Category Archives: Dining

Casa Giacomo’s in the South End opens today

Last spring, after 27 years in business, owner Jackie Taglieri sold Giacomo’s South End. The space closed for renovations shortly after that and has been closed since. On Christmas the new owners announced on Instagram (here) that Casa Giacomo’s would be opening soon but were vague about when.

Last night I was told Casa Giacomo’s will have a soft opening tonight. Initially, the restaurant will only be accepting walk-ins for dinner. The new owners are the team behind the much loved Kava Neo Taverna and Ilona, so I’m very excited to see how they have updated this neighborhood restauarant and what touches they have added to make it their own. Casa Giacomo’s is open daily (starting today) at 5:00 PM.

Casa Giacomo’s
431 Columbus Avenue

New South End restaurant, Marseille to open in 2023

Petit Robert Bistro to open new restaurant at 560 Harrison Ave

Those who have attended the SoWa Winter Village that opened after Thanksgiving will know that the team behind Petit Robert have announced they will be opening a new restaurant focusing on southern French cuisine in the space that was formerly home to Gaslight Brasserie for many years. One can also assume the space that served as a daytime cafe (formerly Greenlight Cafe) will also reopen when they formerly take over in the new year.

Currently the restaurant group is eyeing a February / March opening. Stay tuned for more details to follow from GTI Properties & Petit Robert team after the Winter Festival concludes.

Now serving: Sunday brunch at Franklin Cafe

Last week The Franklin Restaurant at 278 Shawmut Avenue announced they would begin to serve brunch each Sunday from 11AM to 3:30 PM, starting December 11th. Their brunch menu has yet to be posted on their website but you can check back for details later. Most talbes will be held for walk-ins but a few tables can be reserved via Resy, here.

Brasserie (formerly Gaslight) has closed

Yesterday, the Boston Restaurant Talk blog broke the news that Brasserie in the South End would be closing immediately. The restaurant which was overtaken by the property management company, GTI Properties and managed by Jeff Gates a former partner of The Aquitaine Group, which owned the Gaslight Brasserie du Coin had only been open for business since May 2021.

Minimal effort was put into the new restaurant which struck me more as a knock off of the original restaurant. It is unclear what will become of the space or if GTI Properties will continue to run the space. The same property management company has sunk significant money into updating and remodeling another former Aquitaine Group restaurant space (Cinquecento) just up the street. The initial plan was for that space to open this year as Roma 500. No word on the status of that space either.

SOLD! Giacomo’s South End

After 27 years in business, Jackie Taglieri has sold Giacomo’s South End. The neighborhood restaurant, which has other locations (notably the original in Boston’s North End), has a reputation for making consistently delicious Italian-American cuisine.

While it can be sad to see a much loved restaurant change hands, that isn’t the case here. The new owners (Irakli Gogitidze, George Axiotis, and Jesus Preciado) are familiar with the South End, and are the team behind the much loved Kava Neo Taverna and Ilona.

When I spoke to Irakli about the change in ownership, he was candid about how much the team respects Taglieri and their commitment to the restaurant and its patrons. Later this year they plan to make some much needed renovations and to rebrand the restaurant as Casa Giacomo’s to pay homage to its past while helping to distinguish it from the other Giacomo’s locations, which are under different ownership. 

I’m very excited to see some much needed investment in this space and look forward to what this creative team will do. If you haven’t been to Giacomo’s South End in a while, perhaps it is time to make plans and check out the restaurant.

I want to wish Irakli, George, and Jesus much luck and success with their new restaurant as they help breathe new life into this neighborhood gem.

South End Restaurant Brasserie readies to open

Earlier this month it was reported on the Boston Restaurant Talk blog that SOWA Hospitality Group (a division of GTI, Inc.) would be opening a new French restaurant in the space formerly known as Gaslight.

The new restaurant called, Brasserie, will likely open the second weekend of May. Today, signage is being added to the 560 Harrison Avenue building and the parking lot is being freshly paved. Friends & Family events are scheduled for next week to get the staff and kitchen ready for a full opening and daily meetings are taking place with staff as the team readies to open.

I’m optimistic Brasserie will be successful because veteran restauranteur, Jeff Gates, has been overseeing the opening. SOWA Hospitality Group made the decision to make no discernable modifications to the space so Brasserie looks like a Gaslight reboot rather than a new restaurant, but perhaps that was the intention all along. Regardless, it will be good to see the lights come back on and the patio once again full of people.

For more information visit their website at or you can follow the restaurant by liking their Facebook page.

Brasserie, bienvenue au South End. Je vous souhaite beaucoup de succès.

Three new restaurants to open in South End: Brasserie, Roma 500, and Pho on Thayer

Preview(opens in a new tab)

The restaurant industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. By September 2020, WBZ-TV reported that 20% of all restaurants in Massachusetts had closed for good. Spring 2021 has reversed those trends as many restaurants come out of hibernation and news of new restaurant openings replaces the more depressing news of closures that we became accustomed to last year.

With an increased optimism comes new investment to bring life back to spaces that pre-pandemic were popular and profitable. Seizing this opportunity, GTI Properties has hired Jeff Gates to oversee the food and beverage operations at the SOWA Power Station, which is being converted into a special events space and to open and manage three new restaurants in SOWA – one of which will open next month.

Brasserie, located at 560 Harrison Avenue (formerly Gaslight) will open in May, according to a Boston Restaurant Talk blog post. If that timing is correct, a quick walk by suggests that not much will likely change in decor or design but Gaslight was a juggernaut so the key to Brasserie’s success will be staffing and management.

Roma 500 at 500 Harrison Avenue (formerly Cinquecento) will likely open later this year. Unlike Brasserie, significant renovations and remodeling are required. Roma 500 will have an enlarged outdoor dining patio and bar. No other South End restaurant has an outdoor bar, making this a unique (and welcome) addition to the neighborhood.

Finally, Pho on Thayer, at 460 Harrison (building B) will open in new space that was briefly used by Mohr & McPherson but is now vacant. Late last year Jeff Gates petitioned the city on behalf of GTI to transfer the Hungry I liquor license to Pho on Thayer so the restaurant will have a full bar.

Stay tuned for more details as they come available, I’ll be sure to share that information here.

Dine Out Boston, Mayor approves outdoor dining in Boston, and a huge restaurant patio comes to the South End

sergio mazon, kava restaurant, greek restaurant, boston dining

Dine Out Boston (March 14 – 28) starts next week. Here is a full list of participating restaurants for this year’s, Dine Out Boston. If you’ve never participated or you need a refresher, participating restaurtants offer a three course prix-fixe menu for lunch ($15 | $20 | $25) and dinner ($28 | $33 | $38). Call ahead to inquire about the menu and to make your reservation. For more information visit the Dine Out Boston website.

Outdoor dining on public sidewalks and parking spaces will return to Boston by April 1, 2021 (weather permitting). The program which was expanded last year to help restaurants and the public dine outdoors, was well received and wildly popular. Eater Boston has an excellent article with more details around the program and why it is returning to the sidewalks and streets of Boston in a few weeks, which you can read here.

Look for a large, new parklet to be built by Boston Chops South End on Union Park Street to expand their outdoor dining capacity. The exact number of seats to be added is yet to be confirmed but will be significant and a welcome addition to the neighborhood for patrons who want to support local restaurants but prefer dining alfresco.

OTTO Pizza to open in South End

A new pizzeria is about to open in the SoWa district of the South End neighborhood. The popular (and ever expanding) Portland Maine-based pizzeria, OTTO Pizza, will be opening at the 345 Harrison Avenue apartment complex (located across from the Ink Block in the South End).

No opening date has been shared, but I’m looking forward to the addition to the neighborhood. Pizzerias provide a more affordable dining and take out alternative in the South End, and this neighborhood needs more “fast, casual dining options”. As a result, I think OTTO Pizza will find a great deal of success filling this underserved and under-represented dining niche once it opens.

Pop up restaurant opens in South End

Nu Burger has opened within the Anoush’Ella restaurant space on West Newton Street in the South End as a “virtual pop-up”. Nina and Raffi Festekjian, who own Anoush’Ella and Nu Burger, are serving burgers for lunch and dinner seven days a week, while also continuing to serve Anoush’Ella’s menu.

Sergio and I wanted to show our support by trying out the new burger pop-up so we ordered from them this past Tuesday night. The Nu Burger menu has six different burgers (one a vegetarian option) each $12.50.

Shown above are the Fenway NuBurger served with pickles, cheddar, tomato, onion, lettuce and sauce with a side of French fries and the Umami Truffle NuBurger served with pickles, pecorino, truffles, fried egg, tomato, shallot, arugula and aoli with a side of French fries. Customers can order via this link for curbside pick up, or via popular food sharing apps for home delivery.  

The burgers are large and very filling. The baked French fries are good but I still prefer more traditional “fried” fries. I’m observing dry January so I had a glass of water with my dinner, but I can’t help but feel like these would go great with a cold beer, which Anoush’Ella serves. I didn’t see this option for take out orders but assume you can add beer to your order. Overall, we really enjoyed the bugers and will order from them again. I can’t think of a legitimate burger joint in the South End which makes this a very welcome addition to the neighborhood so let me know what you think when you order from NuBurger.

Nu Burger’s permanent home is located in Fenway at the TimeOut food market, but that is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. For the time being, there is a new burger option in the South End.

Portuguese Bakery in Ptown will return

Earlier this week photos of the Portuguese Bakery in Provincetown were making the rounds showing for sale signs in its windows. This set off a series of emails and comments on Facebook and conflicting stories about what was happening (so typical for Ptown). Some people were saying the owners are retiring and looking for someone to take over the business others said the Janoplis Family had no intention of selling and to quote the text from Mylan Janopolis that was shared with me, “The Provincetown Portuguese Bakery will live on…”

However, listings like the one below are what set off the chatter and made me wonder what exactly was going on. I suppose it gives townies something to discuss and gossip over during the quiet winter months.

But in response to all the chatter, the owners of the bakery took to Facebook this morning to post the following on their page, assuring customers that they are going nowhere.

The Portuguese Bakery first opened at its current location around 1900 (nobody can confirm the exact date). It remains one of the most affordable and least pretentious dining options in town and is a reminder of Provincetown’s more humble roots as a traditional Portuguese fishing village.

As Provincetown became a destination mostly for affluent gays and lesbians, small businesses have struggled to make ends meet. The Portuguese Bakery seems to have weathered all these challenges without ever losing their identity despite different families and owners over the years coming to run this successful business. If you’ve never visited Provincetown, I recommend ordering a Pasteis de Nata and coffee to go from the bakery. It’s a wonderful treat to enjoy while walking down Commercial Street or sitting on the beach in the morning.

Boston’s outdoor dining pilot program to continue in 2021

One of the few good things that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic was the city of Boston’s outdoor dining pilot program that was intended to help restaurants faced with strict indoor dining restrictions. The move was enthusiastically supported by restaurant owners, their staff and patrons so yesterday the city of Boston announced that it would resume its outdoor-dining pilot, allowing restaurants to use street parking and sidewalk space outside their doors for tables effective April 1, 2021 (or possibly earlier depending on the weather). Below are some key dates for Boston restaurants to note.

January 18, 2021: The initial deadline for licensees to submit an application to receive a decision or follow-up questions from the city of Boston Licensing Board is due by February 19, 2020. Licensees may also submit an application after this date to participate and those applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

February 19, 2021: The city of Boston Licensing Board will notify licensees of approvals or requests for more information if they submitted their application by January 18.

April 1, 2021: The 2021 Outdoor Dining Pilot will start on April 1, 2021, weather permitting. This may start earlier if the weather permits. More updates will be shared in the future.

Boston Outdoor Dining Application

According to the mayor’s office approximately 550 Boston restaurants extended their dining space outdoors (415 of them on public land). Click here for more information about 2021 Outdoor Dining Pilot Program.

Gaslight Boston announces it will close

Sunday, November 22 Gaslight Boston, the French(ish) restaurant from the Aquitaine Group, will close for good. The restaurant was perhaps best known for their ability to host large parties at their communal tables and their patio dining. I will miss their beat salad which is second to none and the friendly staff.

While the current economy had to be a factor in the decision to close, the reason cited was that their lease was ending. I feel confident that this space will not remain vacant for long. The proximity to the highway, ample parking and the patio space will make this an appealing property for someone once this pandemic is under control but until then it will certainly be sad to see this space go dark. I wish the staff well and much luck.

You can read Seth Woods note announcing the closure on the Gaslight website, here.

Ducali Caffe’s Nutella croissants are wicked awesome

Ducali Cafe opened next door to the restaurant by the same name in the North End last month. When I learned that they would be serving Nutella croissants I knew that I would have to trek across town to try these tempting treats.

The Nutella croissants are $4.00 and sold with a dusting of powdered sugar on them. I brought mine home and put it in the oven at 200 degrees for a few minutes while I brewed coffee to dip my croissant in it. How else is one expected to eat these treats?

When I took the warmed the croissant out of the oven, I could smell the buttery treat and hint of Nutella. The pastry was flaky and light and well worth the calories just in case you were wondering. If you enjoy such treats head over to the North End and tell them BosGuy sent you.

Ducali Caffe
289 Causeway Street
Boston, MA

Get 50% rebate on your restaurant bill with SeatedApp

Approximately 20% of restaurants in Massachusetts have closed permanently and The Pioneer Institute predicts that the state’s restaurant industry will lose an estimated $2.13 billion this year. In response, the dining app, Seated, is rolling out a program modeled after a successful initiative in the UK that will offer a 50% rebate on any restaurant bill Monday through Wednesday in November that can be applied to the Seated Store which includes brands like Uber, Starbucks, Adidas, Target and many more. This offer is good for only dining-in and if your reservation is made via the Seated app.

The initiative called, Eat Out to Help Out MA, is free but to participate you must download the Seated app in the App Store or Google Play Store, identify the participating restaurant, make a reservation or signal you are a walk-in, and submit a photo of your receipt within the app to claim the rebate after your meal. More than 100 restaurants in Boston and Cambridge have indicated they will be participating in this program.

For those of you who are trying to be budget conscious this is an opportunity to show your support and be able to provide a slightly more generous tip to the staff at your favorite participating restaurant.