fb-pixelThe Painted Burro replaces the Border Cafe in Harvard Square; Kenmore Square’s Blue Ribbon Brasserie prepares to open - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

The Painted Burro replaces the Border Cafe in Harvard Square; Kenmore Square’s Blue Ribbon Brasserie prepares to open

Plus, a Hanukkah pop-up and fan-favorite flatbread

Mexican street corn on the cob with roasted garlic mayo, cotija cheese, and cayenne, as prepared at the Painted Burro in Davis Square.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

Openings: The Painted Burro is open in Harvard Square (32 Church St.), replacing the much-missed Border Cafe. The Border suffered a major fire in 2019 and announced its permanent closure in 2021.

“We brought back some classics, and the menu prices are much lower,” says Burro owner Joe Cassinelli, who runs other locations in Somerville and Waltham.

Most dishes are under $20: Get spicy shrimp and squash tacos, chipotle meatballs, nachos, chorizo empanadas, and spicy meatloaf from 11 a.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends. On Friday and Saturday nights, guzzle margaritas until 1 a.m.

Coming soon: Kenmore Square oyster bar-slash-saloon Blue Ribbon Brasserie (528 Commonwealth Ave.) is slated to debut on Friday, Dec. 1. It’s the latest from the New York City-based Blue Ribbon team, which now runs Blue Ribbon Sushi and Pescador on the same block. An early glimpse at the sprawling menu reveals beef marrow and oxtail marmalade, pierogis, matzoh ball soup, fried chicken, bacon-fat fries, and hot fudge sundaes. The original Blue Ribbon opened in SoHo in 1992.

Hudson family favorite Rail Trail Flatbread Co. debuts a bigger second location in Milford (223 Main St.) on Tuesday, Dec. 12. Settle in with blue-cheese-stuffed tots, hot honey wings, burgers, and an assortment of gluten-free flatbreads, paired with local beers.


The duck beni flatbread at Rail Trail Flatbread Co. in Hudson in 2015.Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe/file

Feasts: Visit Cambridge’s Geppetto (100 North First St.) on Sundays in December for an all-star chef feast: Chef Will Gilson hosts a 12 Chefs of Christmas dining series featuring names like Tony Susi (Bar Enza, Sage); Erin Miller (Urban Hearth); Dante De Magistris (Il Casale); Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa, Toro); Dave Bazirgan (Uni); Tracy Chang (Pagu); and lots more. They’ll create multi-course meals with drink pairings; get tickets at www.thelexingtoncx.com/happenings.

Pop-Ups: Maccabee Bar pops up at Harvard Square’s Noir at the Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St.) starting on Wednesday, Nov. 29, pouring Hanukkah-themed cocktails like latke sours from mixologist Naomi Levy, paired with seasonal snacks and sweets from Lionheart Confections, including on Christmas Day. Visit through New Year’s Eve.


Kara Baskin can be reached at kara.baskin@globe.com. Follow her @kcbaskin.