Brothers Frank, Jorge, and Patrick Mendoza — the family behind North End restaurants Vinoteca di Monica and Trattoria di Monica — have opened a pizzeria beneath Monica’s Mercato (130 Salem St. at Prince Street). Their crisp, Neapolitan-style pizza, says Frank Mendoza, who’ll serve more than 20 types of pie daily, “reminds me of what I ate growing up in the neighborhood.” Monica, of course, is his mom.
Somerville’s The Kirkland Tap & Trotter (425 Washington St. at Beacon Street), run by James Beard award-winning chef Tony Maws, will launch a cafe on Dec. 6, serving to-go coffee, tea, pastries, and yogurt on weekends from 9 to 10:30 a.m. The same day, the restaurant also launches Saturday brunch service to supplement its regular Sunday brunch (10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every weekend). Meanwhile, sister restaurant Craigie on Main (853 Main St. at Pine Street) will end its long-running, popular brunch service on Sunday, Dec. 28. The restaurant will soon serve dinner seven nights a week. Maws will add Monday dinner service starting Jan. 5. He says that many of his brunch dishes from Craigie, like house-made doughnuts, will resurface as Kirkland specials.
For a savory snack in Central Square, stroll to the back of Indian fast-casual restaurant Dosa Factory (571 Massachusetts Ave. at Norfolk Street). There you’ll find Bao Nation, a takeout stand selling hot Asian buns stuffed with minced lamb, duck, pork belly, and seafood — for about $5 apiece.
Chef Brian Poe (Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake, Estelle’s, The Tip Tap Room) and business partner Gordon Wilcox say Inman Square’s Bukowski Tavern (1281 Cambridge St. at Prospect Street) will return at the beginning of December (it closed for renovations in July). The reimagined tavern will offer burgers made from wild game and a trio of miniature hot dogs fashioned from alligator sausage, venison, and bison. Poe will become a partner in Back Bay’s Bukowski in the coming months, too.