I’ve no authority to start such a thread, and rarely have much to add, out-of-touch-with-the-new as I am, but I’ve found these threads personally very useful. Therefore, with all the selfishness at my disposal, let me start the April ball rolling.
April 2022 Openings and Closings [Boston and New England]
Next Door Speakeasy & Raw Bar, East Boston, few days old, seems popular already
Kura Revolving Sushi Bar, Watertown Arsenal Yards, tried to go, the wait was almost two hours
Mission Beach House, 400 Ocean Av Revere, looks like new hotel/condo/apt retail bar/resto
High Street Place, 100 High Street Boston, okay not really new just another food court
BAB Korean Bistro Centre and Main St Malden, I think it’s a 2nd one of a Brookline estab.
Boston Kebab, Lexington St Waltham, I mentioned it before.
But I don’t think BAB is open yet. Here’s a photo I took Feb 15th. It seems like your general all purpose Korean place without BBQ judging from the other place. But just trying to give you the opening before it even opens!
In Waltham news - just read on Wicked Local that Demos on Lexington (people used to recommend this place to me a lot, I went once and never returned) has been sold and will become Boston Kebab house.
anon6418899 reported on this over the weekend.
Spicy Hunan Kitchen has finally opened in downtown Woburn after a years-long, covid-interrupted gestation. It is the sibling of the Wakefield edition of Sei Bar, which also does Hunan cuisine, and a very creditable version of it at that. I hope to report on the new place soon. Note that it is closed Tuesdays, echoes of Mary Chung.
(Be aware that the other two Sei Bars, in Medford and Everett, do a Westernized, hybrid Japanese/Thai/American-Chinese menu, rather less interesting.)
As I do every spring,* I am happy to report that Kimball Farm in Westford is now open for ice cream. Neither the grill in Westford or the other Kimball’s locations have opened for the season yet.
*When I remember to report, that is.
I had a look in at Spicy Hunan Kitchen, maybe understand why it took so long to renovate and open. The space is huge: full bar with a couple of cafe tables up front, disco-light hallway to a large back room, 20-seat private room in the way back. The menu combines the traditional Hunan cuisine of the Wakefield location with the Japanese / Thai / American Chinese dishes of the other Sei Bars.
Black mushroom (wood ear) salad, f-ton of raw garlic and fresh chili, a perfect echo of the Wakefield spot’s superb rendition. Spicy lamb with cumin: good, just underdone. Changsha steamed shumai with sticky rice: a new dish to me. I think this is juhua shaomai, aka chrysanthemum shumai. Pretty, obviously a lot of hand work, gorgeous texture, but the rice component makes it a bit bland for a pork dumpling.
Excited to dig deeper into the Hunan side of this menu! Lots o’ organ meats. Plenty of options for your less adventurous friends, too.
2 hours for a revolving sushi bar?? Most revolving sushi bar’s I’ve been to range from meh to decent, and it’s often more the convenience or the lesser of many evils. Anything special about Kura, aside from their cute sushi doggy mascot?
And looks like everything good and exciting only happens north of or west of Boston.
Signed, sad south shore resident
I keep hoping for something unique or special to go into Arsenal Yards, but I’m not holding my breath. These kinds of developments (it has the same vibe as Assembly Row and Legacy Place) seem to be happy with presenting a certain somewhat-upscale image without having to be actually that good. That said, Branch Line is repeat-visit-worthy, and La Casa de Pedro used to be, when it existed (though both predated the makeover that turned Arsenal Mall into Arsenal Yards). Buttermilk and Bourbon is not bad. The Mexican place was pretty forgettable.
It’s true, I don’t head to south shore eats very much except if I have something to do. I’ve been to all the really established places like Ali’s Roti and other Caribbean eateries. Quincy doesn’t really have an exceptional Chinese place, Chili Square is interesting and so was Fiskie’s Cafe years before they sold, having different styles of duck head. I think the old owner of Fiskie was from Wuxi, I forget. Rye and Steel is decent. I’m going to try Meng’s for dim sum soon though. It’s just a totally different subgroup of Chinese down there, it’s the old Chinatown lineages from generations back who moved south. They have almost nothing to do with the 380K Chinese students you see walking around college campuses today.
Arsenal Yards is what you would expect. Highly planned mall experiences which is never really fun or spontaneous, but you hope something great comes but rarely does. I was hoping Tori Jiro would impress, but it was too sauced, too slow, and just not enough energy in the cooking. But I went during soft opening. I told them what I thought maybe they improved. However, Yakitori Totto in Assembly Square, another outdoor mall, was surprisingly good, I’d give it 6/10 on a Japanese scale and 7.5/10 for USA. There is nothing special about Kura, it’s just fun. It’s just a thing in Japan I have some fondness for it from my youth.
Yeah all the action is mostly Metrowest these days, Malden and Salem really slowed down during the pandemic and haven’t roared back like Boston/Cambridge and points west, sometimes things around Burlington area.
I’m trying to get some friends together to try out Tori Jiro. Authentic yakitori places are still few and far between here (again - none located reasonably near me of course), so I would love to give them a try and see how they hold up.
Have you tried 100 Miles, in the President Plaza (replaced the Jazz Moon karaoke bar by Kam Man)? It’s actually one of the better and more interesting places to pop up that isn’t someone trying to ride on the hot pot trend or the Yunnan soup noodle trend. It’s got a few solid rendition of Sichuan dishes, but also some misses (suan la chau shou = thumbs down, as were the dan dan noodles). There were more hits than misses overall, and worth a visit.
The chili ratings were not accurate; those 3 chili dishes weren’t that spicy, though a DC with me who doesn’t like spicy food at all was sweating as he ate it (YMMV). It has no website that I can find though, and has been very under the radar. It’s got a younger, trendier vibe to it, and positions itself as a bar-cum- restaurant.
I’m ok if Quincy wants to stay more neighborhood-y and simple, than cool and flashy, but the pain point for me is that 98% of the time what’s opening up is a chain that is popular elsewhere, or is copy of a restaurant that already exists and has become popular. To get anything more interesting you really have to go at least two towns over.
I have it’s pretty decent but I wouldn’t make a special trip. The decor is hip and it’s nice for something that has no windows. Have you tried Meng’s? They have a branch in Malden as well.
Haven’t even heard of this place, until your post. Where is it?
477 Hancock St, Quincy, MA
It’s canto seafood and dim sum, should be better than China Pearl. You could try Nomai in Hingham’s Derby St mall. I think it’s related to the Shojo folks, or some group around there.
Oh wait – Ming’s! Haha…yes, I do know that place. It’s ok from a dim sum persepctive, IMO. I think they do somethings well, but I would say not everything equally well. I appreciate that they do have a few modernized dim sum dishes, but a few of the fancier ones were kind of duds. It’s a perfectly reasonable option for dim sum, and the space is way more comfortable and nicer (read: cleaner) than China Pearl for sure. I haven’t done a regular, non-dim sum meal there though and should try it. They used to own a little, little seafood restaurant in Quincy that had a some Fuzhou specific dishes that were quite good.
I am carless in Quincy. I’ve heard good things about Nomai. Will have to pressure my family or friends who have a car to get there.
I remember that place but never got to go. Yes sorry I have been misspelling it all this time, doh
@kobuta If you think Quincy is bad, try living even further South on the coast…it makes you unironically wonder if you are the best Chinese cook in this town ugh. We get our food fix these days driving further south to Rhode Island, where we can stop for great Portuguese in Fall River, or to Mantunuck for one of the best seafood restaurants in the state.
I digress though; have you been to Jinye Cafe? They do an excellent baked pork chop over rice. Or the new pickle fish or the rice noodle place?
I’ve passed by Jinye but haven’t gone in. I love HK-style casual cafe food, and I probably was suspicious seeing the name using romanized mandarin Chinese instead. I know - it’s a crazy/insane stereotype I have. I will definitely check them out though. I barely knew this place opened until about a year ago. Quincy definitely suffers from lack of PR or intel on new restaurants opening up.