Shy Bird Comes in for a Landing in South Boston

Plus, Simcha is reopening, the Dogwood is closing, and more local food news.

Fried chicken sits on an egg on a thin bun with a side of leafy greens.

Fried chicken and egg sandwich at Shy Bird. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Welcome to our weekly news roundup, keeping you up to date on tidbits of Boston-area restaurant news. Got info that should be on our radar? Send an email.

Catch up on last week’s news

A new Eastern Standard is in the works! Find out more about that—plus plans for a North End version of closed downtown club and restaurant Umbria, the opening of a new Anna’s Taqueria, and more—in last week’s news roundup. In other news, we’re bummed that S&I Thai in Allston is no more, but the replacement—an Isan Thai-focused version of Mission Hill’s Laughing Monk Cafe—seems promising. Also adding a new location? Stubbys, a casual Nantucket staple serving all-day breakfast, plus lunch, dinner, and late-night bites. Look for it in the Seaport in the spring. We also added some updates to our holiday lunch roundup last week—check it out if you want to treat yourself to a fancy weekday lunch this month.

What else is going on?

  • An expansion: Shy Bird, the rotisserie-chicken-filled Branch Line sibling in Cambridge, has a new location open in South Boston, joining a bunch of fun spots at the Iron Works development on Old Colony Avenue (pickleball venue, bar, and restaurant PKL; a Castle Island Brewing taproom; the forthcoming Mei Mei dumpling factory and café; and more). It’s open all day, every day, for your poultry (and more) needs. We’re particularly into the piri piri chicken and the fried chicken and egg breakfast sandwich with hot honey.
  • Reopenings: Novara—a popular Italian restaurant in Milton that happens to be co-owned by Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block fame—was heavily damaged by a fire last month (no one was injured.) It’s aiming to reopen on December 14, freshly renovated. Farther south in Sharon, modern Israeli restaurant Simcha is planning to reopen in 2023 after closing temporarily in mid-2022. Going forward, Simcha will be open for recurring and special events, cooking classes, monthly Shabbat dinners, Sunday brunch, takeout barbecue, and more; find the calendar here.
  • Closings: Gourmet China House closed recently in Chinatown, ending a six-year run. We were fans of the Gourmet Dumpling House sibling for its Taiwanese and Sichuan dishes and plenty of offal. And in Jamaica Plain, neighborhood favorite the Dogwood—full of brick-oven pizza and other comfort food—has announced that it will close on January 14 after a nearly three-decade run, “with deep regret and a heavy heart,” per a statement on the restaurant’s website.
  • Other odds and ends: A Sanctuary Cafe—a forthcoming Beacon Hill cat café, bookshop, and lounge—is another step closer to opening, thanks to zoning board approval, which reportedly included some “meows” from board members. Also a step closer to opening? Jazz Urbane Cafe in Nubian Square. Once open, the café will play host to live music, other entertainment, and community events, and it will also serve lunch and dinner, plus catering—“a fusion of global flavors with many ingredients sourced locally.” Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen owner Nia Grace—who clearly knows quite a lot about running a successful restaurant/music venue—is part of the team behind Jazz Urbane Cafe. And in non-cat-café, non-jazz-café news: Want to buy a goat dairy farm in Vermont? (It’s just a five-minute drive from Saap, the Isan Thai restaurant whose chef-owner, Nisachon (Rung) Morgan, won a 2022 James Beard Award.)

Things to do

Be sure to check out our weekly roundup of great events in and around the city, from music and theater to festivals and art exhibits. Here are a few upcoming food events that’ve caught our eye; follow the links for pricing, timing, and other pertinent info:

  • Invite East Boston Oysters—the mysterious and usually caviar-filled pop-up—into your home at some point this holiday season for a can’t-miss party with all sorts of party tricks and seafood. “Last minute happens to be our specialty,” the company writes, beckoning interested folks to slide into its DMs to make a plan.
  • Whether you’re in the industry or just happen to like going out late on a Monday night, plan to swing by Offsuit in downtown Boston on December 19 between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. for an event dubbed Nocturno: a late-night gathering. The event, a collaboration with Somerville’s Spoke Wine Bar, will feature Mijenta Tequila. All-black attire suggested.
  • It’s holiday pop-up cocktail bar time! Miracle and Sippin’ Santa are back in town spreading Christmas cheer all month, and Maccabee Bar is back with a latke-inspired cocktail and lots of other treats. Find the details on all three here.

Things to buy

The holiday season is in full swing, so we’ve been including a new section in our weekly roundup this month: Here are a few local food or food-adjacent products to consider gifting your food-loving friends this year. (Check last week’s installment and the one before for more recommendations.)

  • A local cookbook! Nadia Liu Spellman, founder of Greater Boston mini-chain Dumpling Daughter, released a cookbook this year—Dumpling Daughter: Heirloom Recipes from Our Restaurants and Home Kitchens—showcasing recipes by her mother, Sally Ling. (Ling’s namesake restaurant Sally Ling’s opened in Boston in 1984 and was one of the country’s first fine-dining Chinese restaurants.) Be sure to check out the rest of Dumpling Daughter’s merch, too, including an adorable dumpling plush toy.
  • A fun tomato hat that gives back! Boston-based brand Project Paulie began as a pandemic-era lasagna care-package operation and has blossomed into a clothing brand with charitable giving and artist collaborations. Colorful beanies and other hats featuring the tomato logo make perfect gifts—and 20 percent of the proceeds support a variety of charity partners. Win-win. Order online, or check out Project Paulie’s pop-up shop in the Seaport throughout the holiday season.
  • Chili crisp! Okay, this one’s actually sold out—but if enough people join the waitlist, there might be a second batch, so go ahead and fill out the form. Spoke Wine Bar’s Kelcey Rusch made batch after batch of extraordinarily popular chili crisp earlier in the pandemic. The project went on hold once the restaurant was back up and running, but Rusch is back at it for the holidays. Find the details and sign up for the waitlist here.