Boston. MA. February, 2018. Openings! Closings!

it’s February. Some things die their last death. Others start to bud out towards the sun.


As of late January, Toscanini’s in Central Square has closed (temporarily, supposedly, due to construction), but opened an new location on First Street near Cambridgeside Galleria and Helmand.

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in the Dorchester thread, C. Hamster said Pho So 1 was closed last time he drove by. I just tried to map it, and Google maps says that closing is permanent.

We did take out from Kor Tor Mor last week. They do have dine-in ability as of this month and there were 3 tables of people eating when I picked up our food. There are some bizzare things going on with their grubhub account, and I ended up ordering by phone. Our order was ready on time and they included everything, which is sometimes half the battle with new take out places.

To the food: we tend to order pretty much the same stuff, and I more or less recreated our typical Lemon Thai order since I wanted a comparison to see if this place is going in the rotation. I was hoping the comparison would be to Cha Yen, but when I saw the typical pan-asian menu with gyoza, crab rangoon, etc, I realized Kor Tor Mor was not going that route. Sad shrug and onwards.

Pad thai was average, a bit sweeter than I prefer but good chew to the noodles. Pad See You was a loser- american broccoli is just out of place here. Even my kids wouldn’t eat it. The green curry with tofu was excellent- much spicier than most and strong flavor of lemongrass. The pad pik king was nice, good heat level (they give it 2 chilis on the menu and we didn’t request any specific heat level), but my favorite remains at Thai Moon in Arlington.

We got a free order of Khao Na Kai, their signature dish, with a coupon I saw on grubhub which they were kind enough to honor over the phone. I’m not an expert on this dish, but we liked it. Rather sweet sauce on the chicken, and not something that I’d order for sharing at dinner since there were just a couple of slices of sausage and cucumber, but might be nice as a lunch plate for one. Provided a sweet soy type sauce is something you want to eat for lunch. Me, I’d go with the green curry instead.

We might order from here again and try a few more dishes, but I wish they’d prune the menu down to a reasonable size and do fewer things better. Prices were similar to Lemon Thai but several of the dishes come with rice included in the container, which means less food overall.


hear, hear. I wish this of so many places.

Thanks for the review! Will check this out at some point.

Somerville Bread Company is closed due to storm damage. No expected reopening date yet.


Dumpling Kitchen on Highland in Somerville is open in the old Yummy Hut space. I suspect it’s run of the mill, though I haven’t yet gone in and scoped the menu.

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Well the new Moody’s Backroom space in Waltham opened tonight! At this point I don’t think it qualifies as a new concept (oysters and 6 crudos on the menu tonight - sure it will expand over time). Long time coming!


cool. would love to hear any reports from the front!

Very happy Moody’s has expanded and the new space had a nice vibe, very similar to the Backroom space. So that was all good.

Service was … not good - BUT it was a soft open and we’ve had great service in the Backroom so I have no worries that they will figure that all out.

Both menus are available throughout the entire Backroom so overall it feels more like an expansion than a new concept. The other two new concepts (BBQ and a taco place) look like they will be actual separate concepts.

We just ordered from the Crudo menu. For the soft open they had 6 different types of oysters and 6 crudos. From the looks of the equipment behind the bar they will expand that offering over time but I guess time will tell. We didn’t ask about the plan.

We had a dozen oysters (2 of each) and 3 crudo (a Maine scallop, a hamachi, and a mixed ceviche). The quality of ingredients was great.

The Maine scallop had taro chips, orange and a spicy oil. The taro was a nice texture change (I’m not sure I enjoy the texture of raw scallop) but overall we felt it needed more acid.

The hamachi had yuzo tobiko, avocado, ginger. The fish was great and we liked the yuzo note. Depending on the bite it offered a nice finish. Again we thought it needed more acid.

The ceviche mixto was our favorite and had the acid level we like but it was a ceviche not a “crudo”. It was great.

The oysters were all great. 3 of the six of mine had shell bits in them, which since you’re not really doing anything to them all you have to get “right” is no shell and dislodge them from the shell. My SO didn’t have any shells.

So overall we are very happy and excited for them. The Backroom opened to rough service and a limited menu and turned out great. We have no doubt this will too.


Thank you for this up to the minute report. Now I will feel a tiny bit better that I won’t be able to try the expanded Moody’s right away. Something to look forward to.

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Thanks for this. Made a reservation for The Backroom for Saturday - hopefully they are still serving both menus!

I really think they were just understaffed for the soft open.

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I admire their meats, and I eat them a lot, but why would a professional outfit be understaffed for a soft open? it’s not like they’re rank amateurs and don’t understand what’s what. I’d love to see a restaurant open and “fire on all cylinders” (whatever that means) from the getgo, rather than fall back on the “it’s just a soft open” excuse. It’s not like the Moody people are babies.

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I can’t disagree but there are so many other things going on during a change like that. In this case they could have had a new POS system as well but even if not, the tickets are now going to two different kitchens and I think drinks/wine might be coming out of a new area in the new space. So now they also have to pick up food from two different locations. So there are a lot of little changes that can really impact server productivity. But knowing all that, they could have had extra hands on deck.

thanks for the report. need to get back to Waltham!

Pepe Boca in Davis Square has switched to a dinner-only restaurant format. As I’ve reported elsewhere, I’m not overly impressed with their food from when they were a specialty and take out shop, and I rarely go out for Italian, so I probably won’t be trying this but would be interested to hear any reports. I’m concerned that the format switch will alienate any regular customers who might have tried to stop by to buy products during the day, and suspect they will be out of business within 6 months.

Also in Davis, Mortadella Head from the Boston Burger folks, in the old Deli-icious space, has a sign that they’re hiring so perhaps opening is near.


Boy is Pepe Bocca’s concept muddled. They pretty much still list themselves as a purveyor of fine Italian foods. No where that I can find have they updated their web presence to say what they are actually doing. And, they have posted a couple of times that they have hot, fresh-baked bread available at the restaurant from 4:30-5:00. Hard to imagine they can stay in business.


prob. no surprise to anyone since it was reported at Eater Boston, but The Hot Spot in Allston looks like it’s done. I don’t even think they made 6 months. it’s too bad, I liked it the one time that I went there. (and it was pretty full!)