A staggering economy hasn't slowed the pace of new Boston restaurant and bar openings. Here's a look at some recent and pending autumn debuts.
Jody Adams of Harvard Square's acclaimed Italian restaurant Rialto has fans on tenterhooks for what will be only her second-ever solo project, Trade at Atlantic Wharf (540 Atlantic Ave, Boston). Expect a Mediterranean small-plates focus. Patricia Yeo, formerly of the South End's now-closed Ginger Park, will be top toque at the izakaya-like Moksa in Central Square (450 Mass Ave, Cambridge). Tiffani Faison, known for competing on Top Chef's first season and helming bygone South End Italian spot Rocca, is opening Sweet Cheeks (1381 Boylston Street, Boston), focused on traditional slow-smoke barbecue, in the Fenway.
A dozen restaurateurs seized on the idea of opening in Cambridge's Area IV neighborhood this year. New venues there include Abigail's (291 3rd Street, Cambridge), a new gastropub, and Catalyst (300 Technology Square, Cambridge) a French-influenced New American restaurant from chef/owner William Kovel, formerly of Aujourd'hui. Opening shortly is Firebrand Saints (One Broadway, Cambridge), featuring rotisserie meats and sandwiches from the folks at Central Kitchen. Shooting for an October opening is new Spanish restaurant Kika Tapas (9 Broad Canal Way, Cambridge) from the veteran taberna operators of Waltham's Solea.
On the budget dining front, Zai (315 Shawmut Ave, Boston), a Japanese sushi and yakitori place from the team behind Newbury Street's Snappy Sushi, will take over the former Joe V's space in the South End. Popular nearby bakery/café South End Buttery is opening a second location at 37 Clarendon Street. On the other side of Mass Ave, Poe's Chester Square Pub (728 Tremont Street, Boston) will feature Southwestern-inflected American bar food by Brian Poe, also of the Back Bay's Rattlesnake.
The Financial District will see the opening of a second Zo (92 State Street, Boston), serving the same menu of traditional Greek food (including a stunning pork gyros sandwich) as the Government Center original. Over in Eastie, the well-regarded Salvadoran operators behind Pupuseria Mama Blanca are taking over the former Taqueria El Buen Gusto space, renaming it Blanca Grill (295 Bennington Street, East Boston). Somerville's Teele Square has just welcomed Masala (1127 Broadway, Somerville), featuring Northern Indian and Nepali cuisine. Allstonians will soon be able to enjoy border food at Lone Star Taco Bar (479 Cambridge Street, Allston), an expansion of next-door beer-geek/craft-cocktail bar Deep Ellum.
There are many more new restaurant openings than could be covered here. Watch this space for forthcoming reviews!