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December 2012 Openings and Closings

Despite having a large Puerto Rican community of long standing, the South End had no Puerto Rican restaurants for ages until Vejigantes opened a few months ago.

Per Grub Street, we're getting a second one on December 1, called Mana Escondido Cafe, at 68 Aguadilla St (Grub Street got the address wrong). This means it's going into the old Miami Cafe space, the much-missed Dominican place that closed a few years back. It's also doing breakfast!


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  1. Nice! I can't wait for that.

    1. When God closes a Puerto Rican restaurant, somewhere he opens another.

      1 Reply
      1. re: FinnFPM

        I hadn't thought about that. RIP, Cafe Latino. *sniff*.


      2. Sycamore in Newton Center should be opening soon, I have heard from someone who was hired there. This was reported back in June. The owner is David Punch, of Ten Tables.

        1. Only a rumor just now, but I heard that at some point after Cinquecento (which opens later this week) gets up and firing on all cylinders, the Aquitaine Group will start thinking about a date to spin down Union Bar & Grille on Washington Street and reopen it with a new look, concept, and name.


          1. There was an infomercial in a local Brazilian newspaper for a new restaurant "Head of Bull" in Revere near where Route 60, 1A, and Beach Street meet (a plaza with Autozone and the RMV I believe). They are suggesting an early December opening with a menu of a la carte fare, churrasco, and desserts "putting a Brazilian face on Mediterranean, Italian, Portuguese, and American fare" (paraphrased). Not to leave anything at all out, they are going to have the "most famous and traditional french desserts"... and are even talking about crocodile, venison, and boar as future directions for the menu. I am just reporting what was written, so cannot vouch for content (I toned down the hyperbole) or whether it will open on time, but it said they have something akin to a soft opening for journalists so I guess the paper's readership will hear more soon.

            1. Though Casablanca was supposed to have closed at the end of the summer, they are still open for lunch and dinner, and "open until the end of the year, at least."

              1. This is probably more of a January or February opening, but they've finally got a sign up on the little shack they've been noisily building from the ground-up on the corner of Friend St and Merrimac/Merchant, next to Haymarket. It's called "Cuppacoffee" and apparently will be an Australian espresso bar that also serves meat pies. It seems like a husband/wife team.

                On twitter at @cuppacoffeeMA.

                9 Replies
                1. re: FinnFPM

                  That's a bold move into a pretty seasonal neighborhood. Maybe a lot of commuters jogging to catch the train will grab a meat pie for dinner?

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    They could get a LOT of people stopping in for coffee in the mornings. There's a Dunkin' Donuts at North Station, but until you hit Government Center, the only option I can think of between the train and downtown is the cafe in the ground floor of the Friend Street Hostel, which I don't think very many people are eager to stop and try.

                  2. re: FinnFPM

                    I work in the area and would definately eat a meat pie. Didn't know about the pie thing and am now kind of excited!

                    1. re: FinnFPM

                      Is an Australian espresso bar simply an American espresso bar run by Australians, or is it a thing?

                      Also: cool.

                      1. re: emannths

                        If you look past the Zen-like riddle of whether it is possible to have an Australian espresso bar in the US, then it's a thing. They have slightly different drinks with different naming conventions. Examples include Flat Black in Boston and a few places in New York, although they are generally run by Australians as well, naturally enough.

                      2. re: FinnFPM

                        That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. They're trying to be Starbucks in the morning and KO Pies in the afternoon? Good luck with that.

                          1. re: misscucina

                            It looks like coffee + meat pie is as natural a combination in Australia as roast beef + fried clams is in Boston.

                        1. Walked by the old Bosphorous space on Cambridge Street this evening and they were 5 minutes away from opening for the evening, which I was happy to see. I chatted briefly with several folks lurking outside who were waiting for the doors to open and would love to know what the place is like if any of you have been. Welcome to the neighborhood, Puritan and Co.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: mvi

                            Went to Puritan and Co. on Friday (first night after their soft opening). It's a great space and the food/service were excellent, particularly considering that they'd just opened their doors. The space is interesting and large, with a nice view of the kitchen. They have communal seating in certain sections, a charcuterie bar, the "regular" bar, and some tables that are small enough for non-communal seating.

                            For food: The clam chowder is a bit untraditional, but delicious: Whole clams (in the shell), big juicy pieces of pork belly. Yum. Baked scallops are sliced and served on the shell, covered in a sauce and thin layer of agar gelatin. Very good. Snacks are great: blue fish pate, delicious, and gougeres filled with cheese. For dessert: parsnip cake (similar to carrot cake). Really nice. Draft beer selection is small but entirely local (Night Shift Brewing, Mystic, Notch, Blatant Brewing, and 1 or 2 others I'm forgetting), which I think is great. They also have a good bottle selection from local brewers. The only clunker of the evening was a salad that had just a bit too much oil on it. Would've been nice to let the greens stand out a bit more. But that's a minor complaint.

                            Overall, a welcome addition to Inman Square. I look forward to trying it again.

                            1. re: mvi

                              I also went this week. The food is excellent. The service is excellent. We loved the Moxie-glazed lamb belly that is being raved about on Eater and Urban Daddy. It really is rave-worthy! We also had the gougeres (cheddar and mornay sauce oozing inside - unctuous and delicious) - I do wish the temp was warm - but what do I know - they were exquisite, nonetheless. I loved the frisee salad with foie, cracklings, johnny cake and fresh soft cooked farm egg atop it. This was the best rendition of the frisee aux lardon salad I have had in a good long time. I will order it again and again and again. Dying to go back to the charcuterie bar. Wish they had a full liquor license.

                              1. re: Small Plates

                                Thanks to you huuvola and Small Plates. I am so excited to try this place and will write a report when I go. Your recommendations will be very helpful.

                              2. Piperi near One Beacon in that funny corner spot (formerly Crepes, formerly Pressed) has been open for a couple of days. I've been happy with the 2 felafel sandwiches that I've had. The bread is nice and you get to pick your fillings - from carrots to hummous to feta & olives. The staff is friendly. I'm considering it in my rotation :) http://piperi.com/

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: cindywho

                                  I am enjoying a salad from there right now. Really nice felafel and hummus, and the greens are actually decent. I hope this place sticks around.

                                2. Question: I see that the late unlamented Betty's is still vacant across Huntington from Symphony Hall. Sign says "closed indefinitely." Any word on what might happen to that space?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: peregrine

                                    Ginger Exchange from Inman Sq and Burllington Mall area. Sushi, pan asian noodles etc... Not bad, not mind blowing.

                                    1. re: coolaugustmoon

                                      Thanks. Not bad is an improvement on inedible.

                                  2. Tasty Burger in Harvard Square is looking pretty close to opening - sign is up, interior (based on some peeking through the glass) is nearly finished. Excited!

                                    1. Per BostonChefs.com, The Sinclair opens tonight in Harvard Square, though for the next few weeks it will offer an extremely limited menu in its 125 seat restaurant, and only open when the club side has a band booked. Michael Schlow is the "consulting chef", Marcellus Coleman the real chef.

                                      It's at 52 Church Street, and is pretty big venue (525 seats, nearly the size of the Middle East Downstairs). I often like the bands that The Bowery Presents books in Boston, mostly at The Royale. Supposed to be fully up and running in a few weeks.


                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                                        Bunch of friends going tonight. Concrete Blonde with Laurie Sargent. Can't wait for the report.

                                        1. re: Small Plates

                                          Concrete Blonde? Wow. I remember them from way back when. God, I feel old.

                                      2. I don't think anyone has mentioned this yet, but Lam's in Newtonville is closing Saturday. This is a real loss. Best Southeast Asian food in the 'burbs, in my opinion. I heard something about the rent being too high.

                                        1. I just noticed that there is a sign up for Harvest, the market, on the 1st floor of a new building about a block from Forest Hills Station on Washington St (going towards Roslindale). I couldn't see if it was open yet. It's steps from the overpass to Hyde Park Ave.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: catsmeow

                                            I assume you mean Harvest Co-Op. They opened a new location this week at 3815 Washington St.

                                          2. Eater claims the Harvard Square Tasty Burger will be opening "this weekend." Nothing firmer than that.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                              Lights were on last night. The space looks great. Can't wait.

                                              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                The Harvard Crimson reports that the official opening was yesterday:


                                              2. Does anyone have any info on the possibility of Schoolhouse Pizza in Quincy closing? Seem to be having no luck getting through to them for the past few weeks. Phone access in the past with them has been spotty, but staying hopeful as it's one of the only bright spots for pizza in this area.

                                                2 Replies
                                                  1. re: lc02139

                                                    Thanks lc! I missed that thread in my search somehow!

                                                1. Eater Boston reports that Marco Cucina Italiana in the North End is closing Dec 23.

                                                  "Another restaurant is moving into the space" in early 2013. Don't know the owner, chef, or concept there.


                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                    they mentioned that marc orfaly, the original owner, had sold it before it closed. i had not known that. anybody know about when he sold it?

                                                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                      That was news to me, too. Eater now reports that the new place will be called Aria Trattoria; owner is a former GM of nearby Tresca.


                                                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                        license was transferred within the last two weeks I think.

                                                    2. In Harvard Square, Osushi has opened.

                                                      Toscano is getting close, the exterior work is done and they appear to be cranking on the inside, it will probably slide to next month.

                                                      I still need to get to Tasty Burger. My beef intake has been at peak levels, but I'll squeeze a lunch in this week.

                                                      1. The South End Buttery's location on Clarendon is open

                                                        2 Replies
                                                          1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                            It used to be a toy store. Where Appleton and Clarendon converge. I wouldn't be surprised if it puts Appleton cafe out of business

                                                        1. Joe Fish has opened in the old Picadilly Pub location in North Reading

                                                          1. Noted elsewhere, but Allston vegan pizzeria Peace o' Pie is no more.