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All the Boston Food News That Mattered in February 2020: From Thai Food to Taquerias

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

A Thai pomelo salad with shrimp, betel leaves, thinly sliced red chile, and a variety of crispy condiments sits in a black bowl on a wooden table in front of a brick background.
Yum som-o (pomelo salad) at Mahaniyom, a new Thai restaurant in Brookline Village
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

2020 is underway, and the usually slow winter month of February was full of restaurant news, especially openings.

The Boston area welcomed quite a few Mexican restaurants in February, as well as a Greek wine bar, a Thai cocktail bar, and more.

Things were a little quieter on the closure side, but Boston did say goodbye to a decades-old Mattapan bakery, an upscale hotel restaurant on the waterfront, a Cambridge cafe, and more.

Read on for a summary of February 2020, including the most-read news stories and maps, the openings, and the closings.

Delicate dumplings sit on a textured blue plate, which sits on a metallic gold tray. The dumplings, pleated into cross shapes, are garnished with orange and yellow sauces.
Krasi’s manti — celery root carpaccio, purple potato, raisin toursi, smoked metsovone
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater
  1. A Greek Wine Bar With Tableside Tzatziki Service Is Opening in Back Bay: Krasi, featuring one of the largest selections of Greek wines in the country, debuted in February.
  2. Boston’s Winter 2020 Restaurant Openings, Updated Weekly: A roundup of pertinent updates on Boston-area restaurant openings.
  3. Boston’s Winter 2020 Restaurant Closings, Updated Weekly: A roundup of pertinent updates on Boston-area restaurant closings (and announced closings that will take place later).
  4. Boston’s Coming Attractions, Updated Weekly: A roundup of restaurants slated to open in and around Boston in the near and far future.
  5. A Vibrant Thai Cocktail Bar Debuts in Brookline Village: Mahaniyom is now open with hard-to-find Thai dishes, cocktails from a Shojo alum, and a really cool black-light mural in the bathroom.
  6. The Boston Episode of ‘No Passport Required’ Airs on PBS: Host Marcus Samuelsson explores Brazilian, Cape Verdean, and Portuguese cuisine in Massachusetts.
  7. Go Eat in Boston’s Chinatown: Chinatowns across the country, including here in Boston, are experiencing financial losses due to panic about the novel coronavirus. Stop panicking, and go support local restaurants in crisis.
  8. New England Restaurant News, Updated Weekly: Regional food and beverage updates from New England, beyond the borders of Massachusetts.
  9. French Quarter Is Now Open in Boston, Celebrating New Orleans Cuisine: Jambalaya, etouffee, beignets, and more.
  10. Look Inside Yellow Door Taqueria’s South End Expansion: The new location showcases antique design, Cali-Mex dishes, tequila, and more.

A silver tray of curries, naan, rice, and more sits on a wooden counter.
A tray of curries, naan, rice, and more from Punjabi Dhaba in Inman Square, one of the area’s best Indian restaurants
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston
  1. The Hottest Restaurants in Boston Right Now, February 2020: Boston’s best new hot spots.
  2. The Hottest New Brunches in Boston Right Now, February 2020: Tired of your usual brunching routine?
  3. Where to Eat Dumplings in and Around Boston: From mini juicy buns to Taiwan-style pan-fried dumplings, Greater Boston’s got the goods.
  4. Where to Eat Indian Food in and Around Boston: Serving everything from dosas to biryani to tandoori chicken, these are 18 of the best Indian restaurants in and around Boston.
  5. The Best Dishes the Eater Boston Team Ate This Week: We’re sharing some of our current favorite dishes with you every Friday.
  6. Every Boston Restaurant Marcus Samuelsson Visits on ‘No Passport Required’: Where to find pastel de queijo, acai bowls, jagacida, and more.
  7. 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.
  8. 25 Outstanding Boston-Area Sushi Restaurants: From simple perfection to mountains of gold flakes and truffles.
  9. The Ultimate Guide to 2020 Restaurant Openings Around Boston: Japanese food, so much chicken, food halls, plenty of booze, lots of Dorchester openings, and more.
  10. The Cocktail Heatmap: Where to Drink Right Now, February 2020: Hot new cocktail destinations to try this month.

A Thai beef larb is served tartare-style in a tall vertical column with a side of greens and taro chips. It’s plated on a rectangular white dish, sitting on a wooden table in front of a brick background.
Goi nuaa tartare at Mahaniyom, now open in Brookline Village
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

For a comprehensive list of February openings, check this weekly updated roundup. Here are a few highlights from the month:

  • Brookline Village, which already has quite a few good dining options, now has a promising new Thai restaurant and cocktail bar, Mahaniyom. It’s already making a splash with dishes like green papaya pad thai, Hat Yai-style fried chicken, and a larb-inspired beef tartare, not to mention creative cocktails by co-owner Chompon (Boong) Boonnak, a Shojo alum.
  • Mexico City has arrived in Union Square, Somerville, with the debut of Barra, an intimate bar with a compact menu of small bites and plenty of booze, including mezcal, sotol, and more. Save room for dessert, a sweet pumpkin tamal.
  • Taking over the longtime Cafe Jaffa space in Back Bay, Krasi is now open, featuring an all-Greek wine list full of interesting gems, as well as a menu that touches on a variety of Greek regional specialties. Don’t miss the tableside tzatziki service as well as the feta dip (htipiti), which is served with crispy chicken skins.

Double doors open into a carpeted dining area with white tablecloths and plush chairs
Meritage Restaurant + Wine Bar, now closed at the Boston Harbor Hotel
Meritage Restaurant + Wine Bar [Official Photo]

For a comprehensive list of February closings, check this weekly updated roundup for details. A few sad farewells from the month:

  • Not a full closure — Tasting Counter is alive and well — but the high-end Somerville restaurant has suspended its popular wine bar hours, when diners could get a somewhat more casual, a la carte taste of the restaurant, in favor of focusing exclusively on its many-course tasting menu services (and adding several more per week).
  • The Boston Harbor Hotel has closed one of its restaurants, Meritage Restaurant + Wine Bar, with plans to use that space to accommodate private events instead. The closure doesn’t affect executive chef Daniel Bruce’s long-running Boston Wine Festival, and Bruce will also carry on his roles for the hotel’s other dining options, Rowes Wharf Sea Grille and Rowes Wharf Bar.
  • Lenny’s Tropical Bakery and Restaurant is now closed in Mattapan due to the retirement of the owners. The Mattapan staple was around for about 40 years, serving curries, beef patties, and more.