Food & dining


Two big farewells in Kendall Square

Mary Schwalm for the Globe

Closings Two big farewells in Kendall Square: The Blue Room and Belly Wine Bar will close on July 1 (1 Kendall Sq. at Portland Street).

The Blue Room put Kendall on the culinary map when it opened 26 years ago, originally helmed by the East Coast Grill’s Chris Schlesinger.

“Before that, Albany Street was a dirt road,” says current co-owner Liz Vilardi, with a laugh.


Belly opened four-and-a-half years ago, known for its wine and charcuterie. The restaurants endured a fire that gutted their shared kitchen in 2015. In Vilardi’s telling, things were never quite the same after both spots reopened in 2016.

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“Staying open just wasn’t a sustainable choice for us any more. We see an opportunity to usher the Blue Room and Belly out, still great and still on top. But I feel sad: I lost both of my parents, and it feels a little like that. We knew it was coming. There’s a sense of relief, yet you’re sad.”

Vilardi and husband Nick Zappia also run nearby wine shop Central Bottle, which remains open.

Despite the bittersweet farewell, she’s happy about the Blue Room’s pioneering history in a neighborhood now rife with restaurants.

“We had great service, awesome food, and you could wear your jeans! People would ask, ‘What’s the dress code?’ And I’d say, ‘However you like!’ And we were an early adapter of farm-to-table. But at some point, you’re now the status quo. Then you stop and go, ‘Know thyself.’ This is us, knowing ourselves,” she says.


Lovable family-run Roslindale restaurant Seven Star Street Bistro will close indefinitely, according to a farewell social media post. “This is a positive thing for our family,” writes owner Chris Lin. “I took a sharp turn from a career in San Francisco, to return to Boston to be with family, and eventually reunite with my father in the kitchen at my reiteration of Seven Star Mandarin House. A dream come true. I can walk away knowing I left it all on the cutting board. Excited for our next adventure, continuing my personal adventure, and continuing to make great food!” Seven Star was also home to pop-up restaurants Rozzie Ramen and the Astro Diner, which served space-themed treats like Jupiter hash and space berries.

Openings East Boston’s Cunard Tavern (24 Orleans St. at Webster Street) opens on June 20. It’s the latest from Phil Frattaroli, who also runs Ducali, Filippo, and Lucia in the North End. The two-floor spot overlooks Boston Harbor, and it has a rooftop bar with raw bar service. Enjoy a wide-ranging menu of crispy fish tacos, octopus dumplings, salmon tartare, and Cuban spring rolls.

Coming Soon Union Square’s Journeyman restaurant (9 Sanborn Court at Washington Street) will be replaced by Field & Vine. The restaurant, which is raising funds on Kickstarter, hopes to serve shareable dishes inspired by New England’s farms and waters. Journeyman said goodbye this month after seven years in business.