This Week's Top Boston Restaurant and Food News

By Scott Kearnan  |  March 7, 2014
Credit: Michael Young

Fall a little behind on your food world following this week? Fear not. We've gathered together a weekly recap of the highlights. 

  • Top Chef alum Stephanie Cmar's pop-up Stacked Donuts, her first project following her departure from No. 9 Park, is going gangbusters. This is your last weekend to catch it at The Butcher Shop before it heads to a TBA location in Cambridge. (Doors open at 9 AM, but get there early; lines are long and she's been selling out within 30 minutes or so.) We took time this week to talk with Cmar about the success of Stacked and what she has on deck for the future. [Zagat Boston]
  • The Merchant opened Downtown this week as a new American brassiere from a co-owner of Sycamore, with a Craigie on Main alum in the kitchen and a former Beehive guru at the bar (Ian Strickland, pictured). Following last week's "First Look" inside, we did a taste test to compile a "Cheat Sheet" guide to what to eat, drink, and expect from the new spot. Check it out here. [Zagat Boston]
  • This week saw the series premiere of the new Food Network show Beat Bobby Flay, and with it came news that at least two Boston chefs would be facing down Flay this season. (Assuming that they oust another chef in a preliminary round to attain that honor.) In last night's inaugural episode, Myers + Chang executive chef Karen Akunowicz advanced to challenge the star chef, but her chicken and waffles weren't able to take him down. Better luck to Post 390 chef Brian Young, who will be featured in the March 20 episode; check out our details here. [Zagat Boston]
  • That sound you heard was cheering over news that the Boston Police Department has extended available hours of operation for food trucks to coincide with the Spring pilot program of extended MBTA hours. Check out the details here, and then behold this late-breaking update: Mayor Walsh will announce today the creation of a "late night task force" charged with testing later closing times at Boston bars and restaurants - first, most likely, in less residential neighborhoods like the Seaport. Last call is about to get later. [Zagat Boston; Boston Herald]
  • This week our must-know round-ups included an update on "Boston's 10 Hottest Restaurants," which includes just-opened spots like Alden & Harlow alongside the more established but still-smoking Ribelle. We also crunched numbers to figure out "The 10 Best Deals During Dine Out Boston" (formerly Restaurant Week) and hunted down "7 Must-Try Chocolate Chip Cookies" to honor the Massachusetts-born sweet treat. [Zagat Boston]
  • Still mourning the loss of Cambridge's late UpStairs on the Square and Chez Henri? Dry your tears. It turns out that former UpStairs owner Susan Regis has partnered with Hi-Rise Bread Company's Rene Becker to launch a "French in spirit" spot in the space that once belonged to Chez Henri. ['s Restaurant Hub]
  • A new barbecue spot, tentatively named Causeway BBQ, might be moving into the TD Garden-side spot that formerly housed dive bar Penalty Box. Rumors are swirling that the secret pit master is someone very popular with local barbecue lovers, with one source claiming that it's Ruben Garza, an alum of Newton's beloved Blue Ribbon. [Eater Boston; Pig Trip]