Better late than never: Boston MA area opens/closings Dec 2016

sort of floundering lately, and completely forgot to start this one. Sorry!

Anything interesting on the openings front? Anything terrible on the closings front?

infusions tea spa on brighton ave in allston is closed for renovations. a note on the door says they have a pop up station in the food court at the galleria mall in cambridge

Benedetto (Cambridge) has opened in the old Rialto space in the Charles Hotel. The space isn’t dramatically different. The illuminated onyx bar is still there and as great to dine at as ever. The dining room has been opened up and gotten a facelift.

The menu is very similar to Giulia, divided into Sfizi, Antipasti, Primi, Secondi and Dolci. The pastas are the highlight here as well, and the best to be had in this area. I generally stick with the smaller plates and pastas at Pagliarini’s restaurants. The food was hitting on all notes just a few days after opening. One improvement over Guilia seems to be the pastry chef. Bread service and dessert (hazelnut semi freddo) were both sublime. Service at the bar was friendly and professional.

It seemed to be a tough more expensive than Giulia, though I have not compared directly. This would make some sense with the hotel location I suppose. It will be nice to have more seats to enjoy this fantastic food. Giulia has been one of the toughest tables in the area. It looks like there was pent up demand though; when we stopped at the hostess stand on the way out to make a weekend reservation they were already booking into January.

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@passing_thru You might want to fix that subject line to read December 2016. :slight_smile: (Maybe @hungryonion can help if you no longer have edit capabilities)

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heh, I told you that I’ve been floundering lately!:sweat:

(thanks for the edit, @hungryonion!)

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Speaking of floundering, Cape Ann Fresh Catch’s store opens Dec. 8 at 46 Commercial Street in Gloucester. It will offer fresh and prepared seafood, and other locally-produced foods (e.g. eggs, honey) and crafts.

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Along floundering lines, Pokeworks is open in Davis Square. Service was still thrashing some on Friday but we eventually netted a perfectly cromulent “Hawaiian Classic” poke bowl once we added seaweed salad as a topping.

Hopefully they’ll get more practiced with the assembly process and get more seating too. Some stools for the window counter would not be amiss.

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Good one, Grey :slight_smile:

fruit life dessert is opening in the old salon dean space (next to totto ramen) on brighton ave in allston

Cafe Baraka has opened in its new space in Cambridge, on Mass. Ave. between Harvard and Porter Squares. Sign says they are open for dinner and will soon open for lunch as well.

aladdin’s grill is opening in the old el madina space on squire road in revere

I don’t know when this stand opened up, but I saw a little Chinese jian bing stall opened up at the Kam Man market in Quincy. Stopped by and had a Shandong style one, and order a beef one for my dad. He thought his was quite good. I think the stall is called IQ (it’s right at the entrance of the grocery store) and has a small selection of jian bings, noodles, and dumplings. The noodles are “fresh” (read: fresh pressed out of a machine, not by hand), but was pretty good.

The jian bings are huge – think Indian dosa size. They do offer mini versions that are about the size of a thin wrap, which was much more manageable when you have bags of groceries. They sell the noodles fresh, so I wouldn’t mind coming back for a batch to drop into some soup noodles (1 lb for $3).

It’s not quite like having a Beijing street hawker right there, but the food is for the most part made fresh right there, so it’s not a bad start. I think the stall and its young workers need to work out their production process, because it was a good 10-15 mins to get the food, and there is only limited seating in that area.

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We had a farewell “#3, add bacon” dinner yesterday at Emma’s Pizza in Cambridge. I asked why they were closing (last dinner service is Friday the 30th) and was told that most of their business had switched to take-out & delivery and that the dining room just wasn’t bringing in enough to cover licensing costs.

I’ll miss them for dinners in that neighborhood. The south end take-out business is supposed to stay open and is going to try to continue delivery to Cambridge, according to Eater: http://boston.eater.com/2016/12/27/14088092/emmas-pizza-cambridge-closing

I was told that Gene’s Chinese Flatbread Cafe’s new Westford location, across the street from Whole Foods, is now open. I know where I’ll be on New Year’s Day!

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Greygarious, thank you for your intel about Gene’s opening in Westford! Made it there on a cold Friday night and the place was jumping. There’s a temporary sign in the form of a banner over the front door. Cash only (was it always?)

We had two orders of hand-pulled noodles to go: the “standard” ones with the garlicky, somewhat spicy oil (#4) and the cumin lamb noodles (#9). The #4 was a bit lighter on the chili oil than we remembered, so next time I will check if I need to add a touch more from the container on the side counter. Excited to have Gene’s back in the neighborhood.

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

― Jonathan Gold