2014 kicked off with a massive storm, but things were looking up with lots of hot openings on the horizon, from Alden & Harlow and Bastille Kitchen to Pastoral and Wink & Nod. Alden & Harlow did end up opening in late January, but we had to wait a little bit longer for Pastoral and Wink & Nod, which both opened in late March. Bastille Kitchen didn't end up materializing until late July.
The newly updated Eater 38, a list of the city's most essential restaurants (updated quarterly), also garnered a lot of views.
Items on local Top Chef contestants also proved popular this month, particularly this 2013 Zagat video of Kristen Kish breaking down a lobster, a December 2013 interview with Kish on her first few months at Menton, and a January 2014 interview with Stephanie Cmar after her elimination episode.
And January also saw the most popular Eater Boston open thread of all time, where readers discussed the most underrated restaurants in town.
As in the previous month, February's most popular post documented a wide range of upcoming openings, this time looking ahead at the whole year. As 2014 draws to a close, we're still waiting on a few of them, like BISq (set to open in early January 2015), the Newbury Street Shake Shack, and Steinbones.
Kristen Kish made a repeat performance in the top posts this month with an interview on her post-Menton plans. Following her winning run on Top Chef, she was chef de cuisine at the fancy French restaurant for a little less than a year.
Also popular (and also involving Kish) was a behind-the-scenes look at the Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef Gala Dinner at Menton, which featured Daniel Boulud and other internationally renowned chefs.
Coincidentally while the Eater universe was celebrating Pizza Week 2014, giant pizza news broke here in Boston: Pepe's, one of the infamous New Haven pizza hotspots for so many decades, was expanding to Boston. Later in the year, we saw Pepe's prepare to take over The Fireplace in Brookline, but the deal ultimately fell through, and the growing pizza chain has not yet announced a new location.
In other popular Pizza Week posts, Lincoln Tavern claimed the "best pizza in Boston" crown by reader voting, narrowly edging out Pinocchio's by just two votes.
Wink & Nod also got a lot of attention in March, opening towards the end of the month in the South End.
April: All Things H Mart
This month, there were a lot of eyeballs on a gallery of Totto Ramen in Allston, the first local outpost of a small New York City chain. Liquid Art House and La Brasa updates were also popular; they both opened early in the month.
The $1 oyster map also provided vital information as the weather started to warm up.
Rabid Top Chef fans were looking for a way to attend a taping of the show this month; the show was reportedly overloaded with tens of thousands of emails for just a few hundred spots.
A gallery of the newly opened Brass Union (the former Precinct in Somerville's Union Square) was also popular this month, as was the sad news that Veggie Planet would close at the end of August. (But good news — a new location might be in the works.)
July: Pepe's Pizza to Take Over The Fireplace in Brookline [Nope.]
As mentioned back in the March blurb, this ended up falling through. Good news for fans of The Fireplace, but bad news for those anxiously awaiting Pepe's arrival.
In other news, the Eater 38 returned again for its third-quarter update, a lot of restaurants were open on July 4, and Bagelsaurus announced that it'd open a brick-and-mortar location in Cambridge's Porter Square.
It ended up being a really busy fall for restaurant openings in the Boston area, although not everything on the anticipated fall list has opened yet, like Blackbird Doughnuts, The Brewer's Fork, and Hojoko.
September: The Early Word on Bar Boulud
Daniel Boulud's first Boston outpost opened in early September, and reviews sprung up quickly. This was also the month that the aforementioned Pepe's setback came about.
Also in September, Eater debuted its new look with a feature on how various Boston restaurant industry folks would change the world through food.
October: Tracking Boston's Fall 2014 Openings
The new Eater format allowed for the introduction of a "storystream," an easy way to keep track of every bit of news about restaurants opening in the fall. (Stay tuned for a winter 2014-2015 version.) Viale was one of the big October openings.
Readers were very excited about a pop-up cat cafe, although to be fair, it was really a regular cat adoption drive with some tea.
The Eater Awards 2014 were announced in November with much fanfare; winners included Mei Mei (Restaurant of the Year), Joshua Smith of Moody's Delicatessen & Provisions (Chef of the Year), and La Brasa (Stone Cold Stunner). Alton Brown ate his way through Boston in 24 hours, declaring that he "came for beans and chowder, but in the end [he] had a noodle party," referring to the hand-pulled noodles at Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe.
Eater Boston's 2014 Bartender of the Year, Ran Duan, went viral this month after Boston.com shared a lengthy email exchange that he had with a Harvard Business School associate professor who went maybe a little bit overboard after Duan's family's restaurant, Sichuan Garden, charged him more than what old online menus indicated.
In other popular recent news, Santouka Ramen is getting very close to opening in Harvard Square, Modern Pastry opened up a bar underneath itself called Modern Underground, Trillium Brewing Company reopened after getting shut down for about a month due to a licensing issue, and Night Market opened in Harvard.