Rhode Island's loss is Boston's gain: James Beard nominee Matt Jennings, owner of Providence's acclaimed Farmstead, plans to shutter the restaurant to focus on launching a new venture in Boston with his wife, Kate. Townsman will open in late 2014 at the new Radian apartment building at 120 Kingston St., overlooking the Greenway. Jennings describes the Townsman concept as "native to a place" and says in a statement that he and his wife have always planned to return home to Boston, where they met. Farmstead will serve its last meal on June 1. A rep for Jennings notes that Farmstead's space has been sold to another well-known Rhode Island chef.
Nicholas Dowling — former chef at Citizen Public House, Franklin Cafe, and Franklin Southie — will open Snappy Patty's in West Medford in the next few weeks (454 High St. at Canal Street). "The theme is upscale, contemporary American food done correctly," says Dowling. "I hate to use the term 'fine dining.' There won't be anything on the menu to intimidate people." The name comes from Dowling's soon-to-be-signature dish: mini patty melt sliders. The 36-seat restaurant will serve brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Prepare for another food truck to enter the fray: Eric Cormier, the vivacious owner of Newton's Po Boy (67 Crafts St. at Clinton Street), plans to take his restaurant mobile by June. His truck will serve oyster, shrimp, catfish, and chicken po boys, hopefully from a perch at South Station. "I love my customers, and they love my niche product," Cormier says.
A big-name Washington, D.C. chef has taken the reins at Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro (25 Charles St. at Chestnut Street), replacing Josh Lewin. Chef Lucas Sousa previously worked at Washington’s well-respected Southern restaurant Vidalia and at power spots Bibiana and the Oval Room.