Hot & Now

By Paul Giorgio

Restaurant Weeks. Don’t forget Worcester Restaurant Week’s Winter Edition which will be held at over 40 local restaurants. For $22.11, you’ll get a three course meal. For a complete listing of participating restaurants, visit

Stop wining. The 9th annual Worcester Wine & Food Festival will be held on Monday, March 7th at the DCU Center from 5:30 – 9 pm. Tickets are priced at $45 per person or a 4 pack for $170. You can even buy a block of 10 for $400 and young professionals (21-30) enjoy a reduced rate of $30. There will be over 30 restaurants serving sample size portions of food and 15 wine tables offering tastings of about 100 different wines. The featured winery this year is Benziger from Sonoma valley. Presenting sponsors include Austin Liquors, Fallon Clinic, United Bank, IMA, and Imperial Distributors. The money raised will go to scholarship for summer camp at the JCC.

Lazio’s closes.
Lazio’s Bar & Grille at 318 Main St., Northboro closed its doors recently. There was no reason given. I guess it’s another casualty of the economy ~ or maybe Bistro Limoncello hurt them when they opened just down the street.

No Sonic boom. Plans for a Sonic restaurant to be constructed in Marlborough seemed, according to city officials, like a done deal. The national drive-thru chain had plans to open three stores in Massachusetts, including one in Metro West, by early 2011. But according to the same city officials, it’s just not going to happen.

No Alice’s Restaurant. Well, it appears that you can’t get what you want at Alice’s Restaurant. Alice’s Bistro at 89 Hamilton St. in Worcester has apparently shut its doors after less than a year in business. Alice’s is in the space that once housed the Hamilton Bistro, which also shut down abruptly.

Ritual’s opening. We are still waiting for the official opening of Ritual, a new Main Street bar across the street from Irish Times.

FZ. Frank Zirpolo, formerly involved with Nick Fiorello at the old El Morocco, was scheduled to open a bar on Harding Street in the Canal District. It was going to be located in the space that has housed at least half a dozen bars in the past few years, next to what now houses Smokestack Place. No word as to what is going to happen here, but this is the second bar within a few months that failed to open in the space. The folks who own Bluri on Worcester’s Main Street were about to open Syn, then the deal fell apart, according to sources.

New eatery at The Palladium.
Lucien’s recently opened at The Palladium, the concert venue on Worcester’s Main Street which plays host primarily to heavy metal bands. Lucien was a partner in the recently closed Morocco on Shrewsbury Street.

Mardi Gras in Worcester. Fat Tuesday is just around the corner and The Citizen will be hosting a NOLA style party featuring classic cocktails and Cajun cooking; the fun starts at 6pm on Tuesday, March 8th. For more information, call 508-459-9090. Another option? Smokestack Place in Worcester’s Canal District, where Baton Rouge native and Smokestack owner Richard Romaine will be hosting what he is dubbing “an authentic Fat Tuesday Celebration” complete with gumbo, jambalaya and bread pudding for dessert. The party kicks off at 4:30pm and the band “The Slippery Sneakers” joins the fun at 6. Call 508-363-1111.