Dorchester’s Lower Mills has a new hangout: Ester (2261 Dorchester Ave. at Richmond Street), which opened April 5 and replaces the Ledge. “Lower Mills is an incredible community, and this is definitely a neighborhood kind of place,” says co-owner Eleanor Arpino, a former operations director at Davio’s. “It’s an old-fashioned, tight neighborhood.” Chef Esteban Gallego worked with Arpino at Davio’s and specializes in “fresh food that makes people feel good,” she says. House favorites? A hamburger with bacon spread and harissa-spiked couscous. Right now, Ester is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. The restaurant has a spacious patio, and eventually there will be al fresco dining at lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch.
A new restaurant from the team behind Boston’s Silvertone and Trina’s Starlite Lounge in Somerville opened at the old Audubon Circle bar (838 Beacon St. at Arundel Street) — just in time for baseball season. Co-owner Beau Sturm says the menu at Audubon is “completely designed around an open grill with small bites, a handful of entrees, and pressed sandwiches,” a departure from the fryer-focused indulgences at his other restaurants. Cambridge Packing concocted an 8-ounce burger, served on a brioche bun; there’s also virtuous kale salad, grilled avocados, and artichokes, and a relish tray replete with pickled vegetables. Sturm hopes to add brunch service on April 20.
Liquid Art House
Chef Rachel Klein is about to open Liquid Art House in the Back Bay (100 Arlington St. at Columbus Avenue), a 10,000-square-foot restaurant, art gallery, and lounge. As such, aesthetics are everything: Klein is working with a company in California to custom-design aprons. She is excited about her
unusual Eastern European dumplings — for instance, sour cherry with foie gras. And while you might expect a Back Bay art gallery-restaurant to be exclusive, she says not to worry. “We’re not going to be this pretentious, fine dining restaurant.” She wants it “to be accessible for artists who haven’t made it yet.“ Klein’s father was an artist, and she was an art history major before taking up cooking. Before Liquid, she was chef at the Mandarin Oriental’s Asana. Look for a May 6 opening.
Urbanites rejoice: Soon, there will be no need to trek to Burlington to shop at H Mart. A branch of the Korean grocery store and food court will open in Cambridge’s Central Square on April 23, according to the store’s website (581 Massachusetts Ave. at Essex Street). Look for a dazzling gallery of kimchi, dumplings, meats, hard-to-find produce, and a food court with Go Go Curry, Sapporo Ramen, and Paris Baguette bakery.