Restaurant News

Weekly Digest: Little Donkey Launches A Late-Night Menu, and More Must-Know Food News

Plus, the Bay State's best barbecue is coming closer to Boston, Coppa adds gluten-free pizza, and other leads on where to eat right now.


It’s a busy time to be a food lover in Boston. Here, an easily digestible roundup of the restaurant news stories you need to know to have a delicious week. (And if you missed last week’s Digest, check it out here.)

The Donkey burger is on Little Donkey’s new late-night menu.

Late Night at Little Donkey Begins Thursday

Here’s another reason to look forward to the weekend: Starting Thursday, Feb. 20, Little Donkey is here with midnight snacks. This week, the fun-loving global small plates restaurant from top chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette—one of the best restaurants around, we might add—launches brand-new late-night service, which continues every Thursday-Saturday going forward. Greatest-hits dishes like the Donkey Burger, topped with Buffalo-spiced pickles, onion soup mayo, foie gras, and potato chips; and that ready-to-eat beater of chocolate chip cookie dough populate the five-item late-night menu, available from 11 p.m.-midnight on Thursdays and 11:30 p.m.-12:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

505 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-945-1008, littledonkeybos.com.

Photo courtesy of Coppa

Alert: Coppa Has Gluten-Free Pizza Now

In other news from Ken and Jamie’s world, the dynamic duo’s Italian joint, Coppa, has just introduced fully gluten-free versions of all their popular pizzas. While the stellar South End enoteca has served gluten-free pastas for some time, this is its first foray into allergy-safe pies, Bissonnette says. Chef Brian Rae’s full range is available, from classic margherita, to roasted mushroom and egg, to the spicy ’nduja sausage-topped favorite. The dough comes from Venice Bakery, “because that was the safest way for it to satisfy all the regulations for cross contamination safety,” Bissonnette says. “We are really excited for our gluten-free customers to enjoy pizza once again! We know how much they’ve missed it, and it has been a long road to get us here while maintaining the taste and quality that Coppa is known for, but one that we believe is very worthwhile.”

253 Shawmut Ave., Boston, 617-391-0902, coppaboston.com.

A barbecue spread at B.T.’s Smokehouse. / Photo by Pat Piaseckifor “New England’s Best Barbecue Restaurants

B.T.’s Smokehouse Plans a Worcester Location

This news is a bit further afield from Boston—but it’s not quite as far as Sturbridge, which is where barbecue lovers currently have to go to score some of the Bay State’s best smoked meats. B.T.’s Smokehouse is planning a second location—tantalizingly titled B.T.’s Fried Chicken and BBQ—on Park Avenue (Rt. 9) in Worcester, reports the Worcester Business Journal. The new location, which is in the early licensing phase and doesn’t have an opening timeline set just yet, will smoke meats on-site, and serve most of B.T.’s barbecue classics—think: well-seasoned brisket, St. Louis-style ribs, and sausages. But it will also offer fried chicken every day, which the Sturbridge location only serves on the first Tuesday of every month. The centrally located second smokehouse will have 30-40 seats, according to the Worcester Telegram, and will also offer takeout. Add this news to the “Worcester revival” file.

Coming to 318 Park Dr., Worcester, btsmokehouse.com.

A selection of blues at Boston Cheese Cellar. / Photo by Jim Brueckner for “Six Spots to Shop, Snack, and Spin in Downtown Roslindale

Roslindale’s Boston Cheese Cellar Is Calling it Quits

Five years after Roslindale resident Adam Shutes took over the neighborhood’s beloved gourmet shop, he has announced he’s “decided to bring this exhausting yet meaningful adventure to an end.” Boston Cheese Cellar will close on February 29, with limited hours on the books now for the next week-plus. It’s open for now on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and for the next two Saturdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Head over to Rozzie this week to stock up on beautiful cheeses, olives, chocolates, and more—and help clear out the Cellar.

18 Birch St., Roslindale, 617-325-2500, bostoncheesecellar.com.

Comfort Kitchen, soon to open in Upham’s Corner, is previewing its take on global comfort food for a special Black History Month pop-up at Tanam this week.

Celebrate Black History Month Through Food

Just a late-February reminder that State Rep. Chynah Tyler is helping to elevate the visibility of Boston’s Black-owned establishments in February with the third annual Black Restaurant Challenge. The 7th District representative asks her constituents to visit four of Boston’s black-owned restaurants this month, and helpfully shares a list of roughly 70 options (!) from Malden to Hyde Park. At one such spot, the South End’s Mida—which is also one of Boston magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants—chef and proprietor Douglass Williams is hosting a Black History Month happy hour every weekday this month from 5-6:30 p.m., with special bar snacks and cocktails sold to support “bringing people together to celebrate diversity,” Williams says—and two local community-building organizations. Here’s another cool happening this week: At the culturally communicative Tanám at Bow Market (another one of the city’s best restaurants), get an early taste of forthcoming Dorchester restaurant Comfort Kitchen, which is coming soon to Upham’s Corner with global comfort food of the diaspora. Tanám is hosting a “highly melanated” Thursday night series this month to celebrate Black creation, innovation, and collaboration.

Comfort Kitchen (Melanin Magic at Tanám), Thursday, Feb. 20, 5- 10 p.m., Tanám, 1 Bow Market Way, Somerville, Facebook.