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All the Boston Food News That Mattered in February 2019: From Ramen to Risotto

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

A bowl of ramen with a black spoon, slices of meat, chopped vegetables, and a soft egg.
Isshindo Ramen
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

March is well underway, but before spring sneaks into the picture, here’s a look back at what happened in Boston’s food scene this February, including some exciting Italian, French, and Japanese restaurant debuts and fortunately not too many closures.

Read on for a summary of February 2019, including the most-read news stories and maps, the openings, and the closings.

Trofie al pesto di pistacchio with feta and mint at Fox & the Knife
Trofie al pesto di pistacchio with feta and mint at Fox & the Knife
Sarah Storrer/Eater
  1. Suburban Boston Dining News, Updated Weekly: A round-up of restaurant openings, closings, and other news outside of the immediate Boston vicinity.
  2. James Beard Winner Karen Akunowicz Debuts Italian Neighborhood Spot in South Boston: The Myers + Chang and Top Chef alum once spent a year in Modena, Italy, studying pasta-making.
  3. Growing Taqueria Chain Chilacates Doubled in Size Over the Weekend: The Chestnut Hill and Mission Hill locations opened, and the South End followed soon after.
  4. A Beverly Burger Restaurant Finally Expands to Boston: A&B Burgers opened in the West End.
  5. The Panera Bakery-Cafe Chain Is Closing Its Last Pay-What-You-Can Location: The Panera Cares business model wasn’t profitable, according to a statement from the company.
  6. Here Are the Local James Beard Foundation Semifinalists for 2019: The finalists will be announced on March 27.
  7. Frenchie Sibling Colette Debuts in Cambridge This Week: The new restaurant is situated on the ground floor of the Porter Square Hotel.
  8. Boston-Area Beer and Liquor News, Updated Weekly: A round-up of brewery openings and more.
  9. Bar Mezzana Team to Grow South End Reach With Another Restaurant: Details are sparse, but the team will take over for Stephi’s on Tremont.
  10. Eastern Standard and Branch Line Will Get a Cambridge Sibling: The hospitable duo will become a trio with Shy Bird in Kendall Square.

Meatballs from Tony & Elaine’s
Meatballs from Tony & Elaine’s, a new addition to the February Heatmap
Sarah Storrer/Eater
  1. The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now, February 2019: Boston’s best new hotspots, updated monthly.
  2. The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Restaurant Openings Around Boston: It’s going to be a good year for food halls, French food, and exciting new projects from familiar faces.
  3. 25 Essential Pizzas in the Boston Area: From old-school classics to fancy wood-fired pies.
  4. Boston’s Best Neighborhood Hangouts: Where to eat and drink and feel like a local.
  5. Where to Eat and Drink in the South End: Pepperoni pizza on Tremont Street and late-night beers in a neighborhood classic.
  6. Where to Eat and Drink in Inman Square: Half-sour pickles at a century-old Jewish deli and some of the best Indian food in Greater Boston.
  7. Where to Eat Chicken Wings in and Around Boston: From Korean fried to Buffalo-style, these are the best wings in the Hub.
  8. 19 Splendid Shakshuka Options Around Boston: Start the day off right with a spicy poached egg and tomato dish.
  9. 6 Boston-Area Brazilian Restaurants to Try During Carnival 2019: Or anytime.
  10. Where to Eat and Drink in Kendall Square: Ribs, fried chicken, poutine, and beautiful cocktails.

The “American honey” pizza at &pizza
The “American honey” pizza at &pizza
Sarah Storrer/Eater
  • &pizza (1-3 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge): This D.C.-based pizza chain sells oblong personal pies with a variety of toppings; it’s sharing space with a Milk Bar.
  • 1855 Bar à Vins (259 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston): This French wine bar lives above its sibling, French restaurant La Voile, and also serves food itself, including cheeses, a sage risotto, beef carpaccio, and more.
  • A&B Burgers (101 Beverly St., West End, Boston): A full-service restaurant featuring burgers, born on the North Shore.
  • American Provisions (1961-1981 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, Boston): This is the second — and long-awaited — location for a popular South Boston-based specialty shop, which stocks cheeses, charcuterie, sandwiches, and more.
  • Bar Mercato (54 Devonshire St., Downtown Boston): Located in the Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall, Bar Mercato is an all-day restaurant that draws inspiration from European food halls.
  • Bourbon Coffee (103 Canal St., West End, Boston): With a location in Cambridge’s Porter Square and roots in Rwanda, this cafe has expanded to the former West End location of Boston Common Coffee Co.
  • Chilacates (33 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill; 1482 Tremont St., Mission Hill, Boston; 275 Shawmut St., South End, Boston): Not one, not two, but three new Chilacates locations opened in February, bringing the Mexican group up to five.
  • Colette (1924 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, Cambridge): South End hit Frenchie now has a sibling — another French restaurant — in Cambridge’s Porter Square Hotel.
  • Darwin’s Ltd. (31 Putnam Ave., Cambridge): A switch in the works since 2012, Darwin’s has opened its fourth cafe in the previous home of Petsi Pies. (Petsi’s Somerville location remains in operation.)
  • Fox & the Knife (28 W. Broadway, South Boston): Karen Akunowicz, a James Beard winner and longtime Myers + Chang alum, is at the helm of this Italian-inspired enoteca.
  • Futago Udon (508-512 Park Dr., Fenway, Boston): From the team behind a Somerville soba restaurant comes another noodle-focused spot, this time featuring udon.
  • The Grateful Dedham Diner (573 High St., Dedham): This new Dedham diner is located in a former D’Angelo’s space and serves breakfast all day (until closing at 3 p.m.)
  • Isshindo Ramen (1 Brighton Ave., Allston, Boston): Taking over the former space of another ramen shop, Pikaichi, Isshindo — which specializes in tonkotsu ramen — is located within the Super 88 market (not within the main food court but in an adjacent space).
  • Kane’s Donuts (Essex Landing, 1565 Broadway, Saugus): Located on Route 1 in view of a famous orange dinosaur, this is the second Saugus location — and third location overall — for a decades-old doughnut shop.
  • The Landing (223 Adams St., Newton): Neapolitan-style pizza and more from and owner who grew up on the Italian coast between Rome and Naples.
  • Lisa’s Family Pizzeria (368 Trapelo Rd., Belmont): The small local chain serves pizzas, calzones, subs, pasta, and more.
  • The Local Kitchen & Drinks (99 3rd Ave., Waltham): This is the fifth location for the local (and Local) chain, which serves dishes like Hong Kong noodles, Buffalo wings, tacos, and corn chowder.
  • Los Amigos Taqueria (424 Highland Ave., Davis Square, Somerville): This local Mexican chain now has five locations; this newest one took over the longtime Blue Shirt Cafe space in Davis Square.
  • Mexicali Mexican Grill (225 Shrewsbury St., Worcester): Taking over a former British Beer Company space, this is the eighth location for Mexicali, which serves burritos, enchiladas, tacos, and more.
  • Milk Bar (1-3 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge): Sugar queen Christina Tosi has brought her growing bakery chain to Boston for the first time, and it’s sharing space with D.C.-based pizza chain &pizza.
  • Pho Common (468 Commonwealth Ave., Kenmore Square, Boston): This Vietnamese restaurant, which serves pho and more, took the place of another Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Countryside.
  • Playa Bowls (2199 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, Boston): This New Jersey-based chain serves acai bowls, smoothies, and more; this location is right by Boston College.
  • Serafina (237 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston): This is the second local location for the New York-based Italian chain, which also has a Financial District outpost.
  • The Square Root (2 Corinth St., Roslindale, Boston): A cafe, performance venue, and co-working space in one.
  • Sufra (52 Queensberry St., Fenway, Boston): Another example of a food truck putting down permanent roots, Sufra took over the former Black Jack Pasta space, where it serves shawarma, falafel, and more.

sushi factory renovations
Sushi Factory, under renovation
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater
  • Allora Ristorante (139 Lakeside Ave., Marlborough): This Italian restaurant was open for over a decade.
  • Boston Common Coffee Co. (103 Canal St., West End, Boston): This local cafe group is down from four locations to one, with its Canal Street location recently taken over by another cafe. It remains open in the Financial District.
  • The Greek Grille (599 Main St., Winchester): Souvlaki, spanakopita, Greek pizza, and more was on the menu at the Greek Grille, open for 10 years.
  • Hi B3ar Ice Cream Roll (147 Brighton Ave., Allston, Boston): This rolled ice cream spot is closed for now, with a sign out front indicating renovations.
  • Panera Cares (3 Center Plz., Downtown Boston): This was the last remaining location of bakery-cafe chain Panera’s pay-what-you-can experiment, which began in 2010. (This particular location was open for six years.)
  • The Red-Eyed Pig (1753 Centre St., West Roxbury, Boston): This pub served Southern-leaning food, with barbecue, hush puppies, and more.
  • Roadworthy (135 Washington St., Dedham): Roadworthy opened in 2016 and served a “soul fuel” menu of Sicilian pan pizzas, chicken parm, salad, and such.
  • Sami’s Trailer (107 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Longwood Medical Area, Boston): Known for serving wraps since 1979, this trailer has closed indefinitely.
  • Sushi Factory (140 Brighton Ave., Allston, Boston): Only open since late 2019, this all-you-can-eat sushi joint is closed, but just for renovations and a menu change. The renovations seem extensive; it’s unclear whether it’ll still be a sushi restaurant when it reemerges.