Category Archives: Dining

Stella Restaurant to be reborn as a food truck

Stella Boston, Evan DelutyThe popular South End restaurant, that closed in May could be reborn (sort of). Boston.com reported yesterday that the owner of Stella Restaurant on Washington Street (shown above), Evan Deluty, will be setting up a truck called Stella Express in Southie at the corner of West Broadway and B Street –  near the Broadway T station.

Apparently the new food truck will offer favorites from the old Stella menu and if all goes as planned, Stella Express will debut on August 18. But what I want to know is where will be the bar?

Cinquecento in Boston’s South End closes

At the height of the coronavirus epidemic in Massachusetts The Acquitaine Group Italian restaurant, Cinquecento, which was closed due to a statewide shutdown to flatten the curve with COVID-19 infections was flooded with approximately five feet of water from a water main break on Harrison Avenue.

Since the mid-April flood there has been a lot of activity to make the building (and surrounding buildings) habitable again but earlier this week the successful Italian restaurant with the beautiful patio announced that they will not reopen. Below is a photo of  me at their Rosso Container Bar on their beautiful patio.

Ciao Cinquecento

Stella Boston closes

3 gay days in BostonStella Boston in the South End announced on its social media pages this past Friday that the restaurant would close later that night. Stella has been a fixture in the South End for 15 years.

However much I’ll miss their menu, it was the bar scene that always brought me back. The bartenders who worked there made that place fun. Some of my favorite memories include squeezing past all the out-of-town diners crushed into the tiny front bar and crowding the entrance, waiting for their table. Sergio and I would make a beeline to the much less crowded back bar where April was holding court. I also loved my Sunday afternoons with Matt pouring drinks – making Sunday truly a fun day. Adam, Alejandro, Jen, Lucia — the list of fun, engaging bartenders is long and over the years Stella attracted equally colorful regulars who added an even more interesting dynamic. Stella will be missed.

I want to wish everyone who worked at Stella (now and in the past) a big thank you for so many happy memories and tasty cocktails.

Stella Facebook post Friday, May 15, 2020:

Boston restaurant directory (now online)

This past Saturday the city of Boston created an online directory called “Support Boston Restaurants” to let patrons know which restaurants remain open, their hours of operation, menus, how to order as well as delivery and pick up instructions. The directory has more than 200 restaurants and is organized by neighborhood and also includes some Cambridge restaurants.

Supporting Boston Restaurants Directory

Where you can order take out in Boston

dining, restaurantsThis past Sunday Governor Baker announced a statewide shutdown of all bars and restaurants effective through April 6. However, takeout and delivery is still allowed and some restaurants are open. Eater Boston has done a good job of compiling area restaurants that are open for take out.

Below are the South End restaurants from the Eater Boston list  The full list of restaurants can be viewed here, Tracking delivery and takeout options in and around Boston, including special meal kits and more.

SOUTH END RESTAURANTS

Anoush’ella Kitchen: The original location of Anoush’ella is offering takeout and delivery from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. (The Fenway and Lynnfield locations are completely closed for the time being.) Menu and other details online35 West Newton St., South End, Boston

Coda: Will be up and running on DoorDash and Caviar for delivery at some point during the week of March 16. 329 Columbus Ave., South End, Boston

The Elephant Walk: Offering takeout and delivery from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Call (617) 247-1500 to order takeout (20% discount), or get delivery via Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub, or Postmates. 1415 Washington St., South End, Boston

Mistral: Offering curbside pickup and delivery via Caviar from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. 223 Columbus Ave., South End, Boston

Oishii: Open for takeout from Tuesday through Sunday, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Place orders via phone (617-482-8868). 1166 Washington St., South End, Boston

SRV: Will be up and running on DoorDash and Caviar for delivery at some point during the week of March 16. 569 Columbus Ave., South End, Boston

Yellow Door Taqueria: Closed until Wednesday, March 18; reopening at 4 p.m. that day (and all subsequent days) for delivery and takeout via Uber Eats. 354 Harrison Ave., South End, Boston

Get your tickets to the Taste of the South End

TOSE, AIDS Action CommitteeThis is my favorite food tasting event in Boston. Sergio and I started attending “The Taste” nearly 20 years ago when I was working at AIDS Action and it continues to be one of my favorite charity events to attend and support.

For one night in March, AIDS Action brings together 40+ South End restaurants for a delicious evening of bite-sized servings, live cooking demonstrations, silent auction, as well as wine tastings and beer sampling. Tickets have been on sales since late last year so if you’ve yet to purchase your tickets don’t delay since the event generally sells out before the night of the event.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit tasteofthesouthend.org.

Eater Boston’s increasingly narrow view of Boston dining

Augustana BostonDespite the critical headline, I want to be clear that I like the Eater Boston blog. I often Tweet out and share their articles, but the blog, which describes itself as a “Food news and dining guides for Boston” does a terrible job of sharing news about and championing the dining scene of restaurants not in a downtown neighborhood, Cambridge or Somerville – and it appears to be getting worse.

Eater Boston maps illustrate my point

Boston’s ten largest neighborhoods by population are (in order): S. Dorchester, Roxbury, Brighton, Jamaica Plain, East Boston, Mattapan, South Boston, Hyde Park, West Roxbury and the South End. Combined these neighborhoods account for more than 60% of Boston’s total population. However, Eater Boston routinely overlook all but South Boston and the South End. What gives Eater?

Eater Boston needs to step up their game

Is Eater Boston really committed to providing food news and dining guides for Boston when the majority of residents’ neighborhoods are largely ignored? There is no doubt that the downtown neighborhoods have a more active dining scene, but it seems that communities south and west of The Fenway and South End are almost universally overlooked in practically every “map” and blog post. Watertown and Medford based restaurants are more likely to be featured than a restaurant in Dorchester and that’s just plain crazy.

I know Eater Boston can do better and want them to live up to their potential by providing all of Boston a chance to shine.  I’m asking Eater Boston to step up their game; stop fixating on the same 5-6 neighborhoods. Get to know the rest of Boston. Start to feature the dining scene in neighborhoods outside of downtown and encourage your readers to leave these downtown enclaves to visit hidden gems in places like Dorchester, Roxbury, Brighton, East Boston, Mattapan, etc.

Chef Michael Serpa to open new restaurant in South End called Atlantico

select oyster, grand tour, atlantico restaurantThe Boston Restaurant blog is reporting that a new seafood restaurant called Atlantico will open in restaurant space formerly occupied by Southern Proper in the Girard apartment building at 600 Harrison Avenue in the South End.

Michael Serpa is listed on the Boston Licensing Board notice as the manager. You may recognize Serpa who is behind the successful Select Oyster Bar and the new Grand Tour, that opened this month – both in the Back Bay. Previously, Serpa worked at the much loved seafood restaurant, Neptune Oyster Bar in the North End. At this point there are no details but more may emerge following the hearing with the city next Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

New taqueria to open in South End

Boston Magazine recently featured an article about a new Mexican restaurant that will open inside the Revolution Hotel. Cosmica Mexican Eatery & Bar will focus on “inventive Mexican street food” and include items like chorizo-queso jalapeno poppers and duck carnitas tacos with mole verde – sounds delicious.

The new restaurant will be managed by the successful Wildlife Hospitality team, who also run The Beehive in the South End and Harvard Square’s Beat Brew Hall. Although the article didn’t mention a live entertainment license, I would bet you can expect Cosmica to offer live music. The hotel pays tribute to Boston’s rich music history and it would be only fitting that this new venue help the city’s current generation of musicians thrive.

Cosmica currently says they expect to open in November, but after taking a quick walk by the property this past weekend, it looks like a lot of work still needs to be done so we will see. Stay tuned.

Restaurant review: 111 East

boston restaurant, boston dining111 East is located in the Seaport and opened earlier this summer. Although you may not be familiar this Asian hot pot / street food inspired bistro, you’ve probably heard of its sister restaurant Lola 42, which is easily my favorite dining option in the Seaport.

Unlike many restaurants in the Seaport, the restaurant doesn’t feel cavernous and for those who have a modern design aesthetic – the interior will appeal. According to the website, the interior juxtaposes more traditional Asian design with an urban edge. Below are images of the bar and the main dining room.Boston dining

111 East menu is affordable with starters and sandwiches ranging from just a few dollars to $15; build your own noodle and rice bowls ranging from the teens to low $20s; Entrees from teens to $52 (only a couple options are at the top of this price range); and of course their Hot Pot menu which starts in the low $20s but can increase based on your taste and extravagance.

We started our dinner with Steamed Buns – Pork Belly and Fried Chicken. Although both were delicious, I was partial to the Pork Belly (shown below) that came with hoisin sauce and crsipy shallots.  The Fried Chicken was good but I prefer the soft buns with the sweet pork belly  and encourage you to try it.

Although 111 East is the Seaport’s only hotpot restaurant, it was too warm for us to contemplate ordering it so I chose the Flank Steak with garlic broccoli and waterchestnut in a spicy mango sauce that wasn’t really all that hot but was very flavorful. The greatest challenge I faced eating the steak was trying to cut it with a chopstick and knife until our attentive waiter brought me a fork. The steak (shown below) was really excellent – I would definitely recommend.

Since we skipped the hotpot, we decided to try a build your own rice bowl. We both love curry so Sergio selected a chicken bowl with steamed rice, yellow curry and an assortment of vegetables. Sadly, this was the one disappointing plate we ordered. The curry had little flavor and was quite bland. It was as if what little flavor the curry had seemed to dissipate the minute you consumed it.

Despite the disappointing curry, everything else was really quite excellent. The space has a cool vibe, the service was attentive without being obtrusive and the menu was appealing. If you’re looking for a place to try out for a date or with friends, I would recommend trying 111 East and after dinner enjoy a nice walk along the waterfront just one block away or grab a nightcap at their bar.

BosGuy Rating: 3 out of 5 stars, Good.

111 East
11 Fan Pier ||  (617) 443-4111
111eastseaport.com

Restaurant review: Black Lamb Boston (brunch)

SergioBlack Lamb Boston opened in the space formerly occupied by Stephi’s on Tremont and is now serving brunch on both Saturday and Sunday, starting at 10:00 AM.

The “new kid on the block” status combined with the reputation of culinary couple Heather and Colin Lynch ensures that Black Lamb will be hard to get a seat most evenings, but when we visited for an early Saturday brunch we had the space almost entirely to ourselves. The biggest differences to the space are the color scheme, artwork and converting the private dining room in the back into a cool little raw bar and dining space.

Stephi’s private dining room has been converted into a cozy raw bar

The brunch menu is a tad limited (especially if you love to have a lot of egg-options) but it does have some very interesting items and we wasted no time ordering something savory and something sweet.

We started with the Potato Rosti, which has a consistency of a latke and is served with  smoked salmon, sour cream and dill piled atop. It was really delicious and something I would definitely have again.

Black Lamb Boston

Potato Rosti – $14

The French Toast served with strawberries and whipped cream photographs nicely but wasn’t served with enough maple syrup so initially it tasted a bit dry but we rectified that quickly, asking for a bit more syrup which the brioche soaked up nicely.  This is definitely a good option for anyone who likes something sweet in the morning.

Black Lamb Boston

French Toast – $15

The only glitch in the dining experience was the timing of breakfast items which was a surprise considering there were so few tables at that time of the morning. However, to the restaurant’s credit they rectified the situation quickly and one can chalk this up  to being part of the team’s learning curve.

BosGuy Rating: 3 out of 5 stars, Good.

Black Lamb
571 Tremont Street ||  (617) 982-6330
www.blacklambsouthend.com

 

Kiko from Boston Chops featured by The Boston Globe

gay boston,

Photo credit: The Boston Globe

Anyone who knows Sergio or me, know that we regularly frequent Boston Chops South End on Washington Street.  A big reason is because of the staff who are a tight-knit group of fun professionals who make their bar is one of the best places to meet up with friends for a drink in the neighborhood.

One of my favorite bartenders in Boston is Kiko. His flamboyance, wit and charm is a draw.  While Boston Chops is not a gay bar – it is a place where the 30-something and 40-something gay men of Boston can often be found meeting for cocktails or grabbing a dinner, which only adds to the appeal when Kiko is holding court (a.k.a. tending bar).

Next time you go into Boston Chops congratulate Kiko for the feature in The Boston Globe and take a moment to read the full article, Getting Salty with Frank ‘Kiko’ Dutra of  Boston Chops

P.S. Kiko – I agree with you. To this day I still miss Pho Republique and I love the colorful regulars like Judy who frequent Boston Chops SE.

Black Lamb Boston in South End opening soon

south end dining, Heather Lynch, Colin Lynch

Heather and Colin Lynch of Bar Mezzana, Shore Leave, No Relation, and the soon-to-open Black Lamb brasserie

Black Lamb announced yesterday on their Instagram account that they are now open. You can see it here

Yesterday, the Bar Mezzana team behind the new American Brasserie called Black Lamb, took to Instagram to announce their pending opening in the space that was formerly Stephi’s on Tremont Street.

According to the post above we can expect to see the restaurant open their doors to the public some time next week.  Chef Colin Lynch, partners Heather Lynch and Jefferson Macklin, and beverage director Ryan Lotz are opening Black Lamb along with a fifth managing partner, Ben Kaplan was director of operations for the Barbara Lynch Gruppo from 2014-2017, and is a former general manager of Scarpetta in New York City. The executive chef will be Boston kitchen veteran, Chris Drown who helped open Hojoko as executive sous chef and has worked at O Ya. Black Lamb will be open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.

Black Lamb
571 Tremont Stret
(617) 982-6330
blacklambsouthend.com

Time Out Market Boston to open June 27

Boston diningTime Out Boston, a new (and highly anticipated) food hall has announced that it will open to the public in its new Fenway location on Thursday, June 27, 2019. Time Out brings together some of Boston’s best chefs under one roof. Think Faneuil Hall but amped up several notches; at least this was what Sergio and I thought after we stumbled upon Time Out Lisbon (shown below).

Occupying the ground floor of the 401 Park Drive building in the Fenway (just blocks from Fenway Park), Time Out Market Boston will showcase the city’s best chefs and restaurateurs, drink-slingers and cultural offerings, all handpicked by Time Out’s editors. The curated mix showcases 15 food offerings, two bars, a cooking academy, one retail shop and artists from across the city all in one iconic site–an Art Deco masterpiece built in 1929.

Portugal

Time Out Market Lisbon

Some of the culinary options that will be a part of Time Out Boston include:

  • BISq (sibling restaurant to Bergamot) will serve mouth-watering charcuterie and cheese boards
  • Roman-style pizzeria from award-winning chef Michael Schlow
  • Mamaleh’s Delicatessen will offer its delicious deli classics
  • Chef Tim and Nancy Cushman – known for their restaurants o ya and Hojoko  will take over two kitchens with a pair of Asian concepts
  • James Beard-Award winner Tony Maws will serve Craigie Burger
  • 2 bars featuring seasonal craft cocktails, local beers, and a selection of more than 20 wines

Time Out Market Boston hours will be Mondays–Thursdays from 7:30 a.m.–11 p.m., Fridays from 7:30 a.m–midnight, Saturdays from 9 a.m.–midnight, Sundays from 9 a.m.–11 p.m.

Time Out has aggressive growth plans after the success of the hugely popular Time Out Market Lisbon which opened in 2014.  Time Out Markets are also set to open in Miami, New York, Chicago and Montréal in the coming year with more planned globally. You can learn more about Time Out food halls here.

New South End restaurant Black Lamb to open this summer

south end dining, Heather Lynch, Colin Lynch

Heather and Colin Lynch of Bar Mezzana, Shore Leave, No Relation, and the soon-to-open Black Lamb brasserie on Tremont Street in the South End

The team behind the popular restaurants Bar Mezzana and Shore Leave / No Relation will be opening a third restaurant in the South End called Black Lamb in the space previously occupied by Stephi’s on Tremont Street, that closed earlier this year.

Located at 571 Tremont Street in the heart of the South End, Black Lamb is described as an “American brasserie” and will serve lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Although there are few details about the new restaurant, plans are for it to open later this summer.

You can follow their progress on their IG account, @blacklambbos.  More information about Black Lamb from EaterBoston here.