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Boston's Top Restaurant & Food News of the Week

By Scott Kearnan
July 18, 2014
Photo by: Joel Benjamin

Legal Oysteria opened in Charlestown. The latest entrant from the Boston-based Legal Sea Foods brand opened its doors in Charlestown this week, taking over the space that formerly belonged to Todd English's original Olives restaurant. Though it's tossing some pizzas baked in English's old brick oven, Legal Oysteria focuses on Italian seafood; it's the latest conceptual one-off from the chain, following stand-alone spin-offs Legal Harborside and Legal Crossing. For an in-depth look at Oysteria's interior and menu, check out our feature here.  [Zagat Boston]

We caught a glimpse of Bar Boulud. Star chef Daniel Boulud's restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental, Boston, will open this fall. But this week we got a look at the interior, thanks to a (very photo-realistic) rendering that was released. A few bullet points about what to expect: lots of tufted banquettes, oak and stone, a glowing zinc-top bar, a sliding barn door that leads to a private dining room, and a curved wood ceiling intended to be "reminiscent of wine barrels." [Zagat Boston]

Esquire brought "Best Bars" to Boston. This week the Esquire Network aired an episode of "Best Bars in America" that covered the Boston area. Some of the spots featured: Highland Kitchen, Trina's Starlite Lounge, Brick & Mortar and Drink. Familiar faces at each destination shared local color and plenty of historic cocktail knowledge; you can catch a few clips from the episode here, there and over yonder. [Boston magazine; Eater Boston; Esquire Network]

Speaking of Drink, things are stirring there. Barbara Lynch's Fort Point destination Drink made a big announcement this week: opening GM John Gertsen, who has established a national profile in the cocktail world, is moving to San Francisco. He'll assume the new role of Spirits & Hospitality Ambassador for the Barbara Lynch Gruppo, a position that "may include product development, media projects, consulting, and perhaps even additional bar concepts down the road." Ezra Star, a former biochemist who has been serving as Drink's bar manager, steps up to take the GM reins. [Zagat Boston]

South Street Diner doc debuted. A short film about South Street Diner, a Boston icon and one of the city's few 24-hour restaurants, has been in the works for a long time now. But this week the filmmakers finally released a short doc that distills 24 hours at the diner down to 24 minutes of footage that is funny, a little tender, really interesting and probably still a little drunk from last night. (There's a nice Zagat cameo in the first few seconds, too!) Check it out here. [Vimeo]

In the wide world of roundups, this week we took the temperature of buzzing spots to update our list of Boston's 10 Hottest Restaurants. (Welcome to the club, Brass Union and Lulu's Allston!) But if it's romance you're after, take heart; we also compiled a steamy list of Boston's 10 Best Date Night Restaurants, which includes Tresca (home to a two-seat balcony perched above North End streets) and Top of the Hub (perched above - well, the entire city). Still want more heat? Boston's Hottest BBQ Dishes Right Now features creative takes on ribs, brisket and pulled pork from standouts like Merrill & Co., State Park and Bostonia Public House. [Zagat Boston]

And elsewhere in trend features and guides: Boston magazine took a look at great late-night noshes around town, with Fairsted Kitchen, La Brasa (pictured) and Saus among the highlighted spots to hit. And Boston Business Journal revisited the not-so-new trend of speakeasy-inspired bars, visiting spots like The Hawthorne, Saloon and Wink & Nod and making a few points about the differentiation between "speakeasy" and "gimmick." [Boston Business Journal; Boston magazine] 

Places Mentioned

Legal Oysteria

Charlestown

Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Legal Harborside

Seafood • Seaport District

Food25 Decor23 Service23 Cost$36
 
 
 
Legal Crossing

Seafood • Downtown

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
Highland Kitchen

American • Somerville

Food25 Decor20 Service24 Cost$28
 
 
 
Trina's Starlite Lounge

American • Somerville

Food23 Decor21 Service23 Cost$22
 
 
 
Brick & Mortar

Bar • Cambridge

Atmo.26 Decor25 Service25 CostI
 
 
 
Brass Union

American • Somerville

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Tresca

Fine Dining • North End

Food25 Decor23 Service23 Cost$48
 
 
 
Top of the Hub

American • Back Bay

Food22 Decor27 Service24 Cost$50
 
 
 
Lulu's Allston

American • Allston

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Bostonia Public House

New England • Faneuil Hall

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
Merrill & Co.

American • South End

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
South Street Diner

Diner • Leather District

Food19 Decor17 Service22 Cost$21
 
 
 
La Brasa

Somerville

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Wink & Nod

Bar • South End

Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
The Hawthorne

Bar • Fenway/Kenmore

Atmo.26 Decor26 Service25 CostM
 
 
 
Saus Boston

Downtown

Food25 Decor20 Service21 Cost$13
 
 
 
Fairsted Kitchen

New American • Brookline

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
 
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