It may be 29 degrees Fahrenheit right now, but today's officially the first day of spring. It was a long, cold winter with historical amounts of snow and an insane number of days that restaurants struggled to stay open thanks to transportation issues and other weather-related worries, but a lot of new restaurants did manage to debut over the course of the season. Here's a rundown of Boston-area winter restaurant openings for the 2014-2015 season.
The highly-anticipated Townsman triumphantly arrived downtown with insane seafood towers, tons of charcuterie, and a lively ambiance. Meanwhile, at long last, Brewer's Fork opened in Charlestown, serving wood-fired everything (especially pizza) and an impressive beer selection (keep an eye out for Trillium on tap.) In other pizza news, Rosso B. opened by Faneuil Hall.
South Boston lost Franklin Southie but got Asia Mei's Moonshine 152 in its place. The restaurant puts a strong focus on late-night dining and Monday industry brunch. Look for Ron Swanson-inspired specials. Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar, a new concept from the Lincoln Tavern team, also opened in Southie, as did Molly Moo's, an ice cream shop.
In doughnut news, Blackbird Doughnuts arrived in the South End, courtesy of the team behind The Gallows, and Saugus classic Kane's Donuts opened up in Boston's Financial District, where it is dubbed Kane's Handcrafted Donuts.
Also in the South End, a new outpost of The Elephant Walk opened up in the former BoMA space, serving Cambodian and French cuisine.
Bred Gourmet is serving up fancy burgers and smoothies in the former Mrs. Jones space in Dorchester.
Back Bay now has "naanz" (naan-based sandwiches), courtesy of Boston Indian Kitchen. Elsewhere in the neighborhood, there's hot pot at ShabuMaru, located inside the Westin; Dosa Factory, an expansion of the Central Square dosa-focused restaurant; and Cafe Med, a Mediterranean restaurant.
Tatte Bakery continued its expansion with its first Boston proper location, right in the heart of Beacon Hill, Jamaica Plain got an outpost of Caffe Nero, West Roxbury got Recreo Coffee & Roasterie, and Fort Point got a coffee-shop-meets-wine-bar with the long-awaited Internal Matter.
Fort Point also saw the opening of Bon Me's second brick-and-mortar (the first is in Kendall Square.)
In the quick-service realm, Kenmore Square got an outpost of Amsterdam Falafelshop, while the second location of Griddler's Burgers and Dogs finally opened, this one by the Common. In Brighton, Ronan's Deli is serving up deli, Irish food, and Brazilian food alongside grocery items. Jimmy John's, a giant sandwich chain, opened in both the West End and Lower Allston, and salad chain Saladworks opened downtown.
Durian alert: Check out Sweet Kingdom in Allston for late-night Asian desserts. And yes, you can find the legendarily stinky-but-delicious fruit in various forms there. Allston also got a sushi and shabu spot called Asiana.
In non-durian dessert news, Delectable Desires Pastries has opened in West Roxbury.
And a new food truck: Zinneken's (an extension of the Harvard Square waffle shop).
Santouka Ramen, a large Japanese chain with an enthusiastic following, arrived in Harvard Square, serving its signature shio ramen and more. Harvard also got a location of Boston Burger Company, which is based in Davis Square and also has a Back Bay outpost.
In East Cambridge, Petsi Pies opened a new location at 594 Cambridge St., replacing the 441 Cambridge St. outpost.
In Davis Square, Sessa's Cold Cuts became Pepe Bocca, serving pizza, arancini, and more (alongside a large selection of Italian specialty products and grocery items). Plus, Meju (a sibling of Bibim in Allston) opened on Elm Street, serving creative Korean.
At the ever-growing Assembly Row, sandwich chain Which Wich opened up an outpost.
Falafel Place opened in Winter Hill, and you can probably guess what it serves. Early Yelp reviews are unanimously very enthusiastic.
- Al's TradeCenter Cafe (Woburn): The small downtown Boston and Harvard Square Al's Cafe chain opened a fourth location. Sandwiches are the specialty.
- b. good (Newton): A new location of the burger-focused chain is now open.
- Brelundi (Waltham): An Italian restaurant focusing on Sicilian cuisine.
- Brothers Restaurant (Brookline): A little bit of everything, from Italian to Mexican to American breakfast, in Coolidge Corner.
- Fleck (Newton): A new coffee shop for Newton Highlands.
- Hakata Ramen (Quincy): In addition to ramen, there's sushi, bento boxes, and more.
- David's BBQ and Kakkoii Sushi and Ramen (Malden): Sushi and ramen and Cantonese barbecue in an Asian market food court.
- Praline (Belmont): Macarons and lots of other confections.
- R.F. O'Sullivan & Son (Lynn): The classic Somerville burger-focused restaurant now has a new location in Lynn.
- Royal (Watertown): "Sexy plates" such as deep-fried breakfast Oreos and bacon-wrapped hot dogs, with a focus on locally-sourced products.
- Woods Hill Table (West Concord): Farm-to-table, for real. The restaurant owner also bought a New Hampshire farm.