April! 2017! Boston and surroundings, Openings and Closings!

last month’s version of this post was actually a little lively, which was great. So here’s a new one for April. I’m not in town so I have nothing to report as yet. Anything new out there? Anything going away?

Well this isn’t an opening or closing but a sad change.

In Waltham, brewer’s tap and table was one of our favorite new restaurants - great concept, creative and tasty options, good space, lots of local beer on tap and good bourbon.

Sadly the two people who opened the concept (husband and wife duo Nancy and Matt) left. I don’t have an inside details but from gossip it sounds like the business has always been owned by the Boston beer works guy/people (that was the origional concept but I guess waltham wouldn’t give them the brewer’s liscense/zoning). After a year or so, it sounds like they all couldn’t come to a business agreement so they left.

I’m very worried about what will come of the place. It was great. Will they be able to keep it up or will it go to crap? Time will tell. Waltham is such a dichotomy of “nicer places” or “crap bar food”. I hope they continue to play in the nice food pool instead of going towards the low end.

Sad for us.

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Driving past today, I saw that The Pongal (rt 3A Billerica) is gone. The place was closed, the sign replaced by one that read “Royal Tavern”.

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According to the Globe, Blue Ginger will close June 3. Blue Dragon remains open, and Ming plans a fast casual stir fry place in Boston. On June 4, there will be a sale of the restaurant’s equipment in their parking lot.

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Bess’s Cafe in Brookline is serving according to them Jiang Nan cuisine. Dan Dan Noodle makes an appearance, however.

Trattoria NINA is open in Arlington. It is a small little family-run Italian restaurant. Owner is Sardinian. I cannot find the menu to see the kind of food served.

District Kitchen in Malden is the sister restaurant to All Season Table. It offers SE Asian small plates.

“Picture sweetgreen, but you pick your vegetables, your protein, your sauce, and it gets freshly stir-fried within a 2-minute time frame, then it goes on your rice noodles or grain and you’re out.”

This Chipotle-clone seems like a bit of a step down from Blue Ginger? I hope he has other projects in the pipeline.

harvest hot pot on main street in malden is now go chi chinese restaurant

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Les Sablons, a French restaurant from Jeremy Sewall (of ICOB, Lineage, Row 34) has opened in Harvard Square.

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They serve “Dongbei” style food like Golden Garden. Will be interesting to see how the two compare.

oooh, interesting. I may have an open lunch slot tomorrow. If all goes well, I’ll check it out.

That sounds like Fire and Ice

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My thoughts exactly! Good one.

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Anyone have info on Qingdao Garden in North Cambridge? The internets say it’s closed.

Oh no! That place was great.

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Don’t panic yet- this could be a totally false alert. Will try to investigate.

We called to see if they were open on Easter Sunday, and there was a message saying they were closed for a couple of weeks for kitchen renovations. Hopefully that’s all it is…

It’s on my regular jogging route so I actually just ran by to investigate- there’s a Health Dept notice on the door saying their exhaust hood was venting carbon monoxide into the basement and also citing “unsanitary conditions.” The owners’ sign lists several dates they will be closed in mid-late April, but not including today and they are in fact closed. I suspect they’ll reopen- no sign of it being permanent.

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here’s hoping. Thanks for the report!

I loved this place. Raved about it. Ate there as often as possible. Mourned during their year of remodeling. Celebrated when they reopened.

But something changed. I think the younger man has purchased and the quality of the ingredients has plummeted which breaks my heart to say. Lamb with Cumin? The meat was stringy. That lovely pork noodle soup? The broth is still good, but the pork chops were inedible. Dumplings were still great. Water spinach? Not available as a special anymore. That lovely lotus root dish that the older gentleman talked me into ordering? Not available.

Maybe they will take this opportunity to refresh their approach to the food.

Went by yesterday for lunch. They were closed to “properly transfer license. open soon with grand opening.”

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold