Hot & Now

By Paul Giorgio

New to the neighborhood. TriBeCa, the upscale eatery relatively new to Shrewsbury Street, has a new chef. Ian Hickey recently took over the stove from Gary Kileen and has made quite a few changes in the menu. The bistro on the first floor now offers several French inspired dishes including Bouillabaisse and Cocqui Saint Jacque, as well as Beef Bourgogne and Coq au Van. They also have a new dessert chef who makes a wonderful Crème Brule.

Via Opens. The street ~ Shrewsbury Street, that is ~ got a new “street” recently when Via, which means street in Italian, finally opened its doors. The menu is different to say the least, with items such as Italian Paella, Italian baked beans and Italian macaroni & cheese alongside such staples as pesto and eggplant parmesan. Via, located near Washington Square, is open every day (except Monday) from 4p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Roberto Dias is the chef and Enrico Giovanello and Mark Hawley are assisting him. This is the third restaurant owned by Rob and Madeline Alhquist, who also own Via’s neighbor, the 111 Chop House, and Highland Street’s The Sole Proprietor.

Zia Grille. Not to be confused with Via is Zia, its neighbor on upper Shrewsbury Street. It seems that those Verizon operators keep on giving out Zia’s number when people ask for Via. Chef Paula McCarthy, who serves great home made food at reasonable prices, has taken it all in stride, even giving a gift certificate to the 100th wrong caller. Zia’s, by the way, is BYOB ~ which saves you even more.

Bean Counter. The Bean Counter, a bastion of Counter Culture, caffeine and pastry on Worcester’s Highland Street, recently opened on Route 9 in Shrewsbury across from Fairlawn Shopping Plaza. The old National Press Printing Company building has been transformed into a hip urban oasis.

What happened to the Armadillo? Armadillo Depot, the barbeque joint on Park Ave. in Worcester, has closed its doors once again. No word on what happened, but this place will be missed. It was one of the few places in Central MA where you could get real BBQ.

Relish adding a little relish. Relish’s Glenn Gonyea’s restaurant in the center of Barre is expanding by adding a bar on the premises. This upscale eatery serves great food at very reasonable prices.

Prezo Chango. Prezo Grille & Bar, the Milford outpost of the Oliveri family’s mini restaurant empire, recently added sushi to its menu. The Oliveris own Elsa’s Bushel & Peck and Peppercorn’s in Worcester as well as Elsa’s Eatery in Shrewsbury. Elsa, by the way, is Tom Oliveri, Sr.’s wife. This is reportedly the first sushi bar in Milford.

TiNoVo no moro. The George & Company, a business that specializes in the sale of businesses, has been hired to market and sell the building that formerly housed TiNoVo on Pearl Street in Worcester. If you always wanted to own a piece of history, here is your chance, according to Chris George, company president

Also in Milford. The Parlor Restaurant & Lounge at Madame’s (formerly just Madame’s) has new owners and a new upscale menu. The food is described as “American Comfort” and the menu changes every month and a half in order to keep it fresh. Matt Bacoulis is the new owner.

Chioda’s under the tent. Chioda’s at 631 Franklin Street, Worcester has tented over its outdoor patio, giving those who seek to dine al fresco one more option. In addition to fine Italian food, Chioda’s also offers Jazz & Blues on Wednesday nights.