Table Talk: December's Restaurant News

By Donna Garlough | Boston Magazine |

For a few years, it seemed chef Michael Schlow was more interested in growing his national profile than focusing on Boston (see: the stint on Top Chef Masters, the new New York PR agency, the closure of Great Bay in ’09). He was even rumored to be scouting restaurants in New York and DC. But he’s about to make another local splash: Early next year, he’ll open a 100-seat Latin-themed restaurant in the former Cottonwood Café spot on Berkeley Street. Tico, which is Costa Rican slang for “a local,” will pull from Mexican, Spanish, and Central and South American cuisines. Come spring, guests can also drink and dine in the outdoor courtyard, which will have a fireplace and seating for 50.

The duo behind the South End’s Coda and Allston’s Common Ground, Michael Moxley and Jim Cochener, are tackling two more projects. Canary Square is replacing Jamaica Plain’s Alchemist Lounge, and will offer craft beers and a local/seasonal menu executed by chef Marco Suarez (Tremont 647, Bon Savor). Additionally, the pair will launch a yet-unnamed concept in what was Six Burner on Dartmouth Street. Canary Square was expected to open in November; no word yet on when the Back Bay spot will debut.

GONE FOR GOOD After a tough couple of years — a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, a much-delayed opening for Stoddard’s — Ivy Restaurant Group has closed its namesake restaurant, Ivy.

JUST LAUNCHED Home cooks, meet your new playground: Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge has opened a classroom annex about a mile from the Huron Avenue store. Equipped with a full kitchen, the new spot will allow the gourmet purveyors to host more cooking classes and tastings than ever, including Cheese 101.

EXPANDING North End restaurant Bricco, whose owner, Frank DePasquale, has taken over the building next to it. The space, formerly owned by an insurance company, will likely seat 50 and feature a menu of lighter fare.

BIGGER AND BETTER It just got easier to book a table at Lumière in Newton. The French bistro has gone from 60 to 92 seats, thanks to the addition of an adjacent space that serves as both an overflow dining room and a venue for private events.

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