Boston's Top Restaurant & Food News of the Week

By Scott Kearnan  |  May 23, 2014

This week Zagat kicked off a months-long look at everything you need to know (and more specifically, eat and drink) to make this your Best Summer Ever. Our first priorities? Preparing a bucket list of 30 Things You Must Eat and Drink This Summer, which includes everything from classy lobster rolls at B&G Oysters to "classy" Jell-O shots (pictured) at Revere Hotel Boston Common's rooftop pool. So take that checklist and get to work! In the meanwhile, start daydreaming about the 9 Boston Openings We're Most Excited About This Summer, which an Italian Legal Sea Food concept (Legal Oysteria) taking over Todd English's old Olives space, and BISq, a just-announced spinoff to Somerville's stellar Bergamot. [Zagat Boston]

And on the subject of openings, this week we took first looks at several upcoming eateries that have us excited. Opening this weekend is the first brick and mortar location of food truck favorite Roxy's Gourmet Grilled Cheese - but earlier in the week we visited for a sneak peek at the interior and menu items, which include a new slew of thin patty burgers. We also scooped up some details (and food photos) for Brass Union, a soon-to-be restaurant in game lounge in Somerville's Union Square. Head here to learn up on the only place around you'll be able to nosh on spicy shrimp while playing life-sized games of Connect Four. And bao lovers will want to pledge their allegiance to Bao Nation, opening by the end of the month in Central Square; we took a look at the menu and decor in store. [Zagat Boston]

Also opening this weekend was a Cleveland Circle location of Vietnamese fast-casual SA PA, a spin-off of Saigon native Ky Nguyen's Downtown location, which opened last year. Eater took a look around the new space, where 24-hour simmered pho noodle soup and banh mi bowls and burritos are served amid bright and cheery hues of red and blue. [Eater Boston]

It's not that Bostonians are competitive - we just like knowing we're better than everyone else. (Or at least, mostly everyone.) So there was some celebratory fist-pumping when Boston was named among the top ten "Best American Cities for Foodies," according to the 2014 results of Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Survey; our #10 placement puts us in a motley mix that includes NYC (#1), New Orleans (#5) and Chicago (#6). Meanwhile, travel website ranked Boston fourth among Best Cities for Beer, behind Denver, Colorado; San Diego, California; and Portland, Oregon, according to [Conde Nast Traveler;

In a potential jump-the-shark moment for the food truck craze, TGI Friday's launched its "Summer of Road Trips" tour, doling out "handcrafted" eats and drinks across the country, in a bid to capture the hearts and imaginations of those who appreciate the salt-of-the-earth, artisanal nature of Red Bull Strawberry Lemonade. The tour kicks off this weekend with simultaneous stops in Minneapolis and at the Hub's Boston Calling music festival, where you'll also find food tents from a number of local spots like Tasty Burger and Bon Me. [Eater]

There was a win for late night restaurants this week, with news that an amendment to the state Senate's budget proposal, currently coming together, "could allow for watering holes and restaurants located near the MBTA to serve alcohol past 2 a.m. beginning as soon as July," reports Boston magazine. (The T itself recently launched a pilot program of late-night weekend hours.) If approved, the proposal would allow Mayor Walsh's newy formed Late Night Task Force to begin rolling out programs that test the waters for more late night businesses in Boston, an effort that community stakeholders like the Future Boston Alliance have consistently stressed as vital to retaining and growing Boston's population of innovators and young professionals in an increasingly 24-7 global economy. [Boston magazine]