This Week's Top Boston Restaurant and Food News

By Scott Kearnan  |  April 25, 2014

Among the highest profile newcomers of the week is Trophy Room, officially opening tonight, a restaurant that replaces the South End's former gay sports bar Fritz Lounge. Now re-imagined as a neighborhood restaurant with broad, palate-pleasing appeal, it sparkles with subway tile and pours it on strong with sports-themed cocktails. Check out the space, food and drink with our look inside. We're told that La Brasa will also officially launch tonight, bringing Latin-influenced, open fire-cooked fare (mostly a lot of meats) to Somerville from L'Espalier alum chef Daniel Bojorquez. And home cooks were also excited for Wednesday's grand opening of H Mart, the Cambridge location of an Asian supermarket chain that also boasts a 120-seat food court. On the other side of shake-ups: We learned this week that Kickass Cupcakes is closing its Davis Square bakery, concentrating its operations at its Highland Avenue location, and that Central Square's well-loved Rendezvous is being sold to a pair of Green Street vets. [Boston Restaurant Talk; Eater Boston; Zagat Boston]

Following several weeks of a somewhat impromptu partnership, Top Chef alum Stephanie Cmar's Stacked Donuts and Justin Burke-Samson's Trademark Tarts are officially joining forces as "Party of Two," a joint pop-up endeavor that appears next at Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant  on Saturday, April 26 at 10 AM. Not only will the teaming help the two better hunt for brick and mortar locations, but it will involve national tour that kicks off in July and will bring them through Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York, among other cities. [Zagat Boston]

A new Boston-based Kickstarter campaign is underway to bring Boston a little bit of entomophagy (aka insect-eating). Six Foods is trying to raise $30k for a business that would develop packaged foods like teriyaki crickets and mealworm tacos. Founded by three local friends working with an Ohio-based insect farm, Six Foods has been developing its recipes with the help of local chefs from Mei Mei Street Kitchen and Sofra Bakery. [Boston magazine]

Nobody likes noise. (No, seriously. According to the results of our 2014 Zagat Boston Restaurant Survey, "noise" was the top diner annoyance.) But design a space that minimizes cacophony is no easy task, and this week an interesting Boston Globe piece examined how local restaurants are dealing with complaints about the din in their dining rooms. It also throws in some cool, random trivia, including some "informal survey" results that point out some of the loudest restaurants in the city (like Merrill & Co., which at 86 decibels roared like a lawn mower) and the quietest: like Lumiere at a restrained 66-decibel reading. [Boston Globe]

For about 40 years, the Central Square space at 496 Massachusetts Ave. was home to Hi-Fi Pizza, an institution that lured late night, post-bar crowds with promises of greasy pie slices. Now, in true sign o' the times, it will become home to the next location of Clover Food Lab, a sustainability-minded, farm-to-table meets fast-food concept that is among the 9 Local Chains We LoveEater confirmed that Clover could take over the space as early as July, and is gunning to continue late night hours; they'd even go 24-hours if the city allows it. [Eater Boston]

Jersey Mike's Subs is expanding, and Boston is in its blueprint. The New Jersey-based chain of sub shops is looking to open 200 new locations this year, Boston Restaurant Talk reports, and Boston is one of the cities expected to receive franchisees. Prepare for an onslaught of hoagies that ccome as large as 15 inches. [Boston Restaurant Talk]

In the wide world of roundups, we had fun finding 6 Perfect Picnic Spots Around Boston (and the nearby gourmet grocers, like American Provisions and Formaggio Kitchen, that can help you pack a bountiful basket). We got in the spirit of the season by choosing 7 Must-Try Spring Veggie Dishes, from dandelion salad at West Bridge to artichokes at Pastoral. We raised a toast to 9 Up-and-Coming Bartenders You Need to Know, shining a spotlight on several industry favorites, like Sycamore's Scott Schoer, pictured, and Eastern Standard's Naomi Levy, who deserve more widespread recognition. And finally, we went on a food crawl through Downtown Boston, deciding on 12 Must-Try Restaurants in what has recently become one of the city's most recently rejuvenated dining 'hoods, thanks to newcomers like The Merchant and Legal Crossing