June 2022 Openings and Closings [Boston, New England]

Hoping maybe there is lots of news about new spots.


I spun by the new Common Craft at the Burlington Mall the other night, which has two taprooms, a wine bar, a craft cocktail bar, and food. My companion and I stopped by just for a round cocktails: very solid craft bartending, though it appears their spirits are mostly tied to one distillery, which means your Negroni might involve a proprietary amaro that’s not to your taste. (I sampled it: more Underberg than Campari.).

Bazile upstairs at Nordstrom has long been good in a ladies-who-lunch kind of way. Gourmet India remains the best of the otherwise weak food court options, though the operator’s fine-dining Tashan up the road is rather better: very nice, fancy Indian of the sort we don’t get much of around here. The Frank Pepe’s won’t make you forget the New Haven originals, but is decent. Shake Shack is about as good as national chain fast-food burgers get, and the shakes are terrific, just wish they’d stuck with their hand-cut fries experiment, as I’m not a crinkle-cuts fans. Parm is a very good if pricey and sterile-looking evocation of the lunch menu at the great, bygone Torisi Italian Specialties in Manhattan – I’ve had two different parms there that featured fine frying and a very bright, scratch-tasting sugo . Its parent Major Food Group now also operates at the very fine if impossibly tough-table Contessa in Back Bay. Bennett’s of Maine does a quality steak bomb, though I wish that roll were a bit less soft and blonde. You’re far likelier to find me at humble weigh-your-plate churrascaria Tuda na Brasa in nearby Woburn, but for fancy rodizio, Fogo de Chao is quite respectable. Karma: not at all bad for upscale, Americanized Japanese and pan-Asian hoo-ha: I got a decent chirashi plate there with some quality uni on it. (Fuck the unconscionable Chick-fil-A.) I’ve had a decent version of yakiniku at Gyu-Kaku in Brookline, will try the mall one if they ever start serving lunch.

Funny to think of that mall as a potential destination after many years where it was pretty dire, but there’s a lot there now that’s worth a try.


Very useful roundup. (I assume all this eating was not on one visit – if so, respect!)


Ha, not all at once! I should note that I have not visited Bazile or Gourmet India since before covid; the rest I’ve been to since things started opening back up last year.


Very encouraging report. With the close-by options like Row 34, Burlington Mall is becoming a more palatable foodie destination. Unfortunately the trend is in the opposite direction at Natick. I’m still lamenting the loss of Sal de la Terre, or even Met Bar. The cafe at Nordstrom is about the only remaining decent option.

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I also recently noticed a new (to me) stall at the mall food court: K-Style, a purveyor of Korean style corn dogs (did not know that was a thing) and bibimbap bowls. I intend to give that a try sometime soon.


Thanks. I have seen them on IG and wanted to try them. There might be a mall visit in my future.

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H Mart is expanding into Quincy in the former Roche Brothers space, according to the Patriot Ledger. I think that makes for the sixth Asian grocery store in Quincy?

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I added this to the May report, even though I know that was cheating since it wouldn’t be opened in May. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Most of the Quincy markets tend to be more Chinese-centric. Both 99 Ranch and Kam Man make an effort to carry a more pan-Asian goods, but there are still many ingredients I still have to run to an HMart for. I’ll be glad to have a closer option for more Korean or Japanese groceries than dragging the grocery cart on the T from Cambridge or driving all the way up to Burlington.

They sent flyers to Quincy households and reported they will have a food court at that location too. Really interested to see what goes in there!


Always a good thing to have more food courts; that’s probably the one thing that these Chinese supermarkets have been lacking. I don’t cook Korean dishes enough to need regular trips, and with the prices of everything flying up I shudder to thing what the prices look like at H-mart these days - but options are options!

Have you tried Maruichi in Brookline for Japanese groceries? I don’t go often but they have a much better selection of Japanese products and seasonal offering - and a mini pharmacy in the room next over too. They had some vegetable starters for sale last time I went; just wish somebody didn’t take the last shiso plant! :pensive: (No luck growing shiso in my yard no matter how hard I tried…)


I feel like Gourmet India has become just OK. Perhaps better than typical “mall Indian”, but that’s a low bar to clear. And, at the same time, though perhaps for understandable reasons, their prices have gone up quite a bit. Is Tashan new-ish? Could it be distracting them? I would love to go to fine-dining Indian, but Mrs. Alcachofa is not a fan.

How does the parm at Parm compare to local legend Vinny’s Superette?

I have a Brazilian friend who was a huge fan of Fogo when it first opened in Boston. The old school weigh your plate places are probably better, on a dollar-adjusted basis. But it is nice to go somewhere with a nice atmosphere once in a while (and pay for the privilege).

I agree that Pepe’s is maybe 90% of New Haven. But that’s still freakin’ awesome.


Caramel Patisseries and Macarons has closed in Davis Square. It appears that in the long run, they were only one patisserie, and that remains located in Salem. I believe the extra “s” did them in, since it prevented me from patronizing them due to my own ability to excuse grammatical errors. The few times I went in, the pastries were good but a bit pricey and didn’t draw me back.

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Tatte Bakery and Cafe is opening its location in Wellesley this week. Super excited, as we can walk to it and therefore can justify eating pastries.

Laughing Monk also opened recently - haven’t been yet.


Not an opening or closure but I just saw that Buttonwood isn’t any longer part of the Sycamore “empire” as they sold it to a former employee. It’s always hard to predict how such an ownership change will effect the quality or menu


While I have some sympathy for your explanation, there’s a more mundane one here:

Yes, I saw that thread 61 minutes (approximately :slight_smile: ) after posting and was unable to edit. I like my explanation better…

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With all those extra "S"es They really missed the opportunity just to pluralize their name to “Caramels” in the true Bostonian fashion (and maybe sneak an “irre-gahdless” in there for good measure).

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ridiculously excited for Tatte.

I’ve been to Laughing Monk 3x - twice for lunch and once for takeout. Takeout was fine, not great, and my family prefers Little Spoon. Lunch was good, but pretty $$$ for lunch.


Not sure this is new, but it is new to me. And looks very good, has anyone been
(sorry for the length, its a paywall otherwise)

Thai marketplace and takeout shop Boon Noon Market is a boon to East Arlington at any hour

By Kara Baskin Globe Correspondent,Updated June 16, 2022, 1 hour ago

Spicy satay noodles at Boon Noon Market in Arlington.LANE TURNER/GLOBE STAFF

Where to Boon Noon in East Arlington.

Why For lovingly prepared Thai food, plus crispy anchovies, tapioca coconut cookies, and bags of black garlic from Boon Noon’s marketplace. Many of their products are imported from Phetchaburi, “the most well-known region for desserts and pure palm sugar,” says owner Nutthachai “Jeep” Chaojaroenpong, who calls Boon Noon a “grocerant.”

Nutthachai Chaojaroenpong at Boon Noon Market in Arlington. LANE TURNER/GLOBE STAFF

The backstory Chaojaroenpong comes from Pak Chong, part of Thailand’s Nakhon Ratchasima province. He studied for a time at Johnson & Wales. He earned a graduate degree in marketing from Boston College and lent his knack for recipe development and business planning to restaurants such as DakZen in Davis Square and The Nu Do Society in Central Square.


This is a more casual affair, close to his Arlington home. He runs the small, seatless storefront with his wife, Phatcharawin “Patchar” Watthanagithiphat, as well as Sawitree “Aoi” Suksakul and Pilaiphon Wongpunth. They longed for an authentic taste of home, eschewing sugary, Americanized Thai. The focus is on kub kao: “food served with rice that you eat with family,” he explains.

Kao soi at Boon Noon Market in Arlington. LANE TURNER/GLOBE STAFF

What to eat You heard it here first: “The secret is that there is quite many restaurants in and around Boston area buy Khao Soi paste from us,” Chaojaroenpong says. And so that deeply fragrant, coconut-scented curry noodle soup is a staple here, fired up with house-made toasted chili.

He also recommended the spicy satay noodles — draped with peanut sauce, chili oil, scallion, cilantro. I ordered it veggie-style, with fresh, healthy chunks of carrot and broccoli. When I ask him why the flavor is so deep and mellow, he doesn’t hold back.

“I question why peanut sauce here is so pale and doesn’t have much flavor. In Thailand, the peanut sauce is much darker. The cooking process makes coconut milk break down to oil, but many people here are afraid of oil on the top of the food. But coconut milk is a healthy fat, like olive oil,” he says. “And we don’t hold back on the spices: galangal, scallion, lemongrass. And the thing that boosts the flavor is the chili oil we make in-house.”


There are also offbeat menu finds, like the absolutely magical lox Rangoons, made with salmon, real cream cheese, and dill — it’s as though the very essence of Sunday brunch has been captured in a little crispy pouch. The other big hit are shrimp cakes folded into a donut shape, battered and served with a creamy lemon and sweet chili sauce. Soon he’ll add desserts, such as Sweet Potato with Salted Palm Sugar Caramel, and coconut cream. Nothing on the menu is over $15.

Lox Rangoons at Boon Noon Market in Arlington.LANE TURNER/GLOBE STAFF

While you wait, browse the market. It has a charming homeyness, like popping into someone’s pantry: a plastic container of baked clams here; imported red lime paste there; a bag or two of black garlic. (“Good for diabetes control,” Chaojaroenpong tells me as I shop.)

Market confections come from Phetchaburi, “the most well-known region for desserts and pure palm sugar, with the help of Patchar’s parents,” he says.

Kao niao ma muang mango dessert.LANE TURNER/GLOBE STAFF

What to drink Creamy Thai iced tea or hibiscus tea, mixed while you wait; sodas; and water.

Hibiscus tea with herbs and mint at Boon Noon Market in Arlington. LANE TURNER/GLOBE STAFF

The takeaway In Thai, Boon means “good karma,” Chaojaroenpong says. This friendly little place just over the Cambridge line oozes it.

161 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781-316-0059, www.boonnoonmarket.com