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Feature

Evan Sung
January 4, 2021
Legal Sea Foods Has Been Sold & Many More Winter Hibernations: The Weekly Boston Restaurant Update
Boston restaurant news for the week of 1/4/2021.
Written by

If you want to stay on top of what’s happening with Boston restaurants and bars right now, you’ve come to the right place. Every week, we’ll be keeping track of the latest openings, reopenings, takeout specials, and other exciting or noteworthy updates around the city.

For the full list of 100+ restaurants currently open with heated patios, check out our guide here. And if you have any tips or questions, send us an email at newsletter@theinfatuation.com.

Week of Jan 1

  • Welcome to 2021 - will it be the year of ghost kitchens? We’ve already seen the launch of Stalk, La Ventana, and Secret Sauce Barbecue - Boston.com has the full report of why we might see even more of these.

  • With the passing of the second stimulus bill (was that the government or some daytime soap opera?), restaurants and other small businesses can now apply for additional aid. Eater Boston has the story.

  • The leaders of Mass Restaurants United have asked local officials to place a cap on fees from delivery companies. Here’s why they think you should order directly from restaurants.

  • Remember Phantom Gourmet? Apparently it’s still in existence, but 2020 was a year of reckoning for the company. Boston Magazine has a piece detailing the rise and fall of the TV show.

  • Legal Sea Foods has now officially been sold to a holding company that also owns Strega Italiano and Smith & Wollensky. Founder Roger Berkowitz would have preferred not to sell the family business, but he’ll still be in charge of the e-commerce side of things.

  • Restaurant Hibernations: SRV, Frenchie, B&G Oysters, and Five Horses Tavern in the South End, nathálie in Fenway, haley.henry Downtown, Coppersmith in Southie, Porto in Back Bay, Rosebud in Somerville, State Park in Cambridge, and all locations of Not Your Average Joe’s have closed temporarily.

BOS

Guide:

Boston Restaurants With Outdoor Heat Lamps

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BOS

Guide:

Boston Restaurants With Enclosed Tents, Domes And Greenhouses For Outdoor Dining

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Week of December 14

  • This holiday season, a number of local restaurants are partnering with No Kid Hungry and donating a portion of select proceeds to the organization. For more information, follow along on Instagram.

  • The chefs from PAGU and Mei Mei co-founded Project Restore Us at the beginning of the pandemic, a non-profit that seeks to help restaurants survive and tackle food insecurity. If you’re looking to volunteer or donate before the end of the year, we think this is a great local cause.

  • Rochambeau is running a holiday bakery pop-up from December 15th-23rd, featuring cookies, macarons, and festive cakes. We suggest consuming the treats prior to visiting the Tesla dealership next door.

  • Lulu Green is collaborating with Union Square Donuts for the holidays, and they’ve got some vegan donuts for sale. The first box, available on December 19, has peppermint brownie and chai apple cider donuts.

  • Laughing Monk Cafe, one of the best sushi spots in town, recently launched omakase to-go boxes. They’re also serving omakase on their heated patio, which may be a Christmas present to ourselves.

  • Harpoon has teamed up with Vermont-based distillery WhistlePig for a new beer: The Bock Hog. Apparently it has flavors of toffee and cacao - we’ll have to see if it pairs well with a Heath Bar. The beer is available in 22oz bottles and also on tap at Harpoon.

  • The Boston Harbor Distillery is running a #RYESUP campaign, where $20 from every bottle of Putnam Rye Whiskey sold is being donated to the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. Bottles sold to restaurants count too, so consider a rye cocktail the next time you order a drink.

  • Restaurant Hibernations: Prezza in the North End, Highland Kitchen in Somerville, Oak Long Bar in Back Bay, and Rail Stop in Brighton have all temporarily closed until further notice.

Week of December 7

  • Governor Baker announced that Massachusetts will now return to Phase 3, Stage 1 of the reopening plan, which means tables at restaurants will be limited to groups of six with 90 minute blocks, and that diners will be encouraged to only dine with those in their households. Boston.com interviewed local restaurant owners about the new restrictions - here are their thoughts.

  • Based on the number of spots making new pizzas, it’s clear that pies are an essential winter food for New Englanders. Now Saltie Girl is joining the party too with six different seafood pizzas, including a tasty-sounding one with octopus and fennel sausage.

  • Calling all scotch fans - Sonsie in Back Bay will be hosting a scotch dinner on December 15, featuring a three-course meal paired with three different scotches from Dalmore. You can find more information here.

  • If you’re looking to gift some wine this year but don’t know where to start, then give Bauer Wine & Spirits a call. They’re putting together gift baskets with free delivery in the Greater Boston area. We’ve got an Infatuation Wine Gift Pack as well.

  • We’re not sure how Mariah Carey and Greece are related, but Krasi is hosting a Carey-themed brunch on December 13, complete with a live DJ, projections of the singer, and costumed waitstaff. All we want for Christmas is... a taste of baklava muffins?

  • Or maybe you’d prefer a taste of Mariah Carey’s Christmas cookies instead? The singer just partnered with the co-founder of Bertucci’s to a launch a line of holiday treats - “One Sweet Day” just took on a whole new meaning.

  • Alcove is one of the spots that will still have a heated patio this winter, and they’re making the most of it with new menu items like cheese fondue, s’mores, and mulled wine by their fire pits.

  • A number of restaurants are doing Hanukkah specials this year. Urban Hearth in Cambridge has family meal offerings, Mamaleh’s has a fry menu, and Union Square donuts has a sufganiyot variety box.

  • Restaurant Hibernations: Spoke Wine Bar and Dali in Somerville, Catalyst and Colette in Cambridge, and Canary Square in JP have all gone into hibernation. Shay’s, Tambo 22, Time Out Market, SRV, and White Horse Tavern will go into hibernation soon.

Week of November 30

  • Food insecurity has always been an issue in Boston, but the pandemic has made things a lot worse. This holiday season, if you’re looking to help, Boston.com has a list of ways to do so.

  • On the topic of food insecurity, bartaco in Seaport will be donating $1 from every roasted brussels sprout taco sold from now until December 7 to No Kid Hungry.

  • Last week, Mayor Walsh announced that there were no plans to shut down indoor dining for now. He will also provide an update to the outdoor dining situation sometime this week.

  • Tasty Burger has just launched two new “Holiday Shakes” - gingerbread cookie and chocolate candy cane. The latter sounds like a drink you could use to prank Santa after he makes it down the chimney.

  • Mamaleh’s, the Jewish deli in Kendall Square, will be offering a “Hanukkah Fry Menu” from December 10th-18th, with things like latkes and fried apple pie.

  • Woods Hill Pier 4 is bringing the farm to you this winter with a CSA-like program. Choices include beef, lamb, pork, and even honey, all from their New Hampshire farm. Orders can be placed here.

  • If you’re looking for food-related Christmas gifts, then the Maine-based Stonewall Kitchen might be able to help you out. They just opened a brand new store in Fort Point, right next to the Boston Children’s Museum.

  • Restaurant Hibernations: Summer Shack and Select Oyster Bar in Back Bay, Daedalus in Cambridge, Atlántico in the South End, and Downtown spots Villa Mexico Cafe, The Sevens Ale House, and A&B Kitchen and Bar have all closed temporarily. Spoke in Somerville will also be hibernating from December 7th onwards.

  • Closings: Cuisine en Locale in Somerville has closed. China Moon in Stoneham will close on December 14.

Week of November 23

  • It’s hard to believe that it’s Thanksgiving week already. If you missed out on Thanksgiving pre-orders, don’t worry - some of our best butcher shops have you covered. Savenor’s and Walden Local are open for most of the early part of this week.

  • If you love The Painted Burro, but don’t live in Somerville, we have some good news. A few months ago The Painted Burro ran a pop-up at Posto Bedford, and that was apparently so successful that they’ll now sell tacos and margaritas there all winter long.

  • We’re not sure why there are so many Detroit-style pizza spots opening up here, but we’ve got another one to add to the list. Square Mfg. Co. will start selling - you guessed it - square pies in Natick sometime in December.

  • Speaking of pizza, Source, a farm-to-table spot with wood-fired pizza, has opened in Harvard Square. The chef says that most of the ingredients come from within 100 miles of the restaurant.

  • Looking for a restaurant-specific Black Friday deal? Tony and Elaine’s, Ciao Bella, and Ward 8 are partnering with UberEats this Friday for a BOGO deal on meatballs, chicken parm, and fried chicken sandwiches at each of the respective restaurants.

  • For the whole month of December, Maccabee Bar will be popping up at Bow Market and mixing up Hanukkah-inspired cocktails, which will also be available to-go. You can read all about it here.

  • Downtown’s recently closed sports bar, The Fours, will be auctioning over 1,000 pieces of sports memorabilia on December 3. Boston.com has the full report.

  • Looking to help communities in need this holiday season? Food For Free, a Cambridge non-profit that seeks to address food insecurity, is in need of volunteers for home deliveries and public school meal distribution.

  • Closings: Gaslight Brasserie du Coin in the South End has closed.

Week of November 16

  • Bianca, the new restaurant from the team behind renowned sushi spot O Ya, opened its doors last week. The original date for opening was March 2020, but we all know what happened then. There’s a heated outdoor patio too - check out all the details here.

  • Montreal-style bagels are now available in Union Square. Turenne just opened last week, and they’re also selling croissants, salads, and nightly takeout dinner baskets.

  • If you’re looking to pick-up a new winter activity, perhaps you should consider curling. Snowport, the “winter wonderland” in Seaport, will host curling classes every Saturday. Naturally, there will be food available as well with The Biscuit, Red’s Best, and Hooked all on site with pies, clam chowder, and smoked fish.

  • Or maybe you’d prefer less curling and more high-stakes eating. The Porch in Medford has added a “Hot Wings Roulette” option to their menu. The plate comes with eight identical looking wings, but one of them is supposedly very, very spicy. Sounds like something you should order for that roommate who is getting on your nerves.

  • Spyce, the robot-staffed veggie bowl restaurant, has completed a major renovation and is now back open for takeout and delivery. Rumor has it that Will Smith checks in on the machines from time to time.

  • A new speakeasy bar has opened in the Leather District. Offsuit is located within Troquet on South, and takes advantage of the otherwise unused private dining spaces. Boston.com has the full story.

  • Rounding out the news on openings, Buttermilk & Bourbon just announced that they will be opening a second location at Watertown’s Arsenal Yards next year. We’re definitely looking forward to beignets on the Charles River next summer.

  • Closings: Cafe Polonia in Southie, Whole Heart Provisions in Allston, and Grumpy White’s in Quincy have all closed. The Kitchen Cafe in the Leather District will be closing on Nov 21.

Week of November 9

  • Even for 2020, last week felt like an unbelievably long stretch of time. Now that it’s over, we can turn our attention to the holiday season. And if you’re in no mood to think about cooking, that’s fine - we’ve got a running list of all the restaurants offering Thanksgiving takeout.

  • It appears that pop-ups are still going strong - this week, the brand new Artifact Cider space in Central Square will be hosting Malaysian pop-up Sekali. Menu items include things like curry puffs and pandan cheesecake.

  • The team behind Lower Mills Tavern in Dorchester has launched a new vegan “ghost restaurant,” Stalk. Takeout and delivery for things like carrot turmeric soup and tofu steak will be available throughout the week from Lower Mills Tavern.

  • The Lexington, the second of three new restaurants in East Cambridge, will open on November 11. We reviewed their “outdoor pop-up” this past summer.

  • First we had to-go cocktails, and now we have a Taco Bell that serves beer, wine, and alcoholic slushies near BU. John Winthrop must be having a hard time resting this year.

  • Tree House Brewing, arguably the most well-known brewery in the state, recently announced two new locations for next year: Cape Cod and Deerfield. The Western Mass location is going to be huge - 100,000 square feet of hoppy delight.

  • In other beer-related news, Clown Shoes Beer has released a special holiday 12 pack for $26. You can find all the info about the 12 beers here.

  • Closings: Fuku in Seaport and The Fours Downtown have both closed. Jeveli’s in East Boston is closing after-hours on Tuesday, at least temporarily.

Week of November 2

  • November is here, which means that a number of restaurants have now entered hibernation. Gray’s Hall, ReelHouse, and Orfano are just a few of the spots that won’t reopen until spring - here’s a longer list.

  • The recent snow storm was an annoyance for most of us, but for restaurant owners, it was an omen of what’s to come in the colder months. Boston.com has the full report.

  • Gov. Baker announced that this Friday, all restaurants and breweries must close by 9:30pm for table service, but may remain open after that time for takeout.

  • At the end of last week, Inspire Brands, which owns Arby’s, Jimmy John’s, and Buffalo Wild Wings, officially purchased Dunkin’ Donuts for a whopping $11 billion dollars. Does that mean roast beef donut sandwiches - something we’ve been making for years - will finally gain national recognition?

  • Elm Street Sweets, a new-ish dessert spot selling pies and other treats from Rosebud Kitchen, has been so popular that it’s expanding to a second location inside Posto in Bedford. Pre-orders can be placed here.

  • The team behind Buttermilk & Bourbon have now opened B&B Fish in Marblehead, a seafood spot with a focus on New England specialities. Obviously, we all need more lobster rolls and chowder in our lives.

  • In other seafood and openings related news, Cajun Crab Shack is now open in Roslindale. Hush puppies with a side of lemon pepper king crab, coming right up.

  • Just in case you missed it, a number of places are doing Election Day specials and care packages since we all need cocktails and free tacos this year. Check out the full list here.

  • Closings: Southside Tavern in Quincy and Cobblestone Cafe in the North End has closed.

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