While probably not completely inclusive, I think this list is a pretty good representation of some of the worthy new openings in the area. Below are the ones I have tried or are on my list along with a few quick comments.
Tasting Counter, Somerville: Posted about my experience in this thread Tasting Counter visit (Somerville, MA)
Shepard, Cambridge: Tried it once, food was good but nothing super memorable. Definitely still working out service kinks. A very interesting crowd of older Cantabrigians, almost like a living Cambridge museum.
Banyan Bar + Refuge, Boston: I haven’t been able to bring myself to try it yet. I sorely miss both Hammerselys and North by Northeast.
Hojoko, Boston: Love it. Many places throw the term izakaya around, but Hojoko is headed in the correct direction. Sake selection is well procured. I stay away from the nigiri and sashimi here, as the too small cuts are reminiscent of O Ya. However the rest of the menu is delicious and reasonably priced. Mmmmmm…Hamachi Kami and grilled Whole Prawns…
La Brasa, Somerville: Definitely not a 2015 opening and I don’t consider it new. Haven’t been here since the spring. I liked it on opening. I think they are a bit ahead of their time in that location and evolving the menu to try to survive. Some of the special events (pig roast, etc) look enticing. Great bar service and I love the space. Hope they make it without changing the initial focus too much.
Select Oyster Bar, Boston: Fantastic addition. Lots of conversation about the included tip, but it doesn’t really bother me as the service is always right on. Beautiful room, great food, drink and atmosphere. I wish they took reservations (though they are now on Reserve app). Also, we have been there a few times for an early dinner when the crudo special is already out which is always a bummer. The rare place I’d be happy to eat at any time.
The Backroom at Moody’s, Waltham: #1 place on my to try next list!
BISq, Camridge: Haven’t been personally, but sent some colleagues last week and they loved it. I like Bergamot less than the general consensus, but will try BISq at some point.
Babbo, Boston: One of the best values around. Menu is a combo of the original Otto with some Babbo dishes thrown in. Food and service are consistent. Family friendly as well. Another strong addition to the local scene.
Cafe Artscience, Cambridge: Just posted about this yesterday, love it. Cafe ArtScience becoming one of our standbys (Cambridge)
Liquid Arthouse, Boston: Went once. Nice atmosphere, food was a mixed bag and service slow. The menu is relatively standard.
Boston Public Market, Boston: The location, access and parking isn’t very convenient for me, and I was a bit let down that most options there can be found at farmers or winters markets I already attend. I am hopeful the vendors will evolve over time.
Santouka Ramen, Cambridge: Very nice addition to the area. I’d personally like to see more options in this category. Not mind blowing, but very good and consistent. My go to for ramen. Friendly service and smart effective seating system. Ramen season is here…
The diss on Townsman at the end of that article was interesting. I can’t say I disagree. The food is much less focused than the chef’s previous effort at Farmstead in Providence. I felt like it was a poor value with uneven food over several visits. The condescending arrogance I saw from the chef firsthand while sitting at the tasting counter on my last visit (and also rears its head on social media was astonishing). It was really out of character from what I experienced at Farmstead, but I suppose success can go to people’s heads.