Waltham/Watertown new places?

Thought I’d try and get a little new discussion going. A few new local places have opened in the last few months and I’m wondering if anyone has tried them.

In Waltham, Bistro 781 and Nonna’s Bar and Grill have both opened on Moody St. I had a burger at Bistro 781 that was very good, cooked medium rare to order, with decent fries on the side. The house-made English muffin was tasty but didn’t hold up that well to the juicy burger. My son had the vegetarian sandwich consisting of roasted sunchokes, spinach, caramelized onion, tomatoes and truffled carrot spread, on a bun. (The truffle flavor wasn’t very noticeable and didn’t ruin the sandwich.) He added an optional egg and cheese from the burger toppings, which made the sandwich really hearty, and he quite enjoyed the combo.

Has anyone tried the just-opened Branch Line in Watertown? I’m looking forward to getting there in the next few weeks. If anyone sees an online menu, I’d really appreciate a link.

I was thinking of trying Branch Line after work today, but think I will pass. The Yelp reviews say that the bar is packed with local workers at the time I want to go. But I definitely want to go soon. And I’ve not been able to find a menu either. It annoys me that their webpage still says “Coming Soon” with no real info.

We love Amuleto in Waltham. We’ve gone twice and the food has been superb both times. Drinks are a little slow to come to the table and service on our second visit was a bit off. We’ve gone with a group each time, so maybe if just the two of us go, we will try the bar.

There is a new Bonefish Grill opposite the Westin. Went for lunch with MIL and it was ok.

Not Your Average Joe’s at the Market Basket plaza has buck oysters on Mondays.

I tried Ixtapa (at the former Verona’s) in Watertown and I will not return. I did not enjoy my food and the place did not look as if it had just been remodeled.

Also tried Ixtapa, nothing particularly wrong with it in my opinion, but nothing particularly right either. Will stick with the trifecta of Taqueria El Amigo, Taqueria Mexico, and hopefully soon Amuleto in Waltham. On another note, I do recommend trying out Home Taste on Mt. Auburn, which is up the street from Ixtapa and has unusually-Chinatownish (for the suburbs) menu items like hand-pulled noodles and ma la pots.

We also hope to get to the new Moldovan place in Nonantum, which is not technically either Watertown or Waltham, but close enough to make no difference.

I’d also like to hear anyone’s recent experience at Royal (Lexington St, Watertown), which opened earlier this year.

Do you mean Royal at the corner of Lexington and Main? They are closed already. They didn’t have a liquor license and the Town didn’t move fast enough on enacting BYOB (that was their claim anyway).

Ah, oh well. Is anything in that space now?

Not yet, but coming soon: http://www.thepowercafe.com/

Is this in Massachusetts?

Yes

Are we sure that Moldova in the Nonantum village of Newton is open? I was by about a week ago and it still looked shut up. Maybe only dinner as I was there during the day. The website still has no menu and states they are actively looking for a couple of chefs, and “will be open soon!”.

Its a puzzle.

I have been resisting Home Taste as they replaced Wonder Cafe which I liked a great deal but could not keep open by myself. Now I will have to try

Does anyone knows if the owner Sue Chen or her daughter Elizabeth Eng , from the Wonder Cafe, ended up cooking elsewhere?? If you steered clear of the americanized stuff and let them cook homestyle for you it was quite good for short money. I miss it.

Oh well, have to suffer through with Mulan open again. Sigh.
(Though I have noticed their prices have gone up a dollar or two a dish.)

Huh, I could have sworn someone had written a review on CH a few weeks back, but I can’t find it so you are probably right. I liked Wonder Cafe too, but I find Home Taste’s menu to be much more interesting.

My credit union is two doors away, and i have to go there in the next few days.

Will investigate.

I second your endorsement of Amuleto (see short account of our first visit on a separate thread). Surprised it has not generated much buzz (yet?).

Devra First’s review appeared in the Globe today.

Did you think this was an odd review? This statement at the end had me scratching my head, for example. “In another city, Amuleto would feel less remarkable.”

Maybe I just don’t understand her style.

I understand what she is trying to say, but, yes, she says it in an odd way. The food is really good, but given the dearth of good Mexican restaurants in the area, it seems great.

My husband and I had hoped to snag some seats at Moody’s Backroom early Tuesday night. I’d read that they save some for walkins, but they were totally booked. Instead, we headed to Bistro781 for a burger. The burger was very good, well-seasoned and cooked med-rare as ordered. The beef was juicy and quite flavorful, ground in-house I believe. Fries were crispy and dusted in spices, which I normally don’t like, but these seemed to be fresh (Russets?) fairly thin hand-cut potatoes and we both enjoyed them. My only complaint about the burger is the bun. It is served on a very tasty house-made English muffin that doesn’t hold up to the sizable burger. My husband actually liked the ratio of bread to burger, but I would prefer something that holds together better. I’m going to ask next time if I can have a roll instead of the muffin.

The space is very pleasant, but I could do without some of the televisions advertising restaurant deals (for example, the Valentine’s prix fixe. ) That is really my only quibble. We sat in the dining area, and it was quiet and fairly separate from the large bar area. Our server was terrific.

We both agree that we will go back and that it’s nice to have a good burger in Waltham. It was a Tuesday night and the place was pretty quiet. Hopefully they will do enough business to stick around.

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