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In lieu of a proper post

9 Jun

I’m hopeless this week: partial book deadline and a child with strep throat. How do you explain to a 2-year-old who wakes up at midnight screaming because his throat feels like an open wound that the screaming will only make it worse? And how to do you explain to his mom that frantically repeating “No, no…stop screaming…it only makes it worse!” only makes it worse?

Anyway.

I do have one very very exciting bit of food news, per my friend Jessica Battilana, a food writer and VT native who lives in San Francisco and spent some time working at Chez Panisse. Two of her friends from that famous foodie temple, Amelia O’Reilly and Nico Monday, have just (mere *days* ago!) opened a place in Gloucester called The Market Restaurant on Lobster Cove, and all signs point to this being a very, very exciting development for Massachusetts coastal cuisine. And Massachusetts dining, for that matter.

A Chez Panisse pedigree doesn’t guarantee that a place will be fabulous, of course, But it seriously ups the odds. And a quick look at a recent menu (asparagus salad with farm egg and Romesco sauce; scallop and lobster cakes with herbed aioli and picked carrots, bread pudding with orange and almonds) has all signs pointing to “yes.” More to come…and soon!

News and Rumors

21 May

Had an interesting conversation with one of Boston’s most personable chefs earlier this week. He had some exciting industry gossip to share.

1) Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonette were recently looking at restaurant space in Davis Square. Doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily open up anything in that part of town, but how cool would that be? Maybe a second branch of Toro?

1) Ever wonder where Pino Maffeo of Restaurant L and the ill-fated Boston Public ended up? I had heard rumors of New York, but at the moment he’s cooking at an Italian restaurant in Winchester. [ADDED 5/24: IT’S LUCIA RISTORANTE). Between this and Chris Parson’s new Parsons Table, Winchester suddenly has a rocking restaurant scene.

UPDATE: Jamie Bissonette told Grub Street that there are no plans to open a Toro or Coppa in Somerville. As I said, looking at a space doesn’t mean anyone’s about to sign a contract (if that were the case, our realtor would like us a whole lot more). But sigh. It would be really nice to see them bring their magic across the river.

East by Northeast Looking at Mid-Dec/Early Jan Opening

20 Nov

I emailed Phillip Tang a few weeks ago to ask when he thought he’d be opening his hotly anticipated Momofuku-esque restaurant in the old Benatti space in Inman Square. Just got the following reply:

Sorry it has taken so long to write back but I have been inundated with emails recently as I have been seeking employees for the new restaurant.  I unfortunately cannot give an exact date due to the unpredictability of restaurant openings, but I would like to open either in mid-December before the holidays or wait until just after the new year.  Thank you very much for taking interest in the opening of my restaurant, I am very excited about this project.

I can’t wait…

Il Casale takes the prize

9 Jul

Many congrats to Dante de Magistris for Il Casale’s well-deserved 3 1/2-star review in the Globe today! Restaurant critic Devra First writes:

“Il Casale’s food is wonderful, but the appeal goes deeper than that. With its menu of passed-down recipes, its crowds of locals, and its group tasting menus, the restaurant emphasizes family and community.”

I agree. Dante and his family worked on this restaurant for years, taking over the old firehouse in their hometown. It was a labor of love, and that spirit animates the kitchen and the dining room. Plus, they have the best meatballs in the city, okay, metro area.

Restaurant week, cont’d

23 Aug

A quick note: Ate last night at Boston Public (formerly Boston Public Meat) at Louis Boston. They’ve continued their Restaurant Week menu, even though the official promotion ended last week. Three courses for $33.07, offer expires Monday.