Boston's Top Restaurant & Food News of the Week

By Scott Kearnan  |  August 15, 2014
Credit: Zac Wolf

A big closing was announced this week: 27-year-old institution Hamersley's Bistro is closing at the end of October, The Boston Globe reports. The restaurant will be renovated and replaced with a new concept after January 1, while chef Gordon Hamersley plans to take time off before working on his next book and continuing to mentor young chefs. Hamersley's French-inspired kitchen, known for a famous roast chicken that Julia Child so loved, is where many now-established Boston chefs earned their sea legs: like its former sous Jody Adams, now with her own 20-year-old local icon, Rialto. [The Boston Globe]

Double-frown: an emerging local superstar is moving on too. Former jm Curley exec chef and king of cool pop-ups Sam Monsour is heading to Los Angeles to work on a number of ambitious projects. He gave us the skinny on the why and what in this lengthy Q&A. In the meanwhile, mark your calendar for Sunday, August 24, when you can bid adieu to the rap-loving toque at a Notorious B.I.G.-themed brunch at Alden & Harlow. [Zagat Boston]

Monsour is trading coasts, but there's a big move in store for his The Future of Junk Food co-founder Mark O'Leary, pictured here with Monsour. (Luckily, this one keep him in Boston.) O'Leary has been announced as the new exec chef at Shōjō Asian Bar & Bistro, which just celebrated its two-year anniversary. O'Leary has quite a food nerd following, thanks to stints at jm Curley and O Ya, where he co-founded the Guchi’s Midnight Ramen pop-up experience. Boston magazine broke the news, and notes some of his already-available new dishes at Shōjō: "Wu Tang tiger-style ribs (Thai basil, shallots, peanuts); squid ink mazemen with seared scallops and dashi fumé; and taro tots with Heinz 'lap chuerng.'” [Boston magazine]

Boston magazine also shared a look at the opening menu for MAST, slated to open Labor Day. The menu (see it here) is Italian, hardly a surprise since it comes from 17-year Mamma Maria vet chef Celio Pereira. But don't expect a North End style-seeming joint; this Downtown eatery will have a much cooler, more contemporary design. Check out our previously uncovered details here. [Boston magazine; Zagat Boston]

Summer is starting to wind down, so seize the moment by stuffing your face with some sauce-slathered fare from Boston's 10 Best BBQ Joints, as named by The Boston Globe. East Coast Grill, Redbones and Sweet Cheeks Q are among the favorites named; while you're at it, refresh your memory of our Hottest BBQ Dishes list, which looks for specific dishes in a variety of settings, from traditional 'cue destinations like Pit Stop Barbecue to seasonal American spots like Bostonia Public House. And if you seek more heat, expand your horizons and head to Thrillist's recently released round-up of Boston's 10 Best Spicy Dishes, which range from a Scoville-toppling tikka masala at India Quality Restaurant to an "Inferno Burger" at Boston Burger Company.  [Boston Globe; Thrillist; Zagat Boston]

About a year after it reopened, East Cambridge restaurant Lizzy's has closed. But there's hope: Eater reports that Allston favorite Lone Star Taco Bar is expanding to the space. [Eater Boston]

Meanwhile South End gastropub The Gallows is expanding into new territory by opening Blackbird Doughnuts this fall. We're not mad; The Gallows' donut breakfast sandwich is one of our favorite outlandish munchies. [Eater Boston]

Last week it came out that Kickass Cupcakes, one of the area's first to jump on the mini-treat bandwagon, had basically disappeared without word. (And allegedly without fulfilling some paid orders.) Now Boston Restaurant Talk brings word that fellow Somerville spot M3 has been seized by the state for owing more than $25K to its landlord. The Southern restaurant opened two years ago in June. [Boston Restaurant Talk]

Bon Appetit has announced 50 nominees for its annual America's Best New Restaurants list. Though they'll be whittled down to a final 10 when the winners are announced on August 19, a few local spots can feel good about being in the running. Alden & HarlowRibelleRow 34 and Sarma all earned a place among the nominees. Check out the full list here. [Bon Appetit]

In the wide world of round-ups, this week we stirred the pot by compiling a look at 6 Overrated Food Icons in Boston; check them out and let us know if you agree. With Dine Out Boston (the series formerly known as Boston Restaurant Week) kicking off on Sunday, we cross-referenced participants with the priciest Zagat-rated restaurants to determine the 10 Best Deals During Dine Out Boston. Wednesday saw the season premiere of "Wahlburgers," so we reviewed some key plot points from the latest installment of the series. Plus we updated our list of the 10 Hottest Restaurants in Boston, to sate your appetite for buzz. Bon appeitt.