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Michael Schlow has transformed his former Italian restaurant, Via Matta, into a Greek-inspired concept known as Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar. The interior here has been refashioned complete with a center bar, expanded patio and massive wall hand-painted by Schlow's wife, Adrienne. Dinner nightly. Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar, 79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, 617-422-0008.
Bostonians have all been waiting for the opening of the restaurant that would take over the former Locke Ober space near Downtown Crossing. That time has finally come. Introducing Yvonne's, a modern take on the supper club concept. Dinner nightly. Yvonne's, 2 Winter Place, Boston, MA 02108, 617-267-0047.
Menton has unveiled the Gold Bar, a more casual sibling of the restaurant, featuring handcrafted cocktails and small bites. Belly up to the Giallo Siena Italian marble-topped bar, and sip on a chartreuse milk punch made with lemon and whey while snacking on a foie gras frankfurter or a petite jamon sandwich topped with a quail egg. Menton, 354 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210, 617-737-0099.
The anticipation is over, as Boston's long-awaited Hojoko is now open. Located at the Verb Hotel near Fenway Park, the restaurant comes to us from the team behind o ya. Hojoko features sake on draft, sushi by the rolls and sumo matches on TV. Hojoko, Verb Hotel, 1271 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02215, 617-670-0507.
Kenmore Square received a new addition when Josephine, Restaurant Parisien opened in the former Petit Robert Bistro space. The renovated restaurant features casual chic French fare including Gallic delicacies like Nage de Coquilles (mussels, clams, coconut and lemongrass broth), Gambas Poêlées (pan-seared shrimp, marinated leek fondue, truffle emulsion) and Kale Croquant (crunchy kale salad with raisins and honeyed Roquefort dressing). Save room for the Tahitian vanilla crème brûlée or the strawberry Earl Grey tart. Dinner Tues.-Sun., Brunch Sat. & Sun. Josephine, Restaurant Parisien, 468 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215, 617-375-0699.
Shepard has taken over the former Chez Henri space in Porter Square. The restaurant is brought to us by Rene Becker of Hi-Rise Bread Company and Susan Regis of Upstairs on the Square fame. Here, they have transformed the former French restaurant into a French-inspired spot that offers dishes like grilled littlenecks, lamb leg and, of course, soon-to-be-infamous grilled donuts with housemade coffee ice cream. Dinner nightly. Shepard, 1 Shepard St., Cambridge, MA 02138, 617-714-5295.
Mario Batali has finally come to Boston, and we couldn't be happier. The long-awaited Babbo Pizzeria --- brought to us by the famous New York chef --- has opened at the Seaport District's Fan Pier. The menu focuses on Italian favorites like ricotta calzones, meatball pizzas and spaghetti carbonara with pancetta, as well as some unique finds like crispy duck leg agrodolce, oxtail gnocchi and sweet pea agnolotti. Babbo Pizzeria, 11 Fan Pier Blvd., Boston, MA 02210, 617-421-4466.
The Palm Introduces a Late Night Menu
The Palm has introduced a late night Prime Bites menu, available Sunday through Friday from 9 p.m. to close. Selections include everything from calamari fritti and cornmeal fried oysters to raw oysters on the half shell and a basket of cottage fries "chips," each available for half price. The Palm, One International Place, Boston, MA 02110, 617-867-9292.
The Battery Wharf Hotel Hosts Year-Round Firepit Snacking on the Terrace
Looking for something a little different than bistro dining at the Battery Wharf Hotel? Firepit snacks on the terrace include gourmet s'mores with marshmallows, crispy graham crackers and a choice of gooey chocolate, creamy peanut butter cups or fresh sliced bananas. Savory options include a Vermont cheddar fondue spiked with hard apple cider accompanied by a platter of seaonal vegetables, dried fruits and crusty ciabatta bread or an artisinal salumi plate of venison sausage and wild boar prosciutto. The firepits are open nightly with seatings at 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Reservations are recommended by calling 617-994-9000. Aragosta Bar and Bistro, Battery Wharf Hotel, 3 Battery Wharf, Boston, MA 02109, 617-994-9001.
Bronwyn Hosts Prototype Tuesday Nights Featuring Chef Tim Wiechmann's Creative Experiments
Chef Tim Wiechmann is at it again, showing off his creativity with prototype Tuesday nights at Bronwyn. Each dinner, which can be paired with regional wines, spirits and beers, is based on a theme related to Germany and the Central/Eastern Europe region. Some dishes to be featured are Serbian steak, Polish charcuterie board, Transylvanian lamb meatballs and Serbian hamburger. Prices vary each week. Bronwyn, 255 Washington St., Somerville, MA 02143, 617-776-9900.
Bistro du Midi Launches New Brunch Service
Chef Robert Sisca of Bistro du Midi has launched a new brunch service on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with an entirely different menu and the ability to make reservations directly through the restaurant's website. The seasonal menu will include dishes like lemon buttermilk pancakes, trumpet royale mushroom omelet and grilled flat iron steak with poached egg, not to mention a signature Bouillabaisse Bloody Mary topped with a jumbo prawn. Be sure to request a seat upstairs for a beautiful view overlooking Boston Common. Bistro du Midi, 272 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116, 617-426-7878.
Joseph Adamo is now the executive chef at Aragosta Bar + Bistro, serving up New England dishes with a Mediterranean twist (think veal polpette or Georges Bank scallops with chorizo and corn purée). The cocktails here are worthy of mention, too: Try the Nantucket blueberry lemonade or spiced watermelon daiquiri al fresco overlooking Boston Harbor. Aragosta Bar + Bistro, Battery Wharf Hotel, 3 Battery Wharf, Boston, MA 02109, 617-994-9001.
Johnny D's Uptown is planning to close sometime in January 2016. The space, which has been a landmark in Davis Square since 1969, will be transformed into mixed use commercial/residential space. Johnny D's Uptown, 17 Holland St., Somerville, MA 02144, 617-776-2004.
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