Comings and Goings


PairingsChowder has seen many restaurants shutter their doors lately, including Azure, Bonfire, and Excelsior. But there’s good news: More affordable eateries are opening up in their places throughout this month and next. Check out the slew of spots coming to a temporarily empty restaurant near you.

Todd English‘s “Latin steakhouse” Bonfire has closed, but Pairings will open in its place at the Park Plaza Hotel on October 26. We’re not sure what to make of the “food and drink with personality” it promises–we like our food silent–but we do know that there will be small plates for sharing and good selection of wines by the glass. Executive chef Robert Bean will continue dishing out locally and seasonally crafted selections.
Pairings, 50 Park Plaza, Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers, 50 Park Plaza, Boston, 617-262-3473, pairingsboston.com
Hours: Breakfast: Mon.-Sun., 6:30–11 a.m.; Lunch: Mon.-Sun., 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.; Dinner: Mon.-Sat., 5–10 p.m.; Bar menu: Mon.–Thurs., -10 p.m.–1 a.m. and Fri. & Sat., 10 p.m-2 a.m.

Stoddard’s Fine Food & Ale is slated to open November 17 at 50 Temple Place in Boston’s Ladder District, serving gastropub-ish plates, Baroque era cocktails, five cask ales, and 140 beers, plus a gentlemen-only, invitation-only “Friday Club” on the lower level. (And you thought chauvinism was dead.) Basically, it’s one big Man Town. Bonus: The historic building was among the only structures on Temple Place to survive the Great Fire of 1872, so you can busy yourself looking at turn-of-the-century artifacts while you chow.
Stoddard’s Fine Food & Ale, 50 Temple Place, Boston, stoddardsfinefoodandale.com
Hours: Dinner: Tues.-Sun., 5 p.m.-1 a.m.; Bar: 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

citytableCity Table has replaced Azure on Exeter Street in the Back Bay. Though it’s in a hotel, it’s meant to be a “neighborhood eatery,” and its menu features affordable stuff like under-$10 sandwiches and starters like caramelized potato gnocchi with braised veal, shitake mushrooms, and pears, and a flatbread pizza topped with figs and duck prosciutto.
61 Exeter St., The Lenox Hotel, Boston, 617-933-4800, briar-group.com
Hours: Food served daily until 1 a.m.

Bistro du Midi, a Provençal-inspired restaurant and bar, is coming in November to the old Excelsior spot at The Heritage On The Garden, overlooking the Boston Public Garden. The executive chef is Robert Sisca, who previously served as executive sous chef at New York seafood mecca (and keeper of three Michelin stars) Le Bernardin, and he plans to turn out elegant-rustic fare like parmesan and black olive shortbread, deep-fried pumpkin and sage parcels, and stuffed calamari with squid ink pasta and tomato sauce.
Bistro du Midi, The Heritage On The Garden, 272 Boylston St., Boston, 617-426-7878, bistrodumidi.com

Hours: 1st floor: Mon.-Sun.: 11:30 a.m.-Midnight; 2nd floor: Sun.-Wed., 5-10 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 5-11 p.m.; Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

PiattiniPiattini on Newbury Street has opened Piattini Gelateria and Café, which serves housemade Italian gelato using local and seasonal ingredients, plus breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We’re intrigued by exotic flavors like sweet potato with pecan praline gelato, fig and persimmon sobetti, and blood Orange sorbetto, but we’re betting the chocolate’s pretty good, too.
Piattini Gelateria and Café, 224 Newbury St., Boston, 617-536-7500, piattini.com
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Oh, and one more piece of food news you can use: Lunch service is back at Locke-Ober!