. Will look it up and reoprt back, for those that are interested.
            CocoDan

            1. re: CocoDan

              You have it right Coco Dan. I wrote an article about it last year timed to run with Jazz Week.

              http://backbaysun.com/2011/04/28/a-ja...

              I'm a fan of Chef Louis' food so I'll make a point of visiting early before the direction changes.
              This was also the site of a short-lived, great menu from René Michelena a few years back.

              Penny
              http://www.bostonzest.com/

              pbz

          2. Masala Indian & Nepalese in Teele is supposed to open today. They finally took the paper off the window. Didn't think it would ever open as it has been under construction for like a year.

            5 Replies
            1. re: joth68

              Masala has no presence anywhere online. No website, no FB page, no Twitter page, no nothing. They need to get something up there if they plan to open today.

              1. re: hiddenboston

                http://www.masalaboston.com/

                1. re: joth68

                  Wow, nothing gives me more confidence in a business than seeing that their website is "created by Shadyclown based on Wine World".

                  1. re: Boston_Otter

                    Or that they don't appear to have a volume / mute button on the website. Argh.

                  2. re: joth68

                    Thanks!

              2. I saw a bunch of people eating and drinking inside Five Horses today; at a glance, it sorta looked like a pre-opening meal for staff and owners and such. But the windows were all open and the place looks ready to go.

                1. It was August technically, but Hi-Rise in Harvard Sq (at the Blacksmith), closed doors last Saturday. The new location opening in about a month in Porter Square will largely take over and offer a greater range. The original Huron Village location remains as always.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: tatsu

                    Really, it closed? Any insight on why? Did they lose their lease? It did great business, but maybe it wasn't the best operational setup with the small kitchen in the back and the surly staffers.

                    1. re: Uncle Yabai

                      I believe this was a long-planned move. This puts the new location in an old rental car office, if memory serves, and should make guest parking along an already ridiculous, restaurant-heavy stretch of Mass Ave even more impossible.

                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        Yea, I think I know the location, along Mass Ave, where the Hertz city office used to be.

                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          Actually it was somewhat recent and the original plan was to have 3 locations. CCAE was very restrictive as a landlord and it was a coincidence that this happenned meantime with the new store building out. The decision to close Harvard Sq was acted on suddenly since they were tenant at will.

                          1. re: tatsu

                            What happened? CCAE raised the rent or leaned on them over something or other? Maybe Hi-Rise realized that managing three stores is much harder than two, and they decided to focus on the new location instead?

                            1. re: Uncle Yabai

                              The space was limiting as well as the hours allowed. CCAE just wasn't flexible or understanding on either front. It wasnt about cost or expansion concerns. I feel that they feel they were bring taken for granted, but there were no bad feelings at all. Maybe CCAE had some bureaucratic thinking and assumptions?

                              1. re: tatsu

                                Makes sense. CCAE doesn't strike me as savvy when it comes to running a business. Hope it isn't a situation of CCAE cutting its nose to spite its face.

                                1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                  My understanding too was that they weren't the most complementary partners. If you were ever in Hi-Rise at 4:45 you will remember the CCAE folks starting to set up for their classes in the upstairs rooms. This makes sense for their needs, of course, but it isn't too helpful to have to shut down your coffee house at or before five in a place where people keep odd hours and eat dinner late.

                                  Slim, the new Hi-Rise is in a Lesley-owned building that is on the site of the former car rental place. I am told that there won't be a kitchen at the new place so assume that means the food will come from the other location, or perhaps there will be a kitchen and that rumor was simply wrong.

                    2. Long time East Cambridge fixture, Pug's (Pugliese Bar and Grill), is closing at the end of the month. New owners are in places and renaming it Lizzie's.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: mvi

                        Lizzie's will close next year and be replaced by a new place called Essie's.

                        1. re: hckybg

                          Do you know why Lizzie's is already planning on closing even before they have opened?

                          1. re: mvi

                            It's a joke. Pugliese Bar & Grill = Pug's, then Lizzie's, then Essie's.

                            1. re: Allstonian

                              What about Zelda's? I'd love to find a resto named that around here...it's an old family first name along with Alta, Norma and Sophia. BTW Essie is an old family first name too.

                            2. re: mvi

                              Just a joke--Lizzie's sounds a lot like the middle syllable of Pugliese, as Pug's was drawn from the first syllable.

                              1. re: hckybg

                                I'm confused. :-b

                          2. re: mvi

                            Sorry to hear that. Never did make it there to try their wings.

                          3. Stopped by C. Tsars in newtonville last night for a quick dinner and found them closed. There was a sign that said closed for labor day but a store owner who worked close by said they were closed for good. That was quick.

                            1. A renovated Bravo at the MFA is scheduled to reopen on the 18th with Chef Tim Partridge at the helm.

                              http://www.bostonchefs.com/restaurant...

                              Penny
                              http://www.bostonzest.com/

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: BostonZest

                                Thanks for posting - I still miss Perdix and wondered what happened to TIm Partridge...

                                1. re: sallyt

                                  Among other short-term consulting-type gigs, Partridge was the opening chef at Bouchee, then at Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen. Not that such situations often do, but Perdix did not end well.

                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                    he got bouchee off the ground, helmed the kitchen for about the 1st year, and then did consulting for bbrg. they paid him handsomely and his hours were far more family-friendly for his personal life.

                              2. It looks like the new Smith & Wollensky Grill at Atlantic Wharf is really close to opening. Walked by Saturday night and the interior looked essentially finished and they had the sign up on the Harborwalk side of the building.

                                -----
                                Smith & Wollensky
                                101 Arlington St, Boston, MA 02116

                                1. Sweet Caroline's opened about 45 minutes ago (new restaurant near Fenway).

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: hiddenboston

                                    That's Tiffany faison's place, right? Where is it?

                                    1. re: C. Hamster

                                      Wrong "Sweet." :-b That's Sweet Cheeks. This is Sweet Caroline's, which is run by the Battery Park people.

                                      It's on Boylston Street in the old Fenway Cantina spot.

                                  2. Sorry if this was previously noted, but I jut noticed the restaurant-within-a-restaurant that is Karl's Rant, at Zuzu! at the Middle East in Central Square. Seven days, 8am (9am weekends) till 3pm, interesting sandwiches and daily brunch dishes. Menu looks creative and appealing: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karls-R...

                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                    -----
                                    Zuzu Restaurant
                                    472 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                      Restaurant-within-a-restaurant - It's the new tiny hat!

                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                        I like to think of it as a "permanent pop-up".

                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                          Formerly known as a "restaurant." ;)

                                    2. As I mentioned on the August thread, Braza Bar and Grill in the former Everett Square Cafe Belo opened on Sunday 9/4. I believe they are still in soft opening mode, but have posted hours of 11am-11pm, which you should confirm by calling (and also check entertainment/music schedule if going for a family outing because they plan to offer live entertainment). $9.99 Rodizio of meats for now and a charcoal-fired churrasqueira.

                                      1. Looks like Firebrand Saints in Kendall Square opens sometime next week.

                                        1. Dosa Temple on Somerville Ave. has signage up - not sure about overall progress tho.

                                          -----
                                          Dosa Temple
                                          59 Pond St, Ashland, MA 01721

                                          1. Not terribly exciting but Sunset Cantina, across from the Agannis Arena is doubling it's size by breaking into the adjacent space. There is not much other than chains in the area so at least Dunkin didn't nail the storefront and Sunset will be less of a dungeon now. I really don't mind the luncheon specials and remember fondly eating at the bar and watching the presidential inauguration.

                                            -----
                                            Sunset Cantina
                                            916 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

                                            1. Drove by Habanero's Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar on Moody in Waltham tonight in the old Tango Mango (or was it Mango Tango?) space. They must have been having a soft opening because they looked open. Seemed like a pleasant vibe from the street drive-by. Their website says opening Sept. 12.

                                              -----
                                              Tango Mango
                                              1191 Centre St, Newton, MA 02459

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: bear

                                                They open today, and I'm sad to confirm that, yes, they do use the apostrophe in the restaurant name. *sigh*

                                                1. re: Alcachofa

                                                  Yup. And the lobster mac and cheese and fajita pizza don't hold out much hope for serious chow.

                                              2. My parents said the local Chinese papers have been advertising a Korean BBQ/Japanese place that should be opening at the President's Plaza in Quincy soon (where Kam Man and China Pearl is). It's supposed to be closer to where the China Pearl restaurant is. Haven't seen progress or signs on-site personally.

                                                -----
                                                China Pearl
                                                237 Quincy Ave, Quincy, MA

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: kobuta

                                                  Hi--
                                                  could this be the place I posted about a few weeks in the August openings/closings thread? "Korean Grille" (with sushi). I noticed the papered over windows this weekend said opening September. It's in the Center iself, in the old "Boar's Nest" /Hot dog place/Deli spot up by the corner of Hancock and Granite.

                                                  1. re: SeaSide Tomato

                                                    SeaSide Tomato, I saw that place this weekend as we were heading to S6 for a beer at 11:30 AM (I know, I know) . BTW, Quincy Center feels rather desolate all of a sudden, with restaurant closings and the knocking down of all those buildings to make way for the parkway extension.

                                                    1. re: SeaSide Tomato

                                                      Yeah, I've passed by that generic "korean grille" sign on Hancock too, and according to my Dad the advertisements are definitely for a spot by Kam Man (as noted below). Guess Quincy might get 2 Korean places opening up soon.

                                                      1. re: kobuta

                                                        Korean Grille spot at the top of hancock in Center last night. Doors were open, people seated inside. Looks very casueal/takeout-ish. Was driving by and only got a glimpse--but looks open for business. Will try it as soon as I can.

                                                        1. re: SeaSide Tomato

                                                          Thanks for the tip. Heading out of town through next week, but will have to remember to check it out when I'm back.

                                                    2. re: kobuta

                                                      I saw it the other day when I went to kam Man. It has a sign up but not close to being open.

                                                      I dont think the sign said "Korean" anything, as we would likely have remembered that, but I don't know ...

                                                      1. re: kobuta

                                                        sounds good, quincy needs better chinese all around. but that parking lot at kam man is probably the most dangerous place to walk/drive around in all of quincy. drive slow with eyes open

                                                      2. Not sure if anyone has been to the original location in west roxbury, but noticed a sign for http://www.roxdiner.com/RoxDiner_Menu..., opening in Newtonville. This could be a wonderful addition to the neighborhood.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Mr Bigglesworth

                                                          I've talked about Rox Diner in other threads- it is excellent. MC Slim JB wrote it up for the phoenix under its old name Auntie B's.

                                                        2. Fishtail Kitchen, an Indian/Nepalese restaurant has opened in Weymouth, close to Route 18. Have not been; the menu looks interesting, but not ethnic-cheap by my standards...

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Trumpetguy

                                                            I know someone who has been to Fishtail and said it was excellent.

                                                            1. re: hiddenboston

                                                              Thanks for that--Will have to try it out :)

                                                          2. Davis Square LiveJournal (it's active and informative) reports that Zing Pizza, just around the corner from Porter Square, has closed indefinitely. Their website confirms and say's they'll still take catering orders. Rumor says they're looking for new owners, and the website doesn't dissuade that line of thinking.

                                                            Zing Café, which was intimated is owned by the same people, is still open (it's in Porter Square Books).

                                                            -----
                                                            Zing Pizza
                                                            1923 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

                                                            1. According to their Facebook page. Catalyst in Kendall Square opens tonight.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Matt H

                                                                I saw this, too. VERY exciting for the area around here. Looking forward to reports.

                                                              2. A friend on Yelp tells me that Trini's Mexican Grill in the food court of the Arsenal Mall looks done: "all of the equipment was cleaned out, sign was still hanging, nothing but a refrigerated case left."

                                                                Sad news, if true. Is it possible they relocated? Anyone else have any news about it? I liked that little place.

                                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                -----
                                                                Trini's Mexican Grill
                                                                485 Arsenal St Ste 96, Watertown, MA 02472

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                  Weird, was just there less than two weeks ago. It was by far the best there. Too bad.

                                                                2. Just got an email announcing Gargoyle's is closing on September 20. Memories of many wonderful meals over the years.

                                                                  26 Replies
                                                                  1. re: penny

                                                                    I got that too. I guess we were all wondering what would happen when Jason jumped ship. Now we know. I'll miss Paul and Maureen (bartenders). If anyone finds out where they're headed, I would love to know.

                                                                    1. re: yumyum

                                                                      Rumor says Paul's considering opening his own place, and looking at Belmont.

                                                                      1. re: yumyum

                                                                        Yeah, bummed about that.

                                                                        According to the 'ville's "Wicked Local" rag, the owners were actually considering closing down years ago, but hung on through Santos' TV run. Now that he's gone, I guess they figured, that's enough of that.

                                                                        Gargoyles was where I convinced Mrs. Alcachofa that calamari could be good. :o)

                                                                        1. re: Alcachofa

                                                                          Hope Paul will resurface ASAP, legendary bartender in the 'Ville.

                                                                      2. re: penny

                                                                        penny, i wondered how G's was going to fare w/ Jason's departure and new place.let's hope Jason's Blue Inc. will start getting more CH attention. I hope G's great waitstaff will find new spots where they feel comfortable.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Blue Inc.
                                                                        131 Broad St, Boston, MA 02110

                                                                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                          Agreed!! We went several times after Jason left....food (especially the duck!) was not nearly the same in quality and taste...however, what we loved even more than the food were the amazing bartenders, Paul & Maureen...and the waitstaff (Jen, Jamie, Craig...)...if anyone knows where they're heading to...please post!

                                                                          1. re: winecafe95

                                                                            I'll miss the bartenders and their lovely drinks dearly -- they were a real gem in Davis Square. Whereas I know people who won't go near Blue Inc. after reading the "extreme! In your face!" menu.

                                                                            1. re: winecafe95

                                                                              in the email i rcvd today from gargoyles, you can follow up on the future staff whereabouts at the Gargoyles Afterlife site on Facebook.

                                                                          2. re: penny

                                                                            According to Davis Sq LiveJournal, the new owners are the gentlemen who run Posto. They're going to refurb the place as The Painted Burro, "a fun neighborhood restaurant that’s based on cuisine from Oaxaca, Mexico" this fall.

                                                                            1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                              Ok...I need some education. What is Oaxacan cuisine, specifically?

                                                                              1. re: winecafe95

                                                                                Oaxacamole?

                                                                                1. re: winecafe95

                                                                                  oaxaca in mexico is famous for its moles(sauces)- each made with different complex combination of toasted chiles, herbs, spices, nuts, and liquid elements. google it to read more. i am always suspicious of new Mexican restnts in boston, and for good reason, but boy, wouldn't it just be the bees' knees if it were great?! i can always dream......

                                                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                    I was excited when I read "Oaxacan cuisine", but when the new owner describes it as "tacos and margaritas", it makes me worry.

                                                                                    http://www.wickedlocal.com/somerville...

                                                                                    1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                      I'm not holding my breath for the owners of Posto do do anything even mildly resembling Oaxacan food.

                                                                                      More likely another pricey tequila joint with mediocre burritos with a few fancy dishes thrown in to bump the prices.

                                                                                      1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                        The Posto folks did a fine job with what could've been a bog-standard stone-oven pizza place. Quite honestly, it seems to me that they're cribbing nicely from Ken Oringer -- Posto nicely borrows from Coppa, and I wouldn't be surprised if The Painted Burro echoed La Verdad.

                                                                                        1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                          I think that Posto opened before Coppa did.

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Coppa
                                                                                          253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                                                                                          1. re: SEH

                                                                                            Nope: Coppa was open many months before Posto.

                                                                                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Coppa
                                                                                            253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                                                                                        2. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                          i have not been to posto; what is your opinion; what is the opinion on the board? It got 4 stars from Nadeau.

                                                                                          Given that i have read that many restaurant workers are Mexican; I am always surprised that we do not have more good Mexican places.

                                                                                          1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                                                                            having worked in boston restaurants almost 20 years, very few kitchen workers are mexican. in fact out of 100s, i could count on one hand the number of mexicans with whom i;'ve worked. your intel is quite bad. :)

                                                                                            it's mostly central and south americans: primarily brazilian and colombian, with a few from el salvador, guatemala and peru.

                                                                                            we simply do not have a big mexican population here.

                                                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                              This poster seems to like to beat (bait) on this same refrain:

                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8006...

                                                                                              BTW, I keep reading that the earth is flat and pancakes too.... and I am sure its the prep cooks from Posto that are opening the Painted Burro. :-)

                                                                                      2. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                        Thanks OC :) And yes, dream....wonder who they will bring in as the chef? Or if there will be a chef?

                                                                                    2. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                      Why does everyone keep going forward with this semi-upscale Mexican concept? It's the restaurant equivalent of that year when Big and three other movies with roughly the same premise opened around the same time.

                                                                                      I haven't tried any of them, except for one drink at Temazcal, but it doesn't sound like I'm missing much so far.

                                                                                      1. re: robwat36

                                                                                        Isn't the phrase, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"? I think you'll find that when any dining concept does well financially and inspires other chefs/owners, it spreads, then recedes. Davis Square alone has at least three wood-fired pizza places, several upscale pubs that serve 'small plates' and retro cocktails, and a half dozen places to get wraps. The good ones prosper; the bad ones fail.

                                                                                        The folks who run Posto have done a decent job and are doing good business in a space that was known as the 'restaurant killer' -- four restaurants in three years. I'll give the Painted Burro a try before turning my nose up at it.

                                                                                        1. re: robwat36

                                                                                          I guess I'd buy the bandwagon theory more completely if the typical restaurant gestation period wasn't 12 to 18 months or longer. I suspect there's more coincidence than method in the fact that a dozen joints doing a pricey, not very convincing take on traditional Mexican fare opened within a few months of each other this year.

                                                                                          They're not terrible, just not very good. I'd call El Centro the best of the bunch, with more traditional food than most, and a Sonoran chef/owner, though it doesn't have a-hundred-bottles-of-tequila-on-the-wall like everyone else. (Tico has its moments too, despite that inevitable celeb-chef upcharge, and the fact that it's more faux-pan-Latino than faux-Mexican.)

                                                                                          None of them will make you forget a Taqueria Jalisco or an Angela's Cafe, but considering the alternatives in the touristy Seaport, Back Bay and Faneuil Hall neighborhoods where they're mostly clustered, you could do worse (which I guess in Chowhound terms is the kiss of death, but again, consider the neighborhoods).

                                                                                          For instance, Lolita has a weird Goth-y charm to it, and the food and drinks are really not too bad compared to most of Newbury Street. But it's in Back Bay: how many restaurants in that 'hood do Chowhounds consider worth going out of the way for? And Temazcal does have a pretty space, a lovely view and not-ridiculous prices compared to its neighbors (for now). But as long as neither takes reservations, I'll mostly avoid them: life's too short to stand in line. See you at Taqueria El Amigo.

                                                                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Temazcal
                                                                                          250 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

                                                                                          El Centro
                                                                                          472 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                            So you're a Hegelian, huh?

                                                                                      2. re: penny

                                                                                        Such a shame. I wasn't a huge fan of the food (had some horribly oversalted meals there and the more "ta da" presentations left me cold) but I'm another Paul and Maureen fan, and always appreciated that it was a fairly low-key, grown up place in the Square for a drink. It will leave a void in that department for sure.

                                                                                      3. Given the superior alternatives nearby, it has been probably five years since I visited Lu's, the banh mi stand that used to sit at the back of the jewelry store at 15 Beach St. As shop is now vacant, I wondered what happened to Lu's.

                                                                                        Apparently it has moved to a new home inside Pho Hoa just across Knapp Street from its old home. This may be old news, but I'm not always the most observant person when it comes to places I'm no longer interested in. Don't know if Lu's has improved any (less than perfectly fresh bread was their bugbear), but until I hear otherwise, my preferred Chinatown destinations for banh mi remain Mei Sum, Sub City, and 163 Vietnamese Sandwiches.

                                                                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Beach St Cafe
                                                                                        35 Beach St, Manchester, MA 01944

                                                                                        Sub City
                                                                                        42 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                                                                                        1. I'm not holding my breath for "The Painted Burro" as I'm pretty much done with Posto. The second to last time I was there (a couple of months ago) both the food and the service were awful (soggy calamari AND pizza, long wait to order drinks and food, incorrect bill). Gave them another chance and recently went back to bring a friend who loves this style of pizza. This time the food was very good but I was shocked at how expensive it has gotten. We shared a 3 topping pizza (fig, gogonzola, and bacon) it was 10" and cost $17!!! I had a $6 glass of wine (not a big pour), my DC just had water and our bill with tax and tip came to $30! For one personal size pizza and one glass of white wine! My DC thought the pizza was good but was incredulous at the price and I was embarassed. Was it always this expensive, or did they recently raise their prices?

                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: nachovegas

                                                                                            Their menus change seasonally (or randomly), but their pizzas have always been anywhere from $12 to $17 depending on the toppings. I've had both awesome service there and abysmal service, yeah. But I don't think their prices have gone up dramatically -- I could be wrong.

                                                                                            1. re: nachovegas

                                                                                              I kind of know going in what the prices for the pizza at Posto are/were - they have always been a bit expensive for what they are. So I am not as upset by that, but I feel like there has been a little bit of price creep lately.

                                                                                              But I feel like the quality has gone downhill a little lately - gnarly lettuce in a salad, slightly skimped toppings on a pizza (compared to previous experience), and the menu seems to be missing the stuff that made the place unique, such as the pork and peaches pizza which for my money was the best thing ever, but seems permanently gone from the menu, in place of various iterations of standard toppings with fancy names.

                                                                                              On the other hand, I can understand why pork/peach is no longer on the menu - no one was ordering it! I have tried to convince several people to try it and they just got pepperoni - ugh!

                                                                                              Also, recently, we were told of a special dessert, which we ordered and then were informed after the coffee came that they were out, and they comped a cannoli, which was neither expected nor requested.

                                                                                              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                Agreed Bob -- they keep removing their really unique, excellent pizzas. When they first opened, they featured a prosciutto, gorgonzola & caramelized onion pizza with balsamic drizzle. It was fantastic and our server told us it was the owner's personal favorite. Three months later, gone; "nobody orders it," I was told. Three months isn't enough time for word of mouth to spread about a dish. Their pizzas have gotten distressingly more boring. Tasty, but not exciting.

                                                                                                1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                  Prosciutto, gorg and caramelized onions is a relatively standard pizza these days isn't it? Surprised no one would order that, Somerville being so hip and all. Would they still make it for you at least?

                                                                                                  1. re: total13

                                                                                                    They made it for me after checking with the manager to make sure it was OK, but the waiter warned me that I probably wouldn't be able to get it 'off menu' in the future. And he's right -- last time I was there, I asked, and they said it wasn't possible.

                                                                                                2. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                  Ugh pepperoni...quelle horreur!

                                                                                                  1. re: Gabatta

                                                                                                    C'mon you know what I mean - you've HAD pepperoni - it's good, sure. Even great!
                                                                                                    But if me, as your trusted friend, urges you to try the peach and pork pie, you would try it, would you not, Gabatta?

                                                                                                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                      If they were in the circle of trust, I would absolutely try the peach and pork pie (though I may get a roni as a backup). Just giving you a hard time.

                                                                                                      I still like the mopsy pork (or chicken) pie at Flatbread quite a bit.

                                                                                                      1. re: Gabatta

                                                                                                        The circle of trust. :-D A great movie immediately comes to mind when I hear that phrase.

                                                                                              2. I just double checked and our 3 topping pie at Posto was actually $17.95!!! For a personal size pizza? Uggh.

                                                                                                1. I always knew that Posto was on the pricey side, but I've had the Fig pizza before and don't remember it being $17.95. Maybe because we would usually order apps /salad and more drinks and divide the check so it wasn't as noticeable. But this time my DC (who insisted on paying) was a very light eater as well as a teetotaller so the "mark up" on the pizza was very clear. They must be making a killing!
                                                                                                  On the subject of new Mexican places being opened by already established non Mexican restaurant/bar owners, Deep Ellum is opening a taqueria/ margarita/tequila joint in the adjoining building. I'vheard that it will be seperate from Deep Ellum but will share kitchen space.

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  Deep Ellum Bar
                                                                                                  477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: nachovegas

                                                                                                    OK, nacho, your message is clear: you don't want to spend $18 on a pizza. Got it.

                                                                                                    1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                                                                      Also, nacho doesn't want to use the reply button.

                                                                                                    2. re: nachovegas

                                                                                                      Had a few $20+ margherita pizzas in San Francisco lately, so I'm getting used to it...

                                                                                                    3. Tried to go to Tawakal Somali restaurant in East Boston and it had a notice on the door that they are closing the restaurant to focus on catering. Sorry I never got there!

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: dulce de leche

                                                                                                        Very sorry to hear this; I tried hard to bring attention to this place as a restaurant in every way I could, including this http://thephoenix.com/Boston/food/116... and this http://stuffboston.com/hot100-2011/ar... .

                                                                                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                          I only went a couple of times due to business but I really dug it. Sad.

                                                                                                        2. re: dulce de leche

                                                                                                          that is sad news

                                                                                                        3. The Harvard Crimson says Zinneken's is having a grand opening tonight.

                                                                                                          http://www.thecrimson.com/article/201...

                                                                                                          1. Maximo's Takeout opened on Mt Auburn St, Watertown, next to Fastachi Nuts yesterday. Has anyone been theret?

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                                                                                                            Fastachi
                                                                                                            598 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02138

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: veggielover

                                                                                                              Haven't tried it yet but some friends went and said it was really good!!

                                                                                                              1. re: veggielover

                                                                                                                I went for lunch today. It has potential - very varied menu (including panini, burritos, salads, sandwiches, etc.) and plenty of veg and gluten free options. Not a lot of space to eat there, so definitely more of a takeout place. I got a burrito that was pretty good by sandwich shop standards (but not up to Mexican restaurants standards). The owner seems nice, and I hope they do well, but they need to figure out their niche because they're on a block with a lot of good options.

                                                                                                              2. Vacation hiatus, not a permanent closing: Trattoria Toscana, through Sept 20.

                                                                                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                Trattoria Toscana
                                                                                                                130 Jersey St, Boston, MA 02215

                                                                                                                1. Per UrbanDaddy, Artisan Bistro opens in the old Jer-Ne space at the Ritz next Tuesday.

                                                                                                                  From the website (so that's their crazy capitalization, not mine): "Signature dishes at Artisan Bistro will include Seared Licorice-Honey Glazed Chicken with Rainbow Swiss Charr and Lentil Fricasee; Croque Monsieur with North Country Ham and Gruyere Béchamel; Smoked Pork Chop with Apple Sauce, Caramelized Cipolini Onion and Mashed Potato; Blue Hill Bay Mussels in a Sweet fennel-Tomato Broth; burgers and flatbreads including a Truffled Mushroom, Mozzarella Flatbread; and daily specials to include a Braised Beef Short Rib with Mashed Potato and Root Vegetable. An Artisan Cheese Collection with cheeses imported from around the world and local New England farms will be served with house-made pickled figs, quince and preserved walnuts."

                                                                                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                  Jer-Ne Restaurant and Bar
                                                                                                                  10 Avery Street, Boston, MA 02111

                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                    Somebody ought to cut back on the white powder before they write website copy.

                                                                                                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                      according to staff there, they will be open monday. maybe that's a soft opening then? it looks far more welcoming than its previous incarnation.

                                                                                                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                        Agreed: I always thought Jer-Ne was hideous.

                                                                                                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                        Jer-Ne Restaurant and Bar
                                                                                                                        10 Avery Street, Boston, MA 02111

                                                                                                                      2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                        No charcuterie plate? No upscale poutine? I feel so cheated.

                                                                                                                        1. re: deglazer

                                                                                                                          At least the cheese is from local New England farms, as opposed to some New England farm overseas.

                                                                                                                      3. A bit off the beaten path, but I walked by Tivoli's in Malden last week, and there is a sign in the door stating that the owners are retiring and the restaurant will be closed until further notice (apparently they are trying to sell the business).

                                                                                                                        I had never been, but had only heard good things...

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: mgp

                                                                                                                          That was a nice little place, Yes, they are trying to sell.

                                                                                                                        2. Parson's Table is closing in november.

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: nasilemak

                                                                                                                            That's a shame - I enjoyed Catch, but admit I never got back for this different incarnation - any reason given?

                                                                                                                            1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                                              http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

                                                                                                                              the details are here.

                                                                                                                              1. re: nasilemak

                                                                                                                                Glad to hear he is planning on re-opening somewhere else. I finally tried Parson's and it was very good. Will be interesting to see what V. Ettorre does differently in the Winchester location. I would assume he doesn't want to canibalize andy of his Bistro 5 business which is pretty close to the Winchester location.

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                                                                                                                                Bistro 5
                                                                                                                                5 Playstead Road, Medford, MA 02155

                                                                                                                          2. Firebrand Saints in Kendall Square soft-opened today.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                                                                              I just know that something good is gonna happen at this place. Looking forward to it!

                                                                                                                            2. Has anybody heard anything at all about this place called Allston Diner that's supposedly going to open where Grain and Salt used to be?

                                                                                                                              I say supposedly because I am not at all convinced it's ever going to open, or that it's going to last two months if it does. There's a website, but it's so completely unfinished that I would have fired the person who was dumb enough to release it publicly. They're attempting to maintain a social media presence, but the last post on their Facebook page was over six weeks ago, and most of the posts on the page are about how they don't have enough money to open. It's just completely amateur hour, and it doesn't bode well.

                                                                                                                              Which really sucks because Allston is just screaming for an even halfway-decent diner that we can get to without going all the way down to Lower Allston and eating at The Breakfast Club, which is little better than halfway-decent itself.

                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                              Grain and Salt
                                                                                                                              431 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

                                                                                                                              Breakfast Club
                                                                                                                              270 Western Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                                                                                                                              1. The Federal on Cambridge Street was all papered-up and closed today. A sign on the door said The Federal is closed. Thank you for your patronage.

                                                                                                                                1. Roly Poly, wrap and sandwich shop on Devonshire is closed. I can't say I'm surprised.

                                                                                                                                  I work across the street and literally never went in; just nothing appealing about from the outside/menu.

                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: 9lives

                                                                                                                                    I did go a few times after they opened, and they were pretty boring, though healthy.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: 9lives

                                                                                                                                      Took out from there a couple of times - nsenada is correct - the food was fresh and it wasn't exciting. There were customers, but it seemed like there were a lot of people working there also (more workers than customers?) Is it getting more and more difficut to keep a no-brand sandwich shop afloat downtown?? How is the Indian place next door doing? Haven't tried that yet though have read some okay commentary on it here.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Lady

                                                                                                                                        Roly Poly isn't a no name sandwich shop. It's part of a 125 (124?) store chain. D' Guru is ok. I go f lunch from time to time when I crave Indian food at lunch. Not a great value..the plates are mostly rice but what's there has some flavor.

                                                                                                                                        Sam LaGraasa's on Province St makes great sandwiches and a new place than Nseneda and I both liked is Eat Kitchen..260 Washington. For Italian, Viga makes good sandwiches and for a little more $ Casa Razdora on Water St is great...better quality and I can usually get 2 meals out of 1.

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                                                                                                                                        Casa Razdora
                                                                                                                                        115 Water St, Boston, MA 02109

                                                                                                                                        1. re: 9lives

                                                                                                                                          Thanks 9lives. I have a slightly "Manhattan" approach to lunch - tend to stay close to where I work (in the way Manhattanites tend to eat breakfast mostly at the diner closest to their apartment.) Do like Viga and LaGrassa's. Will put Casa Razdora on the rotation - eating half of the offering is also a good idea - might reduce the chance of early afternoon food coma.

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                                                                                                                                          Casa Razdora
                                                                                                                                          115 Water St, Boston, MA 02109

                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Lady

                                                                                                                                            Gotta agree with 9lives - Casa Razdora is great. I try to do the 1/2 sandwich thing too but it doesn't always work. I usually get them on their focaccia, which they make there.
                                                                                                                                            Their pastas (which they also make in house) are great too, & I LOVE their stuffed peppers.

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                                                                                                                                            Casa Razdora
                                                                                                                                            115 Water St, Boston, MA 02109