Call us biased, but there's nowhere as lovely as Boston in the fall: crisp air, gorgeous foliage, and restaurants opening left and right. This year's a good one: People like Ming Tsai, Jason Santos, and Will Gilson are starting new endeavors. Even busy Ken Oringer is in on the act (OK, he's opening a new Toro in New York City, but we'll forgive him). Then there are the stalwarts hovering just below the radar who are branching out at last: There's Bronwyn, the Austrio-German gastropub from T.W. Food's Tim Wiechmann, and Waban Kitchen, the newest experiment from 51 Lincoln's Jeff Fournier. Plus: Fort Point gets a gourmet market, and the South End gets Southern food! We're relieved that it's almost sweater weather, because we'll surely pack on a few extra pounds in the months ahead. Can you blame us?
Cheaper Food From Ming Tsai
Ming Tsai debuts Blue Dragon in Fort Point in the coming months, and it will be a more relaxed affair than Wellesley's Blue Ginger. We're excited to be able to afford to eat Tsai's food, and we're also happy that Fort Point is getting a celebrity chef who isn't Barbara Lynch (not that we don't love Barbara). We're particularly intrigued by the promise of Indonesian curry shepherd's pie. Ming's pal Ken Oringer, pictured partying with him, will open a New York branch of Toro soon, too.
A Bigger Venue for Jason Santos
Wild-and-wacky Jason Santos is having plenty of fun at his Greenway restaurant Blue Inc., but he's also planning to open a two-story restaurant in the Theatre District any minute now. So far, details (including, um, a name) have been vague, but we're curious to see what Santos, confined to small spaces until now, might try in a larger and higher-profile venue.
Sausages in Union Square
Huron Village's T.W. Food remains criminally unheralded: Chef Tim Wiechmann favors a low profile, toiling behind the stove instead of in front of a camera, so his decision to open a second restaurant in Union Square seems like a calculated one. The German-Austrian gastropub is named after his wife, Bronwyn, who serves as the lovely mistress of ceremonies at cozy T.W. A beer garden and an extensive sausage menu would draw crowds in Somerville no matter what, but Wiechmann will ensure that it's high-quality, too.
Estelle's by Brian Poe
Brian Poe isn't content just to bring elk, yak, and antelope to Beacon Hill at the Tip Tap Room. He also plans to bring Southern-inspired food (with a New England twist) to the South End at Estelle's, where chef Eric Gburski will head the kitchen. Gburski, of course, was the head chef at the East Coast Grill, where he helmed many a Hell Night and invented their beloved tuna taco. Between's Poe's creativity and Gburski's credentials, we have high hopes.
A Wine Bar From the Dave's Fresh Pasta Guys
Good ol' Dave's Fresh Pasta: excellent sandwiches, succulent pastas, a nice wine selection, and absolutely no place to sit! That will change with Spoke Wine Bar, which is currently under construction at 89 Holland St. and should open next month. John DaSilva, once the executive sous chef at No. 9 Park, will run the kitchen. Davis Square has plenty of fine places to drink, but it's short on wine bars. No longer.
Handmade Pasta at Giulia's in Porter Square
Via Matta Chef Michael Pagliarini opens Giulia at the end of the month on a quiet stretch of Mass Ave that once housed Forest Cafe and then the short-lived, oft-empty Rafiki. Pagliari promises handmade pasta each night, plus local seafood and antipasti, plus a ten-seat chef's table (which doubles as a pasta-rolling venue by day) overlooking an open kitchen.
An Easier-to-Find Bon Me
Finally, Bon Me is more than just a food truck: It's an actual restaurant! The Vietnamese sandwich shop will open at One Kendall Square in this fall, which means we don't have to stalk their truck for a banh mi fix. (The tofu version is our favorite.) Now, if only Staff Meal would follow suit.
Jeff Fournier's Waban Kitchen
Jeff Fournier, affable mastermind behind the hyperpopular Newton go-to 51 Lincoln, will open a new neighborhood restaurant called Waban Kitchen (in Waban, no less!) this fall. Fournier will put his organic, thoughtful twist on "Creative American" fare in an area that doesn't have much of the former. Maybe he'll even serve his famous watermelon steak.
The Bees Knees
At last, a gourmet market in Fort Point! We're pumped to make pigs of ourselves over the area's largest cheese selection, not to mention a variety of pickle products and JP's Batch ice cream (served here by the scoop). The market will even have its very own chocolatier: Jennifer Turner, who owns South Boston's Blue Tierra Chocolates.
Boston Chops by Chris Coombs
Banq failed. Ginger Park did, too. But here's hoping Deuxave's Chris Coombs can rescue the ill-fated cavern at 1375 Washington St. with his take on a "nontraditional" steakhouse. The space is too gorgeous to go empty for long, and Boston deserves a new steakhouse that isn't a chain.
Puritan & Co.
Here at last is New England translated by Will Gilson. Expect the usual: oysters, Indian pudding ... scallops with kewpie mayo, enoki mushrooms, charred onion ash oil, baby turnips, and a gelatinous veil of greens (pictured here). This Inman Square opening is probably the most buzzed-about of the season, thanks to Gilson's mediagenic ways, not to mention the legion of loyalists who still miss him at Garden at the Cellar.
The Aquitaine Group's Cincquecento
Rocca gets a remodel in the form of Cinquecento, a Roman restaurant that will be "architecturally edgy" and could channel New York City's Morandi, Keith McNally's modern trattoria in Greenwich Village. The photos that they've previewed on Facebook look good. Check out those sardines! If they don't excite you, maybe the promise of a free parking lot will.
Pork and Wine at Belly Wine Bar
OK, so Belly just opened. But we haven't trekked into Cambridge yet, something that needs to be rectified immediately. Run by the team behind the Blue Room and Central Bottle (possibly the nicest, most earnest shop owners ever), we're assuming that Belly embodies the same hospitality. Speaking of bellies: They specialize in charcuterie, but it's also possible to book an Arm + A Leg Dinner, a multi-course feast featuring a lot of pork.
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