Despite 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.
The 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.
111 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.
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.
11 Fan Pier || (617) 443-4111
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.
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.
571 Tremont Stret
Lately, it seems that we’ve had more than our share of overcast and rainy days, but as the saying goes, April showers – brings May flowers. However, there are a few sunny days expected in the coming week so I thought I should share a great blog post that the folks over at EaterBoston published last month and which they will continue to update that shares restaurants that have opened their patios.
If you’re like me, you love eating and drinking outside but unless you’ve traveled it has probably been several months since you’ve last enjoyed dining al fresco. Check out which restaurant patios are currently open by visiting here.
Source: Chilacates Instagram
Have you heard? Last week Chilacates opened their fifth location here in the South End at 275 Shawmut Avenue, in the space formerly occupied by the Wholy Grain Cafe. The local chain which first opened in 2015 in Jamaica Plain has quickly expanded to Chestnut Hill, Mission Hill and now here in the South End.
I’ve now visited three times and the food is fresh, flavorful and affordable. Chilacates has completely transformed the space. The back patio is now gone but some space is available for informal dining and in nicer weather their front patio will be popular but the bulk of their customers are ordering take out.
The family owned business is a welcome addition to the South End and joins a growing number of fast casual dining restaurants that have opened south of Tremont Street over the past year. Chilacates South End is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Starting at 9 a.m. this weekend the South End location will serve brunch.
275 Shawmut Avenue