😋 Boston foodies, assemble!

Plus: 🍩 Ben Affleck becomes a pop star

It’s Tuesday, Boston.

💅 Noah Kahan might have lost Best New Artist … But he still ended the night a winner with the most incredible Glambot video that made fans collectively lose their minds. And isn’t that really what it’s all about?

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Steward hospitals stay afloat

  • The rats are going to hate this announcement

  • Ben Affleck’s new Dunkin’ commercial

Up first…


New restaurants have entered the chat

Image: Brian Samuels. Illustration: Gia Orsino.

We don’t exactly think of February as a hot month for restaurants. But somehow, the local food scene managed to deliver. Boston.com shared their monthly list of restaurant openings they’re excited about.

Here’s what’s worth your dollar: 

🍕 The Lineup, Downtown. Office workers, this one’s for you. Michelin starred-chef John Fraser is the brains behind this new food hall at the Winthrop Center that directly caters to the non-WFH crowd (most menu items cost the same or less than a Sweetgreen salad). The hall features five grab-and-go spots, serving everything from Mexi-Cali burritos, to Mediterranean, to Neapolitan pizza. And they all surround an “urban living room,” meant for mingling and munching. 

Things to try:

🍝 Makaroni Pastaria, Downtown. Speaking of food halls, High Street Place just added a new member to the squad. Makaroni is the love child of high-quality Italian food and fast-casual dining, and it’s serving up classics like chicken pesto penne and Bolognese linguine, along with modern twists like burrata truffle ravioli. And while pasta for lunch may not be your first choice, Makorini is hoping to flip that script with its delicate noodles and local vegetables. 

Things to try:

  • Italian sausage orecchiette

  • Lemon chicken spaghetti

  • Bolognese linguine

🍔 Flat Top Johnny’s, Cambridge. After closing during the pandemic, this beloved neighborhood bar/restaurant/pool hall has officially resurrected in Kendall Square. In a nod to its 90s roots, the retro space is decked out in crimson hues accompanied by 12 felt-topped pool tables and several pinball machines. But most importantly, the food and drink menu delivers, with a rotating list of locally crafted beer, cocktails, and classic pub bites (see: The Lilith Burger). 

Things to try:

  • The Lilith Burger

  • Hot dog

  • French fries

🍲 Merai, Brookline. If you already love Thai tapas restaurant Mahaniyom, it won’t take long to fall for its new sibling, Merai. Although situated very close to Mahaniyom, Merai’s menu and concept will be totally different (think: elevated Thai dive bar). Which certainly means there will be an impressive food and cocktail list featuring Thai twists on the classics, like Hung Lay Bao, pork belly braised in Thai Northern-style curry, in bao buns or Khao Soi Fettuccini.

Note: Its menu is still underwraps, so in the meantime, take a peek at Mahaniyom’s menu to get a sense of the flavors you can probably expect.


🍔 Which new restaurant would you most like to get our two cents on?

Let us know below!

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Your itinerary for the perfect winter staycation

🏠✈️ Dreaming of a weekend getaway that’s still close to home? Head over to the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport and treat yourself to a staycation that will make you forget all about the gloomy weather outside. Indulge in a luxurious massage at Breve spa then dress to impress for dinner at the award-winning Coquette along with drinks and jazz at Kestra. Finish your nights off in a cozy hotel room — which, thanks to the hotel’s partnership with Meet Boston, comes with a $100 prepaid gift card and $25 gift card to Legal Sea Foods when you book a two-night stay up to March 31.


Quick & dirty headlines

Image: Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff 

🩺 It looks like the Steward hospitals are staying afloat (for now). The health care company announced that they have secured bridge funding to keep their nine Mass. hospitals running as they work on transferring ownership of a few, after the company’s significant financial hardship threatened to force their closure. And thank goodness for it, because the strain on Boston’s hospitals is only getting worse, with capacity issues causing waits of up to 24 hours for care and chaotic emergency rooms.

🐀 The rats are going to hate this announcement. Or so we hope. Boston’s City Council just unanimously voted to approve the creation of an Office of Pest Control in Boston, partially based on New York’s model (which includes a “rat czar”), to control the city’s ticks, cockroaches, mice, and yes, rats. This was notoriously anti-rat councilor Ed Flynn’s second stab at introducing such an ordinance, which will now move to a committee to iron out the details, then head to Mayor Michelle Wu’s desk. Fingers crossed!

✈️ A new direct flight to Paris? Oui! This is your sign to book a European vacation: JetBlue, Logan’s largest airline carrier, just announced they’ll begin offering direct flights out of Logan to two new European destinations this spring: Paris and Dublin. Tickets for the new flight routes, which will begin March 13 (to Dublin) and April 3 (to Paris), are on sale now. Currently, JetBlue also offers nonstop flights from Logan to Amsterdam and London. 

✊🏿 Boston’s official Black History Month programming just dropped. And there really is a little something for everyone. Throughout the month, the city is putting on everything from an official flag raising ceremony (tomorrow!), to panel discussions on subjects like gender and racial bias in the workplace, a roller skate night at Chez Vous, and a musical celebration in honor of James Baldwin. Plus, we can’t forget the many more events across the BPL’s branches. Check it all out here.


Ben Affleck becomes a pop star

Image courtesy of Dunkin. Illustration by Gia Orsino.

Ben Affleck’s Dunkin partnership is currently batting a thousand. Affleck’s new commercial with Dunkin dropped during the Grammys Sunday night, and it genuinely made us smile, maybe even more than his usual sad Dunkin pap photos

In just 60 seconds, Affleck attempts to become a pop star, floating the idea of becoming B. Lo to J. Lo, asking TikTok star Charlie D’Amelio for advice, hitting the recording studio, and more. 

It looks like part two is set to premiere during the Super Bowl, but until then, you can check out part one here.

— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario

🍩 Thanks for reading! Kudos to Dunkin’s marketing team. You don’t miss.

🚃 The results are in: 40% of B-Siders know about their upcoming MBTA shutdowns … but only because we told them. One reader said: “I may or may not have an unhealthy dependence on the B-Side…” And you know what, we love that. <3

💜 Special shoutout to today's sponsor, Omni Boston at the Seaport, for supporting local journalism and making winter in the city a little more luxurious.

💃 Keep up with us @BostonBSide on IG, TikTok, and Twitter. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected] or [email protected].