Boston's Top Restaurant & Food News of the Week

August 1, 2014
by Scott Kearnan

This week we grabbed a chat with star chef Daniel Boulud, bending the toque's ear on all things Boston. After all, his Bar Boulud is slated to open its third location (following NYC and London) at our Mandarin Oriental Hotel in September. Boulud acknowledges that the most recent Hub effort from an international chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Market at the W Hotel, was a fairly fleeting one. But he says that he and chef de cuisine Aaron Chambers are looking to feel firmly ensconced in the tightly knit restaurant community of Boston, which he calls "the Lyon of America." Find out why in our full interview here. [Zagat Boston]

The South End's subterranean restaurant-lounge Wink & Nod is trading pop-up teams. On the way out are Jeremy Kean and Philip Kruta, the duo known as Whisk. (They had enjoyed a semi-permanent home in the Wink kitchen since it opened in April.) Replacing Whisk on September 1 will be Bread & Salt Hospitality, the newish pop-up led by former Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro chef Josh Lewin, a recent 30 Under 30 honoree, and BELLY Wine Bar's Katrina Jazayeri. Lewin referred to the partnership as being "part of the bar’s ongoing culinary incubator program," which suggests this won't be the last kitchen trade we see. Wink wink. [BostInno

Boston's own James Beard award-winning restaurateur, Barbara Lynch, is slated to release her first memoir in fall 2016. Titled "Where Did You Come From?" the book will detail the chef's ascent from hardscrabble South Boston to the upper echelons of the national food scene. A series of cookbooks are also underway, the latest endeavor in an ever-evolving empire. [Eater]

"Boston magazine" has released its annual "Best Of" awards, and there's a huge portion (pun intended) devoted to restaurants and bars. Among the highlights: Alden & Harlow scored Best New Restaurant, while Bondir earned Most Romantic. Among the cuisine categories, Deuxave scored Best French while Giulia was recognized for Italian. Our 30 Under 30 honoree Kevin Mabry was dubbed Best Bartender for his work at jm Curley, Bogie's Place and Merrill & Co., while Cassie Piuma of Sarma was deemed Best Up-and-Coming Chef. And for specific foods, Galleria Umberto earned Best Pizza while The Kirkland Tap & Trotter was granted Best Burger kudos. Check out all the eats-related awards here. [Boston magazine] 

And in a world where "speakeasy" is used to refer to any place with a classic cocktail program, B-mag also dove deep into a truly clandestine culinary scene: dinners where chefs cook with weed. Writer Jolyon Helterman changes names to protect the THC-using toques, but these aren't stoners making their first foray into the kitchen, he promises. They're serious, admired chefs doing sophisticated stuff with the pot in their pots. [Boston magazine]

Lovers of high-end Japanese restaurant O Ya (and there are many of them) will be pleased to know that its owners, chef Tim and Nancy Cushman, are preparing to open a "high-energy izakaya" in The Verb Hotel, a rock & roll-inspired property that officially opens its doors today. But hungry travelers will have to wait until fall for the Cushman's Japanese pub, dubbed Hojoko, to open. [Zagat Boston]

Although we're sad to see the 13-year old Fireplace restaurant flicker out in Brookline, there's a silver lining. After chef-owner Jim Solomon's restaurant closes on December 31, it will be replaced by the first (of several, reportedly) Massachusetts location of Frank Pepe's Pizzeria, a hugely popular, New Haven-founded regional chain with a handful of spots in Connecticut and New York. Upon hearing the news, pizza lovers around the Hub promptly passed out. [Zagat Boston]

In the world of round-ups: Thursday was the start of the Saint Agrippina feast in the North End, which has been expanded to a four-day celebration in honor of its 100th year. Before you hit the heavily Italian-American 'hood this weekend, check out our Guide to Where to Eat & Drink in the North End, a look at old, new, under-the-radar and unabashed eateries to suit every taste.  And since it's the season for dripping cones, we took a look around the city for 10 Must-Try Scoops of Ice Cream, focusing on creative, truly unique offerings: like the clambake ice cream, pictured, at Precinct Kitchen + Bar, and a molcajete filled with guacamole-inspired scoops at Rosa Mexicano. [Zagat Boston]

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