Winter has arrived; The number of COVID-19 is rising in Massachusetts and beyond, and a vaccination mandate for indoor activities, including meals, begins soon in Boston, and other local communities are expected to follow suit. Problems with the supply chain (one sentence some would like to see banned) Continue. Labor shortages continue. Still, new restaurants are managing to open, and diners are eager to welcome the newest arrivals to the Boston-area dining scene.
Updated weekly, this roundup highlights notable winter restaurant openings and re-openings in and around Boston. (Know a new restaurant that should be on Eater Boston’s radar? Contact us here.)
Health experts consider dining out as a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk to those vaccinated, especially in areas with high COVID transmission.
January 3, 2022: The return of an ice cream icon to Cambridge Central Square, the debut of a three-story Mexican restaurant and tequila bar in Kendall Square, and more
In Boston’s Theater District, Abby Lane completed its transformation into a Nashville-themed restaurant, bar and concert venue Nash Bar & Stage (253 rue Tremont, Boston); the same team as Abby Lane, including chef and restaurateur Jason Santos (Butter & Bourbon, Citrus & Salt), is behind. The Nash Bar & Stage has had premieres in December and a New Years Eve party, but it’s not quite open for regular service just yet; January 7 is the target date. More info to come when it opens fully, but for now, keep an eye out on social networks for updates, and get ready to eat wicked nachos, a crispy chicken skin BLT and pulled pork sliders with basted cake shakes and cotton candy mimosas.
Meanwhile in Dorchester, a longtime Trinidadian gem Singh’s Roti Shop moved down the road to a slightly larger space. It reopened in December at 554 Columbia Rd., Directly across from the Strand Theater. In addition to the roti, the doubles and the house hot sauce are a must. Online order is available.
With three floors full of tacos and margaritas – and one of those floors features a rooftop terrace with fire pits – Mex Taqueria & Bar (500 Technology Sq., Cambridge) open in Kendall Square at the end of December. Eric Quadrino and Delio Susi, members of the team behind the new Mexican restaurant, are also behind two Italian restaurants in Kendall Square, Sulmona and Amelia’s, with David Zimel they opened Mexcito, a Mexican street food joint, in 2020 (also in Kendall Square), and now the trio are bringing tacos and more to the larger-scale neighborhood in Mex, which is currently open for dinner Monday through Saturday – and tailor-made for private events in its various spaces. On the menu: lots of tacos, including lamb barbacoa, octopus chorizo and birria; charred street corn on the cob or on the cob; spicy short rib empanadas; Ceviche; and more; not to mention a long list of tequila.
In Harvard Square, Wusong Road (112 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge) has started opening in the former Les Sablons space with a limited menu, but expect a fuller opening later this winter. For now, the tiki bar part of the restaurant is partially functioning, the roast duck part still to come – look at the restaurant Instagram account for updates on hours and other details, and stay tuned here on Eater for a preview of the new restaurant, coming soon. Wusong Road is from Menton alumnus Jason Doo and Thomas Brush of Felipe’s Taqueria, and as Doo once told Eater, it’s “basically a love story of Chinese American restaurants.” (Doo’s family owned a Chinese restaurant in Malden and he grew up in Cambridge.)
And on Lafayette Square from Central Square, the ice cream icon by Toscanini made his triumphant return to its original space at 899 Main Street after four years, following the building’s redevelopment into a 907 Main boutique hotel. “Same beloved space, same ice cream in small batches”, says the popular shop, “but this time with a selfie wall!” It currently operates from noon to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The nearby location that has since opened – 159 First St. in East Cambridge, near the shopping center – will also remain in operation. Find times and other information about each location on The Toscanini website, and note that online ordering for pickup is available at the First Street location only.
Also in the central square, bubble tea chain Möge T-shirt open in december at 605 Massachusetts Ave. With nearly 400 locations worldwide, Möge serves cheese mousse teas and other teas, with some places also offering desserts like dorayaki and soufflés. Keep up to date with Cambridge location on social networks. Elsewhere in Massachusetts, there are Möge outposts at Allston, Quincy, Lynnfield, Dedham and Amherst.
In preparation since summer 2018, a poke bar called Waikiki is finally operational on the former site of Johnny D’s in Davis Square (17 Holland St., Somerville). Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, the new restaurant serves fruit and granita teas, milk teas, juices and smoothies, as well as a variety of poke and salad bowls as well as sushi rolls. Online order is available.