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Boston's Top Restaurant & Food News of the Week

By Scott Kearnan
July 25, 2014
Photo by: Michael Piazza

New details (mainly design-related) emerged this week about Legal on the Mystic, the upcoming Assemby Row spin-off from the Legal Sea Foods brand. (The most recent concept, Legal Oysteria, opened last week.) Slated to serve its fish by fall, Legal on the Mystic will be a 7000-square foot whale of a restaurant with seating for 240. The industrial-inspired decor feature will steel pipes, metal mesh, concrete and brick, plus cypress and walnut millwork. There will be an open expo kitchen featuring glossy yellow tile and an antique brass hood, and a "large beer cooler" and wine display that will serve as a decor feature. More here. [Zagat Boston]

It was a good week for fans of chef Brian Poe, pictured, the toque behind The Tip Tap Room, Estelle's and (most obviously) Poe's Kitchen at The Rattlesnake. We learned that Poe will be expanding on his work with Wilcox Hospitality Group by assuming an ownership stake in both locations of Bukowski Tavern. That comes with an overhaul of the food program; the Cambridge Bukowski is currently closed for renovations and will reopen with 50 draft lines and a "burger and beer bar" approach. (Expect wild game alongside the more traditional beef patties.) Also on the way: Poe's Pub, a separate concept that is scouting locations in Downtown Crossing, Back Bay and the Seaport. [Zagat Boston]

A curious case of stolen (pizza) identity? This week Eater discovered an OTTO Pizza in Castelldefels Beach, Spain that has essentially the same logo as the small New England chain, which has (as of next month) four locations in Maine, where it launched, and four in Massachusetts. The Spanish location is not affiliated, but a rep for the stateside OTTO seemed "nonplussed" by the copycatting, says Eater, and "perhaps it's because the company itself has been caught on the other side of plagiarism accusations before." Those accusations, you may recall, came from Mario Batali, who called the OTTO team "#scumsuckingleeches" over perceived similarities to his OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria. [Eater]

Bon Appétit turned its attention to the Hub (and some neighboring cities), releasing a roundup of "Where to Eat in Boston in One Big Fat Weekend." The dozen-strong list of locations included seafood-focused favorites Neptune Oyster (ranked the top restaurant in the city in our last Zagat survey) and Island Creek Oyster Bar (ranked second). Also among the recommendations: Ribelle, Bronwyn, and Alden & Harlow. You can find the full feature here. [Bon Appétit]  

Taking a national look at the "33 Best Burgers in the Country," Thrillist included just one Boston entry, the "Our Way" at The Gallows. Though the entry did give a shout-out to a few other fond favorites at Craigie on Main, jm Curley, and Mr. Bartley's, to name a few. [Thrillist]

Last weekend America's Test Kitchen aired an interview with Boston legend Barbara Lynch, an interesting and insightful chat about her rise from hardscrabble Southie to the top of the restaurateur food chain, dining trends, and call-in questions about cooking. There's a snippet here, with a link to the full episode. [America's Test Kitchen] 

Speaking of Boston legends, cocktail master Jackson Cannon (the guru behind Eastern Standard, The Hawthorne and Island Creek Oyster Bar) gave a rousing reading at Tales of the Cocktail that went viral. While participating in a panel dubbed "Letters to a Young Bartender," Cannon read from a letter addressed to his younger self, and the biz- and life-advice filled missive gained traction within the cocktail industry and without. The full text is here. [Zagat Boston]

In the wide world of round-ups, we spilled the beans on 9 Secrets of the Boston Food Scene, divulging details on off-the-menu orders at BOND and Kirkland Tap & Trotter, a hush-hush cocktail list at Parla, and an insiders-only coin at Wink & Nod that could help you score a free drink. If you're feeling playful this weekend, take a look at our list of 10 Bars and Restaurants With Games, a guide to new and old destinations that are stocked with diversions. We're talking Pac-Man at Brass Union, pinball at State Park, and an entire ping pong-themed hangout (Blazing Paddles) among them; plus, play along by answering a few different trivia questions, and you might win a $100 Brass Union gift certificate. If the weekend weather pans out, you may want to hit the road to hit the beach - and hot out-of-town restaurants. So here's our look at 10 Reasons to Drive to Kennebunkport: from kooky ice cream flavors to a whimsical, woods-set restaurant from Boston's own Ken Oringer (Clio, Toro, Coppa). On the other hand, ordering in is a perfectly reasonable option. And with the local launch of new delivery service Favor, it's a lot easier. We talked to the Favor team to find out the Top 10 Spots that users are ordering from so far. Two taquerias, Anna's and El Pelon, are apparenlty in good, well, favor. [Zagat Boston]

Places Mentioned

Neptune Oyster

Seafood • North End

Food28 Decor23 Service24 Cost$43
 
 
 
Island Creek Oyster Bar

Seafood • Fenway/Kenmore

Food28 Decor26 Service26 Cost$49
 
 
 
Bronwyn

European • Somerville

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
Ribelle

American • Brookline

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
Alden & Harlow

New American • Cambridge

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
BOND Restaurant and Lounge

Lounge • Financial District

Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
The Kirkland Tap & Trotter

New American • Somerville

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Parla Restaurant

North End

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
Anna's Taqueria

Mexican • Cambridge

Food24 Decor15 Service20 Cost$9
 
 
 
Anna's Taqueria

Tex-Mex • Somerville

Food24 Decor15 Service20 Cost$9
 
 
 
Anna's Taqueria

Tex-Mex • Beacon Hill

Food24 Decor15 Service20 Cost$9
 
 
 
Anna's Taqueria

Mexican • Brookline

Food24 Decor15 Service20 Cost$9
 
 
 
Anna's Taqueria

Mexican • Brookline

Food24 Decor15 Service20 Cost$9
 
 
 
Anna's Taqueria

Mexican • Cambridge

Food24 Decor15 Service20 Cost$9
 
 
 
El Pelon Taqueria

Mexican • Fenway/Kenmore

Food- Decor- Service- CostI
 
 
 
Clio

French • Back Bay

Food27 Decor26 Service26 Cost$86
 
 
 
Coppa

Italian • South End

Food28 Decor21 Service24 Cost$40
 
 
 
Wink & Nod

Bar • South End

Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Blazing Paddles @ Game On! Fenway

Sports Bar • Fenway/Kenmore

Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Brass Union

American • Somerville

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
The Gallows

South End

Food24 Decor24 Service23 Cost$34
 
 
 
Mr. Bartley's

Burger • Cambridge

Food26 Decor18 Service18 Cost$15
 
 
 
Craigie On Main

French • Cambridge

Food28 Decor24 Service26 Cost$72
 
 
 
jm Curley

American • Downtown

Food23 Decor21 Service23 Cost$31
 
 
 
Estelle’s Southern Cuisine

Southern American • South End

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Poe's Kitchen at the Rattlesnake

Mexican • Back Bay

Food22 Decor16 Service20 Cost$21
 
 
 
The Hawthorne

Bar • Fenway/Kenmore

Atmo.26 Decor26 Service25 CostM
 
 
 
Eastern Standard Bar

Bar • Fenway/Kenmore

Atmo.27 Decor26 Service25 Cost 
 
 
 
OTTO

Italian • Brookline

Food26 Decor18 Service22 Cost$10
 
 
 
OTTO

Pizza • Cambridge

Food26 Decor18 Service22 Cost$10
 
 
 
OTTO Enoteca e Pizzeria

Italian • Greenwich Village

Food23 Decor19 Service19 Cost$41
 
 
 
 
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