Cary Wheaton [Cambridge, Hartford]

One of the giants of the Boston food scene has succumbed to cancer. Cary Wheaton co-founded East Coast Grill and The Blue Room with Chris Schlesinger.

More recently she founded Firebox in Hartford. It closed due to the pandemic, but during its run it was among the brightest stars in the Hartford-area food scene. The space was fantastic, a repurposed brick forge building divided into a front bar area and middle and back dining rooms. The food was inventive and well executed, featuring local farms. The wine program was also excellent.

I was quite fond of the place, using it often for work dinners in Hartford. I only now realize the connection to Cary. As a former regular at East Coast Grill and The Blue Room, I guess my affinity for the place was some sort of deeper resonance. She knew what she was doing. RIP…


How sad I am to hear this. We were great fans of the Boston-area restaurants that had a Cary Wheaton lineage. East Coast Grill, The Blue Room, and Jake & Earl’s were all favorites we returned to again and again.

I didn’t know about her great work in Hartford before now, @MaxEntropy.

Peace and light.


All my deepest condolences to the family and dear ones of Cary Wheaton.



Also loved all the restaurants she was involved with, including Full Moon until its last years, which must have been when she went to Hartford.

We still miss Jake & Earls and the original ECG, Blue Room, etc. after all these years.

Condolences to her friends and family, and especially her daughter Mei.


I know folks didn’t love Full Moon and I had never been there pre-Spring Onion. But one day about 4 years ago when SO was probably 2-ish (and tough to wrangle), I met a beloved Cantabrigian friend who was in her 60s for lunch (with no kids of her own who could appreciate them but only to a certain extent). Being able to chat with her over giant glasses of decent wine and food while SO played in the play space was awesome. Afterwards, we wandered into Marimekko and Grey Mist, 2 of my favorite shops.


First, thank you MaxEntropy for posting this. All her restaurants were places I loved. Loved vs liked not only for the food but the people who were there working. I can’t recall going in without enjoying the time I spent there. Jake & Earl’s, ECG , BR and Full Moon. At Full Moon I got to know Cary & Mei and later Sarah. I felt connected there. A wonderful human being who loved what she did, how she did it, Mei, her customers… . I read her obituary this am, she left a piece of herself wherever she created places for people. That’s a real legacy.


Somehow I missed this thread. Here’s a link to a related discussion:

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