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All the Boston Food News That Mattered in March 2018: From Lobster Rolls to Soup Dumplings

The month in openings, closings, top news, and more

The Maine lobster roll at Neptune Oyster is served on a grilled hot dog bun atop a white plate, and is accompanied by French fries and a ramekin of ketchup.
Maine lobster roll at Neptune Oyster
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Lots of new restaurants popped onto the scene in March 2018, serving up Peruvian food in Somerville, Korean food in Brookline, Southern food in the South End, poke in Cambridge, and more.

There were also a few closures, including some chains — two locations of Bertucci’s, one location of Jimmy John’s, and one location of Outback Steakhouse — along with the sudden closing of a young Irish pub in Jamaica Plain and the expected ending of Trillium’s seasonal beer garden at the Roslindale Substation.

Read on for a summary of March 2018, including the most-read news stories and maps, the openings, and the closings.

A hand holds up a fried chicken sandwich, a large crispy patty jutting out of a squishy bun
Fuku’s fried chicken sandwich
Nick Solares/Eater
  1. Dining News From Boston’s Suburbs and Beyond: This round-up is updated weekly with restaurant openings, closings, and more from the Greater Boston region.
  2. America’s First Vegan Beer Hall Will Open in Quincy, Serving Local Beer, Coffee, and More: Rewild will offer vegan food in a social beer hall environment.
  3. David Chang’s Casual Chicken Joint, Fuku, Is Coming to Boston: Opening in the Seaport District.
  4. Five Restaurants to Try This Weekend Around Boston: Updated on Fridays with new recommendations.
  5. Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette Are Doing Another Cool Thing: It’s not a new restaurant, but it’s a chance to eat at three restaurants in one night.
  6. Celeste Is Your Friendly New Home for Ceviche and Pisco: The Peruvian restaurant debuts this week in Somerville’s Union Square.
  7. Boston-Area Beer and Liquor News: This round-up is updated weekly with booze news from around the region, including the openings of new taprooms and more.
  8. One Lone Critic Is ‘Not a Fan’ of Pretty Much the Whole World’s Favorite Lobster Roll: Plus, an Improper Bostonian review of Grassona’s Italian.
  9. Somerville’s Got Some New Soup Dumplings: Get juicy buns, roast beef rolled up in scallion pancakes, and more delivered to your door.
  10. Power Duo to Open Chickadee in the Seaport District Later This Year: No. 9 Park alums Ted Kilpatrick and John DaSilva have a project in the works.

big daddy’s chicken parm
The chicken parm from Big Daddy’s in Brighton
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater
  1. The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now: Updated monthly, the Eater Boston Heatmap tracks a dozen hot new spots to check out.
  2. Get Excited for These Spring 2018 Boston Restaurant Openings: On the horizon: a robotic restaurant, a champagne vending machine, so much bacon, and plenty of beer.
  3. Where to Eat Chicken Parm Sandwiches in Boston: Start in the North End, of course.
  4. Boston’s Most Essential Irish Pubs: Where to drink on St. Patrick’s Day — or any day.
  5. Where to Eat Burritos in and Around Boston: Sorry: Chipotle didn’t make the cut.
  6. Eater Boston’s Food Events Guide: Updated weekly, this guide features all the local food and drink events you’ll actually want to attend.
  7. Where to Eat Cajun-Style Seafood in Boston: Whether in a bag or in a bowl, flavor abounds.
  8. Survive the Rest of Winter With These Glorious Mac and Cheeses Around Boston: Cheesy, carb-filled goodness.
  9. Where to Eat Lobster Rolls in Boston: The northeast is lousy with lobster rolls — here’s where to find a good one in the Hub.
  10. The Winter 2017-2018 Restaurant Opening Guide: Boston Proper: Tiki drinks, tacos, toga parties.

A vibrantly colored portion of ceviche is presented on a white plate on a white table, with a glass of beer on the side.
Ceviche and a beer at Celeste
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston
  • Adelita (1200 Main St., Concord): From the Woods Hill Table team, this Mexican restaurant features meats sourced from owner Kristin Canty’s own New Hampshire farm. The menu includes tacos, ceviche, churros, and more.
  • Antique Table (26 Congress St., Salem): This is the third location for an Italian restaurant with locations in Lynn and Winthrop, serving pasta, seafood dishes, pizza, and more.
  • Bab Korean Bistro (1374 Beacon St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline): Brookline doesn’t have much of a Korean restaurant scene yet, so it’s good that Bab’s menu is extensive, running the gamut from bibimbap and Korean barbecue to tteokbokki and sundubu-jjigae.
  • Blue Canoe Cafe (14 School St., Marblehead): Located in the former Atomic Cafe space, Blue Canoe serves soups, salads, sandwiches, coffee, and other cafe fare.
  • Cava (724 Legacy Pl., Dedham): This is the second Massachusetts location for the DC-based fast-casual Mediterranean chain; at least a couple more are on the way.
  • Celeste (21 Bow St., Union Square, Somerville): Dine on ceviche, lomo saltado, and other Peruvian cuisine at this cozy new Somerville spot, and don’t forget to get a pisco- or mezcal-based cocktail as well.
  • Double Horse Bistro (800 Brockton Ave., Abington): “Modern American Asian” food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, from chicken and waffles to egg-topped burgers and pho.
  • Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company (55 Millbrook St., Worcester): This new 100-person taproom features imperial ales and lagers, various types of grilled cheese, hot dogs, and other solid taproom snacks.
  • Health Club (278a Highland Ave., Spring Hill, Somerville): This little sibling and neighbor to the adorable 3 Little Figs cafe is a tiny, brightly colored ode to food that feels healthy, from salads and grain bowls to smoothies.
  • Humaari at Wink & Nod (3 Appleton St., South End, Boston): Wink & Nod’s latest long-term culinary pop-up incubatee is a hummus-oriented Mediterranean project from Tavern Road’s Louis DiBiccari. It’ll be running through mid-September.
  • Il Mondo Pizzeria (738 Huntington Ave., Mission Hill, Boston): The Mission Hill location of this local pizza joint closed at the end of 2017, but now it’s back in the neighborhood, located in the former Grub space. There’s also a location closer to Berklee.
  • Magnolia Bakery (4 S. Market St., Downtown Boston): Straight out of Sex and the City circa 2000, New York’s Magnolia Bakery has finally touched down in Boston, opening at Quincy Market with cupcakes and banana pudding galore.
  • Naukabout Brewing (13 Lake Ave., Mashpee): There’s a new taproom in town, and it features water views, a seven-barrel brewhouse, and a beer lineup that includes a New England IPA, a triple dry-hopped double IPA, and more.
  • One Ramen & Sushi (1759 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, Cambridge): This new ramen and sushi restaurant took over the former Super Fusion space.
  • Pita Cambridge (11 Springfield St., Inman Square, Cambridge): Located in the former Olecito space, this fast-casual sibling to Moona around the corner features shawarma, falafel, and more.
  • Pokéworks (1440 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge): This is the second local outpost for the expanding national poke chain; it’s also in Somerville’s Davis Square.
  • Porto Maltese (1634 Beacon St., Washington Square, Brookline): The longtime Fireplace space is now home to a Mediterranean seafood restaurant with a variety of fish and a variety of ways in which it can be prepared. One option: Provide your own recipe.
  • Pot Bar (70 Brighton Ave., Allston, Boston): No, it’s not what it sounds like; it’s a hot pot restaurant that features individual portions for those who love hot pot but want the pot all to themselves.
  • Saigon Chicken House (223 Adams St., Dorchester, Boston): This new Vietnamese restaurant in Fields Corner serves pho, Napoleon beef, and more.
  • Shredded (246 W. Broadway, South Boston): Sort of a local take on Sweetgreen, serving salads as well as noodle bowls.
  • Simjang (72 Shrewsbury St., Worcester): This sequel to Deadhorse Hill features Korean fried chicken, raw bar items, and more, all following an American-Korean theme. There’s also soft serve in fun flavors.
  • Southern Proper (50 Malden St., South End, Boston): Fried chicken, biscuits, hushpuppies, and more Southern goodness in a cavernous space that smells of pine.
  • The Stones Common House & Kitchen (370-380 Main St., Stoneham): A more formal opening is coming in April, but the Stones debuted quietly in March, courtesy of chef Patrick Campbell (No. 9 Park, Cafe Artscience), serving hamburgers, pasta, and other fare.
  • Tasty Thai (153 Belgrade Ave., Roslindale): This new Thai restaurant took over the Seven Star Street Bistro space.
  • Zambrero (71 Mt. Auburn St., Harvard Square, Cambridge): This is one of two United States locations now open for this fast-casual Australian burrito chain; the other is in Warwick, Rhode Island. Zambrero donates a meal for every burrito or bowl sold.

Bertucci’s meatballs
Bertucci’s meatballs
  • Bagels by Us (789 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington): Serving bagels, sandwiches, and more, Bagels by Us had been open for over two decades.
  • Bertucci’s (533 Commonwealth Ave., Kenmore Square, Boston; 380 Washington St., Wellesley): Two of three recent closures for the longtime local pizzeria chain.
  • The Gate (3171 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, Boston): After less than a year in business, this Irish pub shuttered without warning, shortly after St. Patrick’s Day. The building — the restaurant as well as several residential units — is for sale.
  • Jimmy John’s (512 Park Dr., Fenway, Boston): Boston’s small number of Jimmy John’s locations (an Illinois-based sandwich shop) has gotten even smaller.
  • Outback Steakhouse (1212 Providence Hwy., Norwood): Not a good month for chains, apparently. The “Australian” steakhouse only has a few local outposts left (Somerville, Peabody, Randolph, Hanover).
  • The Tap Trailhouse (19 Union St., Downtown Boston): Located by Faneuil Hall, this pub had been open for over a decade, revamping from the Tap to the Tap Trailhouse a few years ago. Its owner, the Boston Nightlife Ventures group, shut it down to focus on other projects, such as opening the long-simmering Akinto and adding a second location of Southern Kin. The space may become home to a restaurant called Sons of Boston (from different owners).
  • Trillium Beer Garden at the Substation (4228 Washington St., Roslindale): No surprise here as this was always just meant to be a seasonal pop-up (and a popular one), but the Roslindale Trillium location is now closed.

Bay scallop crudo with blood orange, daikon radish, and Fresno chili.
Bay scallop crudo at Back Bay Beats
Sarah Storrer/Eater

Rewinding back to March 2017, it was a pretty quiet month, without too many openings or closures. There were a few of each, though: We welcomed restaurants like Back Bay Beats, Kokeshi, and Troquet on South while bidding farewell to Crossroads Irish Pub and Baja Betty’s.

There was also news of a Will Ferrell-themed, scotch-filled pop-up; restaurants standing in solidarity with the “A Day Without a Woman” strike; and some free coffee from Intelligentsia leading up to its eventual Watertown opening.