Hot & Now

By Paul Giorgio

Worcester Restaurant Week. The second Worcester Restaurant Week will take place during the first 2 weeks of August. Last year, over 50 area restaurants participated and this year’s goal is to have even more. Participating restaurants will be charging $22.10 for a three course dinner. Visit WorcesterRestaurantWeek.com for a list of participating restaurants.

Ceres at the Beechwood. Ceres Bistro, the new restaurant at the Beechwood, opened for business the last week of June. It is perhaps the nicest restaurant in the city. The dining room has plenty of high backed booths and features a large stained glass domed ceiling rescued by owner Dr. Charlie Birbara from a turn-of-the-century Boston mansion. The food features a farm to table concept. The restaurant is under the management of the Niche Hospitality Group.

More than just smoke.
The Smokehouse Urban BBQ, owned by Richard Romaine, opened recently in Worcester’s Canal District. This is more than just a BBQ joint ~ It not only features great ribs and brisket, but also Chicken Fried Steak and fried chicken. After eating here, you sort of wish that the South had won the Civil War and we were all forced to eat grits and shrimp, collard greens and mac-n-cheese. Sundays feature live Blues from 12-3.

City Park Grill closes. Worcester City Park Grill, which took over the space that formerly housed McFadden’s on Front Street, has closed its doors after about a couple of months of operation. This may be the fastest opening and closing in Worcester restaurant history.

Tailgaters buffet. Tailgaters in Clinton has reinstituted their all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. The cost is $8 and includes a few entrees. The buffet runs Monday through Friday. Tailgater is located at 521 Main Street.

News in Holden. La Bussola, owned by Ernie Binicii, who also owns Worcester’s Ciao Bella on Grove Street, was recently sold to Bindhu Thomas. According to our sources, no changes in the menu are planned.

Dance Ranch changes hands. The Dance Ranch on James Street in Worcester is under new ownership. Nicholas Romano, who owns a couple of clubs in the Boston area, will take over the city’s only country and western bar. The only change planned is the addition of food.

More than just sports. The Square One Sports Bar & Grille opened in the middle of June. Owned by Danielle Spring and Jeremy Geary, the bar has a great menu of pub favorites including mac-n-cheese, burgers, pulled pork sandwiches and their signature Black and Tan onion rings. If you can take your eyes off the food, they also have about a dozen TVs for watching your favorite sports event.

Two and one. Café Manzi (owned by Brian Manzi) has opened in the building that once housed Scano’s bakery. Also in the same building is John Grosse’s latest venture, The Italian Baker. Grosse will be making bread and pizza, and maybe Italian cookies and fresh Italian cheeses like ricotta and mozzarella. For every two places that open, one closes ~ and in this case it is Vinny T’s on Lake Quinsigamond in Shrewsbury that will be turning off its stoves.