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Davis Square bummer!

+1 for Out of the Blue. I have been more recently and had good seafood with an Italian flavoring.

Sep 07, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Shaw's > Star

A follow-up:

The Fenway Shaw's converted to a Star yesterday (Sept. 5).

It is an extreme makeover. In addition to updating and freshening the overall store, they have added:
-An aisle devoted to hard liquor, beer and wine. (Not a separate space).
-A fresh fish counter.
-Extensive prepared foods (Star la carte)
-A Starbucks.

In order to fit everything in, there appears to be less of a selection on regular grocery shelves.

The Star sale items are still more expensive than those at Shaw's. The new layout suggests a convenience orientation.

The remaining Shaw's near downtown are in East Boston and over the Pike in Newton.

Sep 06, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Back Bay visit

Generally, there are more interesting places in the South End (south of Back Bay). Search the board for South End suggestions, such as Coppa, Franklin, Hamersley's.

For breakfast, Mike & Pattys, Thorntons or Flour.

Sep 02, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

September 2014 Openings and Closings

According to the Globe, the Cactus Club on Boylston has closed. Their lease expired and the cost of a renewal was prohibitive.

Aug 29, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Bachelor Party Seafood restaurant

A further idea: The Bruins have advertised in the past offering suites at TD Garden for games. They are private boxes that hold, I think, about 20. Most are sold for the season but a few are kept for one time sale. There is food and drink available and servers to deliver it. I did not notice anything on their web site but a call to their sales dept. might be useful.

Aug 27, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Restaurant in Arlington or Somerville for 8 people, Saturday lunch

Places near Kendall Square might work best. The Red Line is close and there is usually parking on weekends. Many of these places will be serving brunch, not lunch, and many are also closed on Sat. noon. Commonwealth on Broad Canal Way near 3rd St. is open and has received some good reviews here, but I have not been.

Aug 27, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Bachelor Party Seafood restaurant

Most restaurants in Boston serve a variety of seafood even when that is not the specialty. I suggest that you focus on finding a place that meets your other criteria and you will probably find it has a good seafood selection.

A different problem is your timing. Many Boston restaurants close their kitchens at 10PM (this includes Atlantic Fish). Others stay open only until 11PM on Fri/Sat. And the latest any bar can stay open is 2AM; many bars near residential neighborhoods must close at 1AM. Our new Mayor is trying to change that but we aren't there yet.

Do you know where you will stay? That might help to identify a good location for a restaurant and bar.

Aug 26, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Client lunch in Waltham?

Solea is open for lunch only thurs. thru sun.

Aug 25, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Shaw's > Star

Actually, it's where the cut flowers were. The size of the flower area has been reduced. Also, it's only beer and wine.

Aug 25, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Snazzy birthday lunch

The best special lunch would be L'Espalier. Expensive and leisurely but worth it.

www.lespalier.com

Aug 24, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area
1

Shaw's > Star

I am close to Fenway as well and that store is an unusual one. The renovations are so substantial that it will take several weeks longer. It will still be rebranded as a Star Market eventually but they are gearing up for the competition. They are currently adding a Starbucks in the store! At present, they are still operating as a Shaw's with the suburban weekly specials. That will change with the rebranding.

Aug 23, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Shaw's > Star

The recreation of the Star Market brand in Boston is almost complete.

Over the past few weeks, most of the stores that had been converted to Shaw's and allowed to deteriorate under previous ownership have been refurbished and rebranded. The only remaining Shaw's in the inner city is the one in the Fenway where more extensive (needed) renovation is taking place. (And some city oriented Stars were never converted to Shaw's at all, such as Mt. Auburn St.)

With the change has come a shift to a more upscale mix. Self checkout lines are gone at many stores and the environment spiffed up. All of these modified stores now have beer and wine. What has also changed is prices. Star's prices are higher and sale items at Shaw's may not be available. There are now separate weekly circulars for the two chains and side-by-side comparisons are revealing. (The Shaw's circular is on standard newsprint; the Star is on glossy paper.)

Management apparently believes that those of us living inside Rt. 128 want a more upscale experience and are willing to pay for it. Some of these inner city stores have almost no competition, however, and some low income residents may be at a loss.

So what does everyone think of these changes? I have mixed reactions. While I appreciate the (long overdue) physical store improvements, I'm not sure they are worth the higher prices. And Shaw's was the highest priced local store to start with.

Aug 18, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Restaurant Week Starts Tonight

Also, let us know how those meals were!

Aug 18, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Heinz 57 Sauce

I have not had H57 in quite a while. What is the difference?

Aug 11, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Upscale Dinners in Boston

L'Espalier is next door to the Mandarin so it would be particularly appropriate. Reservations are absolutely essential and their menus are available on-line.

Also nearby is Deuxave at the intersection of Comm. Ave. and Mass. Ave. (that's how we locals refer to them). Well regarded and reservations also needed.

Aug 06, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Short Notice Biz Dinners?

I've had good experience with Les Zygomates on South St. They accommodate such events quite well and the food is quite good.

Aug 04, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Wellfleet & Other Towns on the Cape

Oops. Trying to respond to another message.

Jul 26, 2014
BBHound in Southern New England

Need rec near Park Plaza Hotel ASAP

Most places near the Park Plaza cater to the pre-theater crowd. By 8:00, they will empty out. At that point, any of the places could work well. Davios across Arlington St is good but a bit fancier than you may want.

For informal, I like Parrish Café on Boylston near Arlington St.

Do let s know what you did.

Jul 26, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

My imagination, or is Stop&Shop getting good again?

When Cerberus purchased Shaws/Star in March 2013,they also purchased other stores in the Supervalu holdings including Albertson's on the west coast, Acme in the mid atlantic area and Jewel in the midwest. Then about three months ago, they also purchased Safeway. They are now probably the largest operator of supermarkets.

At the time of Newtown, Cerberus made noises about divesting Freedom. To date, nothing has happened.

Jul 19, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Role of Critics

Devra First, restaurant critic for the Boston Globe, has an interesting discussion on the role of critics.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/...

Jul 18, 2014
BBHound in Food Media & News

Need quiet, slightly upscale place for weekend lunch/brunch in Cambridge

Had a very pleasant brunch at Abigail's recently. On 3rd St in Kendall. A nice outside patio also. Brunch sevred ony in Sundays, not Saturdays.

Jul 05, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Best brunch option in Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill Bistro on Charles St at Chestnut St has a great brunch. There is no need to go downtown for a good experience.

Jul 04, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Which Boston-Cambridge restaurants have been around since the 1980s?

The new Improper Bostonian has an ad for Grill 23 (on page 17) celebrating their 30th anniversary. That makes the start 1984! BTW in the ad, the white haired gentleman in the lower right is Ken Himmel, the owner and also the owner of Harvest and Post 390.

May 03, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Dinner and breakfast near the Eliot Hotel Boston

For Breakfast, Trident Booksellers is around the corner on Newbury St. They open at 8 AM. Not cheap but good. Also busy on weekends for brunch.

http://tridentbookscafe.com/

For seafood, Island Creek Oyster Bar is two blocks away (other direction) in Kenmore Square. Oysters the specialty but all the seafood is good.

http://islandcreekoysterbar.com/

Apr 28, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Mid-priced restaurant in Copley

Help us out a bit. What's your definition of mid-priced in $ terms?

Apr 26, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Breakfast on Marathon Day

Thornton's offers classic breakfast fare and is convenient. It's located on Huntington Ave across from the Pru and Christian Science Center, a short walk from Back Bay Station.

http://thorntonsboston.com/

Mar 31, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

recs please for downtown stay 3 nights

Welcome to the 'hood. I live a couple of blocks from your hotel. Some logistical questions: Will you be traveling around for sight seeing? Will you have a car? Are you OK with public transit?

Your hotel is across Huntington Ave. from the Prudential Center, a large office/hotel/retail/apartment complex. There is one worthwhile place in the complex on the other side on Boylston St: L'Espalier. Worth going to although expensive. Reservations necessary.

The rest of the places in the immediate vicinity are mostly not fabulous. I would recommend Sorrelina on Huntington Ave. near Dartmouth St. Also, the restaurant in your hotel, Brasserie Jo, is good.

For breakfast, to avoid the cost of hotel breakfasts, go next door to Thornton's. It's one-half block west on Huntington Ave.

For something different for lunch, try the Salty Pig on Dartmouth St. across from Back Bay Station. Excellent charcuterie. About two blocks from your hotel.

Mar 23, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

The Unbearable Classiness of Nick Varano

Do you mean the Motor Mart garage?

Mar 11, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Red Sauce Sundays at the Salty Pig

The new issue of Boston Magazine (March 2014, p. 99) has an article about this new (?) offering at this Back Bay restaurant. I went searching online but can't find any reference or menus etc. Even the restaurant website has nothing - only the regular menu. Anyone know anything about it? Good? Prices? Evening or also lunch? Thanks.

Feb 24, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area

Ginger Exchange (Symphony)

Bumping this thread again to learn if anyone has had more experience with Ginger Exchange across from Symphony Hall. We need really good restaurants in that area.

Feb 16, 2014
BBHound in Greater Boston Area