Down economy? What down economy? While restaurant openings were scarce in the first half of ’09, summer’s end is proving a hotbed for casual, affordable spots launching all across the Hub. Here’s our quickie guide on where to get your grub on in the coming months.
The Stork Club has settled into the spot where Bob the Chef once reigned (and where Circle existed for precisely one hot second). A soulful South End resto-lounge, it has a menu of comfort-food classics (think meatloaf and buttermilk fried chicken) and live jazz and blues nightly. 604 Columbus Ave., Boston, 617-391-0256, storkclubboston.com.
88 Wharf gives formerly restaurant-deprived Milton denizens a place to (finally) grab decent food and drink. The bistro boasts prime river views and solid dinner options such as steak frites, lobster risotto, and a balsamic chicken pizza with arugula and rosemary. 88 Wharf St., Milton, 857-598-4826, 88wharf.com.
Abby Park, also in Milton, further ups the ante. Look for upscale American fare at mid-range prices: flatbread pizzas, gourmet sandwiches, and entrees like grilled rare tuna with peach-dressed arugula and roasted beets. 550 Adams St., Milton, 617-696-8700, abbypark.com.
Trina’s Starlite Lounge, a retro-theme eatery and bar, brings affordable (really!) comfort classics to Inman Square. (It’s housed in the former music venue/dive-lover’s haven Abbey Lounge; we snuck a peek at the renovation yesterday and it’s shaping up to be a local gem.) Co-owned by Josh Childs of Silvertone and Trina and Beau Sturm of City Bar and Highland Kitchen, respectively. Opening in mid-September.
Chef Ken Oringer takes on the Italian wine bar with Coppa, his upcoming South End venture with partners Jamie and Courtney Bissonnette. Menu staples will include house-made pasta and wood-fired pizzas, as well as a creative list of cordials and cocktails. Opening mid-September.
The Regal Beagle, another comfort food-focused bistro and bar concept, launches in Coolidge Corner. Coming from Church vets Chris Tocchio and Kristian Deyesso. Opening mid-to-late September.
Debuting in The Clarendon condo building with former Excelsior chef Eric Brennan at the helm, Back Bay tavern Post 390 plans to plate up upscale American classics with a focus on local ingredients. Opening in October.
The Woodward. a tavern taking shape in Faneuil Hall, will launch in the Ames Hotel when it opens in early November.