Monday, September 10, 2012
A Latin-themed lounge replaces a dive bar on Washington Street.
The former Old Stag Tavern in Egleston Square was a dive bar legend: cheap beer enhanced and made bearable (and enjoyable) by an insufferable jukebox selection, X-rated video games, tacky velvet paintings and pool table heroes. When it closed earlier this year—rat infestations, noise complaints, seedy bathrooms and all—many wondered who would take over the Washington Street space that once hosted raucous drag queen nights and ironic Beyoncé sing-alongs. And puzzled how they’d ever get the stale smoke stank out of the place. Coco’s Lounge opened its doors this summer. Impressively displaying little remnants of its former tenant, the spiffed-up spot plays up brick-exposed walls with sleek wooden flooring, shiny fixtures and simple (generic) …
Monday, August 13, 2012
Same Old Place’s most popular sub is a thing of legend—and legacy.
While it’s thrilling to witness the Jamaica Plain restaurant scene evolve, it’s easy to take a joint like Same Old Place for granted. The family-owned pizzeria and sub shop on Centre Street has been a neighborhood mainstay for decades, and while revered by locals for its Italian pizza and sub sandwiches, the humble hole-in-the-wall spot fails to elicit much contemporary culinary excitement, let alone the hot press buzz reserved for the neighborhood’s newer, flashier restaurants. Still, the place never ceases to pack in the patrons. An unfortunate gang-related shooting at Same Old Place put the eatery on the local news map in late 2010, and just last month, the passing of its founder and owner, Fred Ciampa, made neighborhood headlines. The…
Monday, July 9, 2012
Spanking new Wrapmi introduces JP to a new concept in take-out: Asian Burritos.
Super Fusion Express, we hardly knew ye. The local sushi franchise, with successful locations in Cambridge, Watertown and Brookline, opened a spot on Centre Street last spring and subsequently closed its doors a year later. Many speculated that its mere one-block distance from JP Seafood—a restaurant regarded as one of the city’s top spots for sushi—was likely Super Fusion’s undoing. But this past spring the owners regrouped, revamped their concept and reopened last month as Wrapmi, a tiny take-out shop showcasing a brief menu of wrap-like Asian rolls. “It’s Asian fast food,” explains Sam Ho, part-owner of the Super Fusion chain of restaurants and Wrapmi’s shop manager. “But it’s nutritious and organic too, not just convenient. We tell …
Monday, June 11, 2012
The neighborhood’s top spots for eating and sipping outside this summer.
Outdoor restaurant dining is a thrill. Enjoy a table with a sweet view, favorable weather, or just some hardcore people watching. Here’s where to go in Jamaica Plain for al fresco dining while the sun still shines—and a few suggestions for what to get once you’re there. Bella Luna and Milky Way Lounge, 284 Amory St. Seats: 30 dining seats, plus 15-20 bench and stool seats for bar-only patrons What to get: The Milky Way’s Sunset Summer Series of monthly events on the patio features themed food, drinks and music. Expect Spanish sangria and tapas, Mexican tequila and Mariachi, Caribbean appetizers and some killer steel drum beats. Ula Cafe, 284 Amory St. Seats: 15 What to get: Chilled cucumber gazpacho makes a cool addition to this local …
Monday, May 14, 2012
A striking eatery offers American cuisine with global flair in the space formally occupied by an infamous dive bar.
There’s a decided dearth of flashy eateries in Forest Hills, as it seems Jamaica Plain’s destination dining is largely reserved for the Centre Street restaurant all-stars. But spanking new Tonic on Washington Street may likely lure diners to the relatively drab stretch of restaurants and bars across from the Forest Hills T stop. The pretty, 85-seat Tonic—replacing the purportedly perilous Griffin’s dive bar—opened its doors in mid-April. And, well, the place has some serious charisma. Banquette-lined walls, attractive lighting fixtures and a soothing color scheme are all on point and certainly de rigueur, but the menu is what shines the brightest here. Executive Chef Ryan Kelly, in collaboration with owner Croan McCormick, has fashioned a…
Monday, April 9, 2012
Krista Kranyak’s riff on fast food fare hits the mark with newly-opened Grass Fed.
It’s a measure of Krista Kranyak’s love for Jamaica Plain that she opened Grass Fed here last month. The casual and sleek burger bar was a concept previously lacking in JP’s growing culinary landscape. When the former Bon Savor space became available last fall, after the owners became locked out of the country in a heavily chronicled visa saga, Kranyak jumped on the opportunity to take over the property, just three doors down from her flagship and much-lauded Ten Tables restaurant on Centre Street. “I was focused for some time on a concept where quality food could be served in a fast food setting,” says Kranyak, who owns and operates three successful Ten Tables franchises with locations in JP, Cambridge and Provincetown. “I wanted my menu …
Monday, March 12, 2012
JP Chef Philip Kruta is banging out some interesting plates at Fiore’s Bakery after dark.
- RESTAURANT REVIEWS
- Kate Mason
Monday, March 12, 2012
Pop-up restaurants have been an international culinary trend for years, but like the Beantown food truck explosion of late, they’re relatively new to the Boston dining scene. The concept? Ambitious young chefs take over underused kitchen facilities to experiment with culinary ideas and dishes in the hopes of gaining attention and attracting investors, without the cost of starting their own restaurant. When Chef Philip Kruta started running the kitchen at Fiore’s Bakery a little over a year ago, he knew the 30-seat bakery, which sits unused in the evenings, would make a great spot for his lofty culinary ambitions. “I founded my specialty cake company last year, which is also called Whisk, but I've always wanted a restaurant of my own, and …
Monday, February 13, 2012
Once a forerunner in Boston's food truck revolution, Fill Bellys now parks its serious soul food in our 'hood for good.
You might remember the Fill Bellys food jalopy cruising around the city last year, leaving behind the sweet scent of cinnamon waffles and fried chicken in its wake. Twitter blasts provided coveted up-to-the-minute location details, and in Boston's food truck wars, Fill Bellys was a fan favorite for its inexpensive (and addictive) soul/comfort food offerings. But life on the road proved tough for owner Boswell "Chef Bos" Scott, who curbed his run-down 1986 Chevy step van last summer to open a 15-seat storefront on Washington Street. And his contemporary spin on classic soul dishes has created some serious buzz around town. "I wanted to make food that I grew up on in New York City with friends who were Latino, Asian, Black…a real mix. I …