Food & dining
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    Tables: Buttonwood opens in Newton, and there’s a Revival in the Alewife area

    Openings: Buttonwood in Newton is open (51 Lincoln St. at Columbus Street), the latest from the team behind Little Big Diner and Sycamore. The family-friendly spot replaces 51 Lincoln. This is a laid-back, family-friendly offshoot of Sycamore.

    As such, there’s a kids’ menu with chicken fingers and grilled cheese; for the grown-ups: moules frites, Portuguese fish stew, grilled octopus, and lamb skewers.

    Tiki Rock (2 Broad St. at State Street) is softly open downtown, says manager Chris Straub.


    “I know, a little crazy opening a tiki bar in some of the coldest weather Boston has seen in a while!” he says. All the more reason to enjoy their tropical cocktails and Polynesian dishes.

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    Watertown’s La Bodega by Salts (21 Nichols Ave. at Bigelow Avenue) is also softly open, says co-owner Gabriel Bremer, who ran Cambridge’s Salts. Right now, the restaurant serves dinner Wednesday through Saturday. Enjoy Basque, Spanish, and Uruguayan cuisine — wild mushroom escabeche, sliced beef tongue, and alfajores (South American shortbread cookies). Bremer runs the restaurant with his wife, Analia Verolo.

    Coming Soon:Tallula will replace Self Portrait (formerly T.W. Food) in Huron Village in Cambridge, says owner Conor Dennehy (377 Walden St. at Concord Avenue) in the coming months. Dennehy and his wife, Danielle Ayer, will run a “mom-and-pop restaurant,” says Dennehy. Fittingly, the restaurant is named for their young daughter.

    There’s good food, too: Dennehy worked with Tim Wiechmann at T.W. Food as a chef de cuisine. He also cooked at Boston’s Coppa, Trade, and Toro. Ayer is a captain at Menton, and she also worked at Brookline’s late, lamented Ribelle.

    “The food is whatever we feel like — New American influences, as seasonal as possible, with a menu that’s printed every day,” Dennehy says. “I’m classically French-trained, but there won’t be any old-school French dishes. It’ll be a little more modern, with Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Mediterranean, and North African influences,” he says.


    As for the vibe? “Unpretentious, but refined and elegant.”

    This spring, Steve “Nookie” Postal from Cambridge’s Commonwealth will open Revival in the Alewife area (100-150 CambridgePark Drive) with Liza Shirazi, who runs Harvard Square’s Crema Café. The café will serve breakfast and lunch with house-made salads, sandwiches, pastries, and bread, with plenty of whole grain options. Another Revival will open in Davis Square in the coming months.


    Kara Baskin can be reached at