What’s New: Restaurant Watch

The 411 on 8 new joints

Reporting & Photos by Linsey Herman


Owners: Keith Pooler and Servio Garcia

Projected opening: Late March or early April, 2010

Contact info: 118 Beacon Street, , bergamotrestaurant.com

Capacity and size: 76 seats plus eight bar seats, 2500 sq ft

Why is this new and different? Bergamot will have what Pooler calls a “blackboard menu,” sourced locally and evolving every two-to-three days with its regular customers in mind. The gist? An appetizer, entrée and dessert for $39.

Price range: Entrees $19–$27, appetizers $9–$12.

Financing/capital: Owners’ savings, plus a line of credit from Brookline Bank in Medford. There’s also one private investor.

The current state of their licensing: At press time, fire and health inspections were scheduled for the final week of March. Liquor license was also expected in short order.

Brunch is the real star at Brunello Bistro, with reasonably priced classics in large portions. There are several types of benedicts, from traditional to lobster, and French Toast is made from Brunello’s thick-cut bread.

Brunello Bistro

Owner: Ronaldo Maia, 44

Opened: March, 2010

Contact info: 349 Broadway,

Capacity and size: 85 seats inside, 30 seats outside, 3000 sq ft

Why is this new and different? Maia took a former Bickford’s and turned it into a family-friendly casual restaurant, Bread & Co, which focused on house-made baked goods from his first Bread & Co location in Everett. He has removed the bakery case and installed a full bar featuring his favorite wine – Brunello – and some classic California cabernets including Opus One. Brunch is the real star here, with reasonably priced classics in large portions. There are several types of benedicts, from traditional to lobster, and French Toast is made from Brunello’s thick-cut bread. Coffee is, like Maia, Brazilian; its Espirito Santos is roasted fresh on Martha’s Vineyard.

Price range: Lunch Specials: 10.95 for a daily special; brunch: depends on the entree, about $8–$14; dinner: $9–$20

Financing/capital: Owner savings.

Flatbread Company at Sacco’s Bowl Haven

Owners: Jay Gould, 56 and John Meehan, 50

Projected opening: Late May or early June, 2010

Contact info: 45 Day Street, , flatbreadcompany.com

Capacity and size: 150 seats, 4000 sq ft excluding bowling lanes (keeping 10 of 15 lanes)

Why is this new and different? Bowling and high-quality pizza made with organic ingredients? The menu is limited to two salads plus a few different flatbreads. The hearth oven (Meehan describes it as “a box filled with sand”) is a real attraction for kids, who love sitting and watching pizzas getting made. The bar will run along the length of the bowling alley. Bar patrons will be able to sit at the bar and watch the action. Bartenders will be protected from flying balls by mesh or metal netting.

Price range: $12–$18 per pizza.

Financing/capital: Longstanding relationship with Provident Bank in Amesbury. They have enterprise loans.

The current state of their licensing: All is go. They will just need to have inspections when construction is complete.


Owners: Tse Wei Lim, 30 and Diana Kudayarova, 29

Projected opening: Late June or early July, 2010

Contact info: 9 Sanborn Ct, no phone yet, journeymanrestaurant.com

Capacity and size: 36 seats, 1496 sq ft

Why is this new and different? Dining at Journeyman will be like dining at a friend’s place if your friend happens to have a well-appointed industrial kitchen. The prix fixe menu will change weekly and offer local ingredients. Lim and Kudayarova honed their skills over many weekends of labor-intensive, lovingly executed dinner parties that were the toast of Cambridge.

Price range: Weekdays likely offer three different levels of prix fixe: three plates for 35, five for 65, seven for 85. Wines and cocktails additional.

Financing/capital: Using savings and bringing in 8–10 investors.

The current state of their licensing: At press time in late March, waiting for liquor license to come through, as well the building permit.

Pizzeria Posto

Owner: Joe Cassinelli, 32

Projected opening: Late March or early April, 2010

Contact info: 187 Elm St, , pizzeriaposto.com

Capacity and size: 50 inside seats, 20 patio seats on sidewalk, private dining room up to 30 seats, 2700 sq ft

Why is this new and different? Pizzaria Posto claims it will be the first in Massachusetts offering Verace Pizza Napoletana (Neapolitan-style pizza).

The certification is conferred upon a restaurant offering pizza with the following ingredients prepared in a wood-fired oven: san marzano tomatoes, caputo ’00′ flour from Italy, and fiore di latte buffalo mozzarella from Campana.

Inspectors from VPN (anticapizzeria.net/vpn/members.html) come to the restaurant and examine the process, ingredients and final product. The visit is paid for by the restaurant seeking certification.

Price range: Wine $4–12, small plates $3–12, pizzas $10–16.

Financing/capital: Cassinelli is using savings exclusively. He will have no partners. He has no financing. His general contractor is an old friend and his wife and friends are helping out with everything else.

The current state of their licensing: Everything in place. Just needs to complete construction and get inspections done.

The Pulse Cafe

Owners: Bob and Lisa Bouley

Opened: February 3, 2010

Contact info: 195 Elm St, , thepulsecafe.com

Capacity and size: 32 seats, about 1,000 sq ft

Why is this new and different? Bob and Lisa Bouley cut their teeth with their first vegan eatery and shop, Vej Naturals, in Malden. This incarnation of their organic and vegan eatery – serving dinner Tuesday–Saturday and Sunday brunch – features entrees like Lasagna and Polpetti, Bibimbap, and Southern Barbecue Seitan all prepared without any kind of animal protein or animal-derived product.

Price range: Appetizers: $6–$8, Soups: $4–$5, Salads: $6–$7, Sandwich Platters: $11, Entrees: $12–$13, Non-Alcoholic Beverages: $2 (tea) – $5 (Smoothies).

Financing/capital: Self-financed with one silent partner.

Working name: “Davis Square Restaurant and Theatre” (official name is under wraps)

Owner: Ken Kelly, Rockwell Restauraunt Group LLC

Projected opening: Thanksgiving.

Contact info: 255 Elm St, no phone number or web site yet.

Capacity and size: Restaurant seating, 191; lounge seating, 122; former Jimmy Tingle Theatre seating, 171; approximately 4400 sq ft in the restaurant, approximately 4900 sq ft in the lounge.

Why is this new and different? An entertainment complex in the middle of busy Davis Square? Leave it to Ken Kelly, best known for his pubs Precinct and The Independent, to propose a venue with seating capacity for nearly 500 people. Situated on two floors, the proposed restaurant and lounge will have a restaurant in the former Bowl & Board retail space and a renovated basement theatre/performance space.

Price range: Likely similar to his other two nightspots.

The current state of their licensing: Had filed their permits to build as of March 11 and expected to break ground April 1.

Yak and Yeti

Owners: Amrit Thakali, 48 and Chandra Pun, 45

Projected opening: Early April, 2010

Contact info: 719 Broadway, , yakandyeticafe.com

Capacity and size: 48 seats, 1400 sq ft

Why is this new and different? Sharing a name with many businesses in Nepal, including a high-end hotel in Kathmandu, Yak and Yeti brings a taste of Nepal and India to Ball Square.

Run by the team behind Allston’s Mount Everest Kitchen and occupying a space that used to be The Golden Jade, a small mostly take-out restaurant with 20 seats that closed in August 2008, the newly renovated restaurant will serve a buffet brunch on the weekend and lunch and dinner during the week. It will stay open until 11pm on weekend nights.

Although still in the planning stages, owner Amrit Thakali has been thinking about creating loyalty cards that award frequent diners with free meals.

Price range: $2 for appetizers, entrees around $10. Nepali Set meals: choice of appetizer, dessert, plus several main courses plus tea/coffee: $17. Lunch Buffet: $7. Brunch buffet: $10.

Financing/capital: Owners’ savings. They could not get a loan in this business environment.

The current state of their licensing: Had applied for beer and wine license at press time.

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