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November 30, 2020
Fried Apple Pies, A Restaurant CSA, & A Lot More Hibernations: The Weekly Boston Restaurant Update
Boston restaurant news for the week of 11/30/2020.
Written by

If you want to stay on top of what’s happening with Boston restaurants and bars right now, you’ve come to the right place. Every week, we’ll be keeping track of the latest openings, reopenings, takeout specials, and other exciting or noteworthy updates around the city.

For the full list of 350+ restaurants currently open for takeout and delivery, check out our guide here. And if you have any tips or questions, send us an email at newsletter@theinfatuation.com.

Week of November 30

  • Food insecurity has always been an issue in Boston, but the pandemic has made things a lot worse. This holiday season, if you’re looking to help, Boston.com has a list of ways to do so.

  • On the topic of food insecurity, bartaco in Seaport will be donating $1 from every roasted brussels sprout taco sold from now until December 7 to No Kid Hungry.

  • Last week, Mayor Walsh announced that there were no plans to shut down indoor dining for now. He will also provide an update to the outdoor dining situation sometime this week.

  • Tasty Burger has just launched two new “Holiday Shakes” - gingerbread cookie and chocolate candy cane. The latter sounds like a drink you could use to prank Santa after he makes it down the chimney.

  • Mamaleh’s, the Jewish deli in Kendall Square, will be offering a “Hanukkah Fry Menu” from December 10th-18th, with things like latkes and fried apple pie.

  • Woods Hill Pier 4 is bringing the farm to you this winter with a CSA-like program. Choices include beef, lamb, pork, and even honey, all from their New Hampshire farm. Orders can be placed here.

  • If you’re looking for food-related Christmas gifts, then the Maine-based Stonewall Kitchen might be able to help you out. They just opened a brand new store in Fort Point, right next to the Boston Children’s Museum.

  • Restaurant Hibernations: Summer Shack and Select Oyster Bar in Back Bay, Daedalus in Cambridge, Atlántico in the South End, and Downtown spots Villa Mexico Cafe, The Sevens Ale House, and A&B Kitchen and Bar have all closed temporarily. Spoke in Somerville will also be hibernating from December 7th onwards.

  • Closings: Cuisine en Locale in Somerville has closed. China Moon in Stoneham will close on December 14.

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Week of November 23

  • It’s hard to believe that it’s Thanksgiving week already. If you missed out on Thanksgiving pre-orders, don’t worry - some of our best butcher shops have you covered. Savenor’s and Walden Local are open for most of the early part of this week.

  • If you love The Painted Burro, but don’t live in Somerville, we have some good news. A few months ago The Painted Burro ran a pop-up at Posto Bedford, and that was apparently so successful that they’ll now sell tacos and margaritas there all winter long.

  • We’re not sure why there are so many Detroit-style pizza spots opening up here, but we’ve got another one to add to the list. Square Mfg. Co. will start selling - you guessed it - square pies in Natick sometime in December.

  • Speaking of pizza, Source, a farm-to-table spot with wood-fired pizza, has opened in Harvard Square. The chef says that most of the ingredients come from within 100 miles of the restaurant.

  • Looking for a restaurant-specific Black Friday deal? Tony and Elaine’s, Ciao Bella, and Ward 8 are partnering with UberEats this Friday for a BOGO deal on meatballs, chicken parm, and fried chicken sandwiches at each of the respective restaurants.

  • For the whole month of December, Maccabee Bar will be popping up at Bow Market and mixing up Hanukkah-inspired cocktails, which will also be available to-go. You can read all about it here.

  • Downtown’s recently closed sports bar, The Fours, will be auctioning over 1,000 pieces of sports memorabilia on December 3. Boston.com has the full report.

  • Looking to help communities in need this holiday season? Food For Free, a Cambridge non-profit that seeks to address food insecurity, is in need of volunteers for home deliveries and public school meal distribution.

  • Closings: Gaslight Brasserie du Coin in the South End has closed.

Week of November 16

  • Bianca, the new restaurant from the team behind renowned sushi spot O Ya, opened its doors last week. The original date for opening was March 2020, but we all know what happened then. There’s a heated outdoor patio too - check out all the details here.

  • Montreal-style bagels are now available in Union Square. Turenne just opened last week, and they’re also selling croissants, salads, and nightly takeout dinner baskets.

  • If you’re looking to pick-up a new winter activity, perhaps you should consider curling. Snowport, the “winter wonderland” in Seaport, will host curling classes every Saturday. Naturally, there will be food available as well with The Biscuit, Red’s Best, and Hooked all on site with pies, clam chowder, and smoked fish.

  • Or maybe you’d prefer less curling and more high-stakes eating. The Porch in Medford has added a “Hot Wings Roulette” option to their menu. The plate comes with eight identical looking wings, but one of them is supposedly very, very spicy. Sounds like something you should order for that roommate who is getting on your nerves.

  • Spyce, the robot-staffed veggie bowl restaurant, has completed a major renovation and is now back open for takeout and delivery. Rumor has it that Will Smith checks in on the machines from time to time.

  • A new speakeasy bar has opened in the Leather District. Offsuit is located within Troquet on South, and takes advantage of the otherwise unused private dining spaces. Boston.com has the full story.

  • Rounding out the news on openings, Buttermilk & Bourbon just announced that they will be opening a second location at Watertown’s Arsenal Yards next year. We’re definitely looking forward to beignets on the Charles River next summer.

  • Closings: Cafe Polonia in Southie, Whole Heart Provisions in Allston, and Grumpy White’s in Quincy have all closed. The Kitchen Cafe in the Leather District will be closing on Nov 21.

Week of November 9

  • Even for 2020, last week felt like an unbelievably long stretch of time. Now that it’s over, we can turn our attention to the holiday season. And if you’re in no mood to think about cooking, that’s fine - we’ve got a running list of all the restaurants offering Thanksgiving takeout.

  • It appears that pop-ups are still going strong - this week, the brand new Artifact Cider space in Central Square will be hosting Malaysian pop-up Sekali. Menu items include things like curry puffs and pandan cheesecake.

  • The team behind Lower Mills Tavern in Dorchester has launched a new vegan “ghost restaurant,” Stalk. Takeout and delivery for things like carrot turmeric soup and tofu steak will be available throughout the week from Lower Mills Tavern.

  • The Lexington, the second of three new restaurants in East Cambridge, will open on November 11. We reviewed their “outdoor pop-up” this past summer.

  • First we had to-go cocktails, and now we have a Taco Bell that serves beer, wine, and alcoholic slushies near BU. John Winthrop must be having a hard time resting this year.

  • Tree House Brewing, arguably the most well-known brewery in the state, recently announced two new locations for next year: Cape Cod and Deerfield. The Western Mass location is going to be huge - 100,000 square feet of hoppy delight.

  • In other beer-related news, Clown Shoes Beer has released a special holiday 12 pack for $26. You can find all the info about the 12 beers here.

  • Closings: Fuku in Seaport and The Fours Downtown have both closed. Jeveli’s in East Boston is closing after-hours on Tuesday, at least temporarily.

Week of November 2

  • November is here, which means that a number of restaurants have now entered hibernation. Gray’s Hall, ReelHouse, and Orfano are just a few of the spots that won’t reopen until spring - here’s a longer list.

  • The recent snow storm was an annoyance for most of us, but for restaurant owners, it was an omen of what’s to come in the colder months. Boston.com has the full report.

  • Gov. Baker announced that this Friday, all restaurants and breweries must close by 9:30pm for table service, but may remain open after that time for takeout.

  • At the end of last week, Inspire Brands, which owns Arby’s, Jimmy John’s, and Buffalo Wild Wings, officially purchased Dunkin’ Donuts for a whopping $11 billion dollars. Does that mean roast beef donut sandwiches - something we’ve been making for years - will finally gain national recognition?

  • Elm Street Sweets, a new-ish dessert spot selling pies and other treats from Rosebud Kitchen, has been so popular that it’s expanding to a second location inside Posto in Bedford. Pre-orders can be placed here.

  • The team behind Buttermilk & Bourbon have now opened B&B Fish in Marblehead, a seafood spot with a focus on New England specialities. Obviously, we all need more lobster rolls and chowder in our lives.

  • In other seafood and openings related news, Cajun Crab Shack is now open in Roslindale. Hush puppies with a side of lemon pepper king crab, coming right up.

  • Just in case you missed it, a number of places are doing Election Day specials and care packages since we all need cocktails and free tacos this year. Check out the full list here.

  • Closings: Southside Tavern in Quincy and Cobblestone Cafe in the North End has closed.

Week of October 26

  • It’s hard to believe, but our calendars tell us that Halloween is this weekend. Time Out Market is hosting a “Negroni Flight or Fright Night” on October 30 from 5-6pm. For $25, you’ll learn how to make four different Negronis, and you’ll even be able to bring home some skull ice molds. Tickets can be purchased here.

  • A few other ideas for Halloween: Sumiao has launched two new “spooky” cocktails, Fat Hen will feature a special tasting menu, and both Union Square Donuts and Kane’s are selling costumed-treats.

  • Sure, we’ve got a list to over 160 spots with outdoor heat lamps, but for some restaurants, it’s been a real challenge to obtain those heat lamps. Boston Magazine has the full report.

  • Southeast Asian restaurant Chalawan is launching a new street food-inspired menu from November 1-15, with things like nasi lemak, mee goreng mamak, and laksa. They’ll also be doing delivery through various platforms, but pick up your order if you can - that way your dollars will go directly to the restaurant.

  • Black Lamb has essentially become the pop-up hosting king of the restaurant world - in recent weeks it’s hosted Bún Bò Bui, Hot Chix, and Mimi’s Chuka Diner. Mimi’s will be back again on Nov 1 - follow along on Instagram for more information.

  • Football on Sundays is, um, not as enjoyable this year. One thing we all need to remember, however, is that 50 Kitchen still sells wings for 50 cents during gametime. Follow along on their Instagram for more information.

  • If you’re looking to stock up on wine for the holiday season (or just to get through 2020), make sure to check out The Urban Grape in the South End. It’s a Black-owned business, and a recent nominee for Wine Enthusiast’s “Retailer of The Year.” Free delivery is included for orders over $150. We’ve also got a guide to places that deliver alcohol, if you’re interested.

Week of October 19

  • Start your week with some fried chicken sandwich pre-orders: Cutty’s is doing a BBQ-ranch version this Sunday, while Hot Chix is selling Nashville Hot sandwiches for pick-up at Pagu on Tuesday.

  • Over the summer, we reviewed The Lexington At The Picnic Grove, a temporary pop-up from the team behind Puritan & Co.. Now that same team has opened Café Beatrice, the first of three planned spots at Cambridge Crossing, with menu items like pumpkin grilled cheese and carrot dukkah cake.

  • If you’re looking to get into the Halloween mood while at a restaurant, Loretta’s Last Call in Fenway is hosting a pumpkin carving party on October 23. For $15, you’ll get a pumpkin, some carving tools, a pumpkin beer, and some pumpkin seeds. You can purchase tickets here.

  • Too Good To Go is a new app which aims to reduce food waste by partnering with local restaurants to sell surplus meals that would otherwise have gone to waste. They’re already working with 70 spots in Boston, including places like Ripple Cafe and All Star Pizza Bar.

  • A growing number of restaurants are choosing to hibernate this winter as a way to control financial losses, including places like Tiger Mama and ReelHouse. Boston.com has a more in-depth report.

  • Closings: Downtown’s Uno Due Go, House of Siam in the South End, Wonder Bar in Allston, and Frozen Hoagies in Somerville have all closed.

Week of October 12

  • The colder weather means we all need a different preparation of lobster, right? Summer Shack is now selling lobster pot pie. The pie is also available for shipping nationwide, just in case your friends in Montana are craving a taste of the East Coast. You can place an order here.

  • Everyone loves deep dish pizza, especially when it’s free. UNO Pizzeria is asking for people to vote on which pizza should go on their new menu. The polls will close on November 3 - naturally - and once votes are cast, the voter will receive an email with an offer for a free pie. Read more about the promotion here.

  • Terra, the restaurant on the top floor of Eataly, will be hosting chef collaborations for the next three weekends with Bambara, Cambridge Brewing, and Krasi. Half of the proceeds from each dish sold will be donated to the Restaurant Strong Fund.

  • Krasi in Back Bay is launching a brunch menu this Sunday, featuring Greek-inspired menu items like baklava muffins and a Negroni with pineapple tsipouro. You can also indulge in a “Feast of the Gods” brunch, which comes with every meze on the menu for $180.

  • The Urban Grape, a South End wine store that’s already doing deliveries, is now launching a restaurant pop-up series on October 20. On Tuesday nights from 4-7pm, the store will sell reheatable meals for two with a suggested bottle pairing. The line up includes spots like Row 34, Mei Mei, and Sofra - online ordering will be available here.

  • Unusual partnerships are happening pretty frequently in the restaurant world, so why should bagels and donuts miss out? The Bagel Table in Brighton is now hosting a Union Square Donuts Outpost, which means a breakfast consisting of an everything bagel sandwich and a caramel apple crisp donut is easily achievable.

  • Closings: The Asgard in Central Square and The Kinsale at Government Center have closed, at least temporarily. Bertucci’s in Alewife has closed permanently.

Week of October 5

  • Mei Mei has announced that it will no longer be a traditional restaurant for the foreseeable future. Instead, it will focus on take home meals, pop-ups, and sales with community partners. You can find more information on this Instagram post.

  • Parisian-inspired spot Grand Tour will go into “hibernation” until spring of 2021, though they will be accepting private party reservations.

  • While omakase sushi spot O Ya remains closed, the team there will be running Gogo Ya in its place from Tues-Sat, 5-9pm. The pop-up will have nori tacos, rice bowls, sake, and cocktails - the full menu can be found here.

  • The old Bergamot space has now been taken over by FAB Somerville, a brewery/art gallery that also serves things like dry-aged cornish hen. Yeah, we’re still trying to make sense of it all.

  • Still looking for some lobster? Oak Long Bar + Kitchen now has a lobster pizza on their new “All Day” menu, as well as a dessert pizza with caramelized apples and vanilla mascarpone.

  • Don’t call it an igloo, because it’s actually... a greenhouse. Talulla in Cambridge has set up five greenhouses, and will utilize them throughout the colder months. Here’s what they look like.

  • Just in time for the fall, a new cidery will open soon in Central Square. Artifact Cider is based in Western Mass, but a brand new Cambridge taproom is scheduled to debut sometime in October. Boston.com has the full report.

  • Closings: Oisa Ramen has announced it will close by the end of the year.

Week of September 28

  • Well, that was quick. After being open for less than two weeks, Salt Bae has been forced to close his new Nusr-et Steakhouse in Back Bay because of multiple COVID violations. Boston.com has more details.

  • Mondays may not be so bad anymore. Field & Vine in Union Square now has a weekly fried chicken night. Even better, it comes complete with cocktails from the great bar next door, backbar.

  • There’s a new restaurant to visit in Central Square. The Dial is located inside the 907 Main Hotel, with menu items like kitfo, jerk quail, and apple compote crepes. They’ve also got an outdoor patio that’s open from 11:30am-10pm daily.

  • Curio Coffee already serves some amazing coffee and waffles, but now they’re also running a weekly special entitled “Sh*t We Ate In The ’90s.” Last Friday, it was a reimagined McRib sandwich with pork from one of the best butcher shops around. Follow along on Instagram for the weekly menu.

  • Revival Cafe, which has some great breakfast sandwiches, now also sells groceries. From now until October 15, you can use the code FALLWITHREVIVAL on Grocery Outpost to get a $15 Revival gift card when you spend at least $40.

  • Apparently October is National Pizza Month - it’s also National Seafood Month and Spinach Lovers Month. We’re not sure what exactly the spinach lovers are doing to celebrate, but we’ll be ordering some great pies. Oath Pizza is also offering free delivery throughout October on Monday and Tuesday evenings.

  • Since we’re talking about food-specific days, September 29 is National Coffee Day (who comes up with this stuff?). We’ve got an iced coffee guide, as well as a guide to some of our favorite coffee shops. OddFellows Ice Cream in Chestnut Hill is also selling some boozy affogato kits in collaboration with Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur.

  • Trillium has reopened their “Garden on the Greenway,” just in time for fall. Current hours are from noon onwards, Thurs-Sat.

  • Closings: Post 390 in Back Bay and Misono Grill and Tonkatsu King in the Super 88 Food Court have all closed.

Week of September 21

  • Mass Restaurants United approximates that 20% of restaurants in the state have permanently closed. As a result, they’re hosting a press conference at the State House on September 22nd at 11am to raise awareness about the Economic Development Bill, which seeks to raise funds for struggling restaurants.

  • Mimi’s Chuka Diner, a dumpling pop-up spot, will be making gyoza at Bow Market’s Create Gallery & Cocktails Lounge on September 24th from 5-10pm. We wish every Thursday could be filled with gyoza, cocktails, and art.

  • Summer Shack, which has one of the best lobster rolls around, is running a pop-up in Harvard Square by the Charles Hotel until the end of October. The pop-up will be a fully outdoor venue, with space for up to 60 guests.

  • If you’re looking for more brunch places, then you should know that Harvest in Cambridge is serving things like smoked salmon benedict and cucumber gazpacho on Sundays from 11am-4pm. They have an amazing patio too, complete with a fireplace and heaters.

  • Eataly is also joining in on the fall patio party. They’ll be serving mulled cider and all things sage and squash on their heated outdoor space.

  • Startup company Dan Harrington is working with local bartenders from spots like Bisq and Barra to create at-home cocktail kits. All you have to do is add liquor before saying “Cheers!” to your reflection in the mirror.

  • Closings: Emack & Bolio’s in Porter Square and Blue State Coffee at Boston University have both closed.

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