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Eat Deep-Fried Junior Mints on a Cambridge Rooftop This Spring

Blue Owl, featuring a rooftop terrace, will be one of several dining and drinking options at a new Central Square hotel. Here’s a look at the menu.

Rendering of a five-story boutique hotel. There’s a rooftop terrace that includes a large logo of an owl’s face on a light brick wall.
Rendering of 907 Main, including the Blue Owl rooftop terrace
Gensler [Official Rendering]

On a Central Square corner that once housed the region’s best-named restaurant, Pu Pu Hot Pot, along with the original Toscanini’s location and more, change has been underway for quite some time. A brand new building now stands on the site (907 Main St., Cambridge), housing the soon-to-open 907 Main, a boutique hotel with a variety of dining options (including the return of Toscanini’s). The hotel is slated to open in May 2020.

In addition to acclaimed ice cream shop Toscanini’s, 907 Main will be home to Belmont-based bakery Praliné French Patisserie and two restaurants overseen by executive chef Justin Urso: the Dial, a full-service restaurant with a globally inspired menu and an outdoor patio, and Blue Owl, a rooftop bar with a 40-seat outdoor terrace and an industrial vibe.

Urso is an alum of Frank McClelland’s now-defunct L’Espalier and Sel de la Terre, Catalyst in Cambridge, Del Posto in New York, and more. He’s joined by Roberto Porsia, the hotel’s director of food and beverage, who is also an alum of McClelland’s restaurants, as well as Jody Adams’ now-closed Rialto and Boston’s two Serafina franchises.

Blue Owl’s name and logo — not to mention some of its desserts — are inspired by Tootsie Roll Industries and the company’s iconic Tootsie Pop-chomping owl. The Cambridge Brands candy factory, owned by Tootsie Roll Industries, is a very short walk away. Depending on the time you pass by, you might smell the scent of Junior Mints lingering on the breeze: The factory produces 14 million a day. (It also produces Sugar Babies and Charleston Chews, but Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Pops are produced elsewhere.)

Urso and the Blue Owl team are sharing an early look at the menu for the rooftop bar; it centers around snacky bar bites, skewers, and such:

Bar Bites ($3-6)

Light blue bowl of tostones sits on a matching plate. On the plate, there are two small metal cups — one with an aioli and the other with pikliz. The plate and bowl sit isolated on a black background.
Tostones at Blue Owl
Kevin Hardman
Popcorn with a green seasoning is piled high in a blue bowl, isolated on a black background.
Popcorn at Blue Owl
Kevin Hardman
  • Yucca fries — mojo aioli
  • Chickpea samosa — mint raita
  • Tostones — charred habanero aioli, pikliz
  • Duck fat fries — sambal aioli, curry mayo, house ketchup
  • Popcorn — green Thai curry powder, coconut oil

To Share ($8-16)

Chilaquiles — tortilla chips topped with cilantro, cotija, and more — fill a silver pan that sits on a white cloth napkin on a black background.
Chilaquiles at Blue Owl
Kevin Hardman
Two shrimp tacos sit in a black taco holder on a blue plate.
Shrimp tacos at Blue Owl
Kevin Hardman
  • Duck confit bao buns — hoisin sauce, kewpie mayo
  • Chilaquiles — tortilla chips, salsa verde, shredded chicken, cotija
  • Korean fried chicken wings — gochujang glaze
  • Za’atar-spiced crispy lamb ribs — sumac dipping sauce
  • Coney Island dogs — beef frankfurters, chili, onions, yellow mustard
  • Shrimp tacos — jalapeno salsa, cilantro lime slaw

Skewers ($6-11, with three per order)

Three lamb kofte with mint garnish sit on a blue plate on a black table. A small silver cup of tzatziki sits on the plate as well.
Lamb kofte at Blue Owl
Kevin Hardman
  • Lamb kofte — tzatziki
  • Pork vindaloo — mango chutney
  • Curried shrimp — charred lime
  • Chicken tikka — coriander chutney

Sweets ($8-10)

  • Deep-fried Junior Mints
  • Black sesame mochi
  • Confectioner’s Row candy bowl — Tootsie Rolls, Junior Mints, Charleston Chew, Sugar Daddies, Tootsie Pops

Once Blue Owl opens, the outdoor terrace portion will be open when weather permits, most likely from around mid-April through late October. The indoor portion will have plenty of windows so diners can still enjoy the rooftop feel in colder months.

Part of the Hay Creek Hotels group, 907 Main and its restaurants were designed by Gensler Boston, with local firm Boyes-Watson as the architect of record.

The hotel itself is currently heading toward a May 2020 opening; stay tuned for timeline updates on each of the restaurants, but according to the current plan, the Dial and Blue Owl should open at the same time as the hotel, with Toscanini’s and Praliné following soon after.

The Ultimate Guide to 2020 Restaurant Openings Around Boston [EBOS]