The Boston Business Journal

Firebrand Saints restaurant plans to open Friday in Kendall Sq 

(Originally published on Sept. 21, 2011 in the Boston Business Journal)

Firebrand Saints, the highly anticipated collaboration between Central Kitchen / Enormous Room proprietor Gary Strack and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, may be open for business by this week, general manager Morgan Bigley said.

“We have a previous scheduled private event that we are doing tonight with some soft openings on Wednesday, Thursday,” Bigley said over the phone on Tuesday, “We’re hoping to open to the public by Friday.”

According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, Firebrand Saints is “passionately committed to changing the culture of Kendall Square, for the better.” Strack’s collaboration with MIT, artistic technology studio Sosolimited and creative director Adam Nelson means that we can anticipate a high-design and high-tech experience alongside quality and cooking and, most likely, a pretty stellar cocktail list.

Firebrand Saints joins the recent wave of new eateries popping up in and around tech-driven Kendall Square. Recent notables include the mid-June opening of Area IV from the owners of Lumiere in Newton and the now-defunct Achilles Project restaurant and boutique in Boston’s Fort Point; Abigail’s Restaurant, which was opened in August by James Ludwig (The B-Side Lounge) and the recent opening of William Kovel’s Catalyst Restaurant.

via Boston Business Journal

via Boston Business Journal

With Santos Done on Hell’s Kitchen, Gargoyles Will Close

(Originally published on Sept. 14, 2011 in the Boston Business Journal)

Gargoyles on the Square in Davis Square will be permanently shutting its doors at closing time on Tuesday, Sept. 20, according to a report.

In an article posted Tuesday, the Somerville Journal reports Gargoyles’ owners had been considering shuttering for some time, but remained open when former chef Jason Santos appeared on Hell’s Kitchen, the Fox Broadcasting Company's restaurant reality TV series and Gordon Ramsey vehicle. Santos left Gargoyles earlier this year.

Owner James Conforti that the 16-year-old restaurant would have to reinvent itself in order to hold its own among the increasing restaurant competition Somerville neighborhood—an endeavor that could take millions of dollars. Instead, he is looking to open a smaller restaurant in Arlington Center.

Meanwhile, Jason Santos currently helms Blue Inc. in the Financial District, named for his trademark bright blue hair.

The 291 Elm St. space will most likely end up in the hands of Joe Cassinelli, owner of the Italian restaurant, Posto, also in Davis Square. Cassinelli plans to open The Painted Burro, an ode to Oaxaca, Mexico with a neighborhood vibe.


Permitting delay holds up Catalyst Restaurant opening

(Originally published Sept. 9, 2011 in the Boston Business Journal)

Catalyst Restaurant was expected to open its doors this Saturday evening. General Manager Vincent Putiri tells the Boston Business Journal via phone that permitting issues will forestall the opening until next week—most likely Wednesday, Sept. 14.

“I’m mostly just disappointed because I want to get our staff in here and working,” Putiri said.

The modern American eatery is the brainchild of William Kovel, former chef at the Four Seasons’ Aujourd’hui, who came up under local restaurant titan Michael Schlow, of Radius, Via Matta and, most recently, Tico.

Catalyst will be open for lunch and dinner with small plates served at the bar, and a brunch menu coming later this month.

Catalyst Restaurant expected to open Sat. in Kendall Square

(Originally published Sept. 8, 2011 in the Boston Business Journal)

After hoping for an August opening, William Kovel’s modern American eatery Catalyst Restaurant is planning to open its doors on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 300 Technology Square, according to the restaurant’s general manager.

Kovel, a protégé of Radius and Via Matta owner Michael Schlow, and former chef behind the Four Seasons’ esteemed Aujourd’hui, subscribes to the local/sustainable movement, with menus changing seasonally to reflect availability.

The sleek spot is set to open for lunch, and dinner with smaller plates served at the bar—which features outlets for laptops or phones, a nod to the square’s plugged-in denizens. Lunch items include a variety of soups and salads, plus a duet of housemade pastas (corn ravioli or fettuccine with heirloom tomatoes, each $10), a diverse selection of sandwiches (from a garden veggie grinder for $10 to the Catalyst Burger with bacon, caramelized onions and roasted tomato on brioche for $15), and entrees of roasted chicken or cod ($14).

Entrees available for dinner include lemon sole with roasted baby fennel, creamed leeks and lobster vermouth butter ($27) and honey-glazed duck breast with baby turnip, bok choy and water chestnuts ($26).

The space boasts 1,600 square feet of convertible private event space which can be opened up or sectioned off for events for anywhere from ten to seventy-five people, a semi-private Fireplace Room for cozy cocktail receptions and a covered and heated patio that can accommodate up to 100.

Catalyst Restaurant general manager Vincent Putiri, who also hails from Aujourd’hui, said the restaurant expects to open in the evening, after the Cambridge Carnival in Kendall Square.

Starlite Lounge partners to open Parlor Sports in Inman

(Originally published on 28 Sept. 2011 in the Boston Business Journal)

The team behind Trina’s Starlite Lounge in the Cambridge, Mass. neighborhood of Inman Square plans a new venture for a mid-October opening. Parlor Sports will live in the space adjacent to the Starlite’s 3 Beacon St. location, on the Cambridge and Somerville line.

The “cowboy-style” bar will be a spot for locals to watch Saturday college sports, Sunday and Monday night NFL football, baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey on the bar’s nine flat screen TV’s. The drink list will focus on American craft brews, shots and standard cocktails. Trina’s Starlite Lounge Chef Suzi Maitland has created a list of simple bar snacks to serve alongside the Starlite menu.

The modern, minimalist space has been outfitted with oversized walnut panels in a parquet style and custom acrylic paintings of iconic sports moments created by local artist Brian Haley.

The co-owners behind the project, Josh Childs (Silvertone Bar & Grill), Trina Sturm (City Bar), Beau Sturm (Highland Kitchen) and Starlite's J. Bellao, have 60 years of collective front-of-house and back-of-house experience. The quartet opened Trina’s Starlite Lounge in late 2009 and the popular neighborhood gathering spot has since developed a favorable reputation for its conceptual cocktails, Southern-style comfort food and retro atmosphere.

“We’re all huge sports fanatics, so this is definitely a labor of love,” Beau Sturm said in a statement. “Not only are we really excited to launch and share Parlor Sports with the Somerville and Cambridge neighborhoods—selfishly, we will all be here every Sunday ourselves!”