By Hoodline

BOSTON (Hoodline) – Curious where Boston’s insiders are eating and drinking? It’s easy to spot lines out the door, but some underlying trends are harder to see.

We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to deduce which restaurants have been on the tips of diners’ tongues this month. Read on to see which spots are sizzling hot this spring.

The Westland

Photo: emily e./Yelp

Open since December 2018, this New American bar and restaurant is trending compared to other businesses categorized as “American (New)” on Yelp.

Citywide, New American spots saw new reviews increase by a median of 2 percent over the past month, but The Westland saw a 66.7 percent increase, maintaining a convincing four-star rating throughout.

It’s not the only trending outlier in the New American category: Milkweed has seen a 6.6 percent increase in reviews.

Located at 10 Westland Ave. (between St. Stephen Street and Massachusetts Avenue) in Fenway, The Westland offers appetizers, such as crispy calamari, oysters casino, crispy cauliflower and mussels, served in sauvignon blanc with shallots, herbs and a grilled baguette. Entrees include roasted chicken with roasted Yukon potatoes, green beans and miso maple glaze. Burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads, and a raw bar are also on offer as well. Plus there’s brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

Shore Leave

Photo: shore leave/Yelp

Whether or not you’ve been hearing buzz about South End’s Shore Leave, the tiki bar and cocktail bar is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as “Cocktail Bars” on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 2.5 percent over the past month, Shore Leave bagged a 52.2 percent increase in new reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a mixed 3.5-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 2 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.

There’s more that’s trending on Boston’s cocktail bar scene: Alcove has seen a 29.3 percent increase in reviews, and Citrus & Salt has seen a 11.5 percent bump.

Open at 11 William E. Mullins Way since November 2018, Shore Leave offers signature cocktails like Morale & Welfare, overproof dark rum shaken with grapefruit, cinnamon, lime and mole bitters. The kitchen’s Asian-inspired fare includes choices like bao, wings, chicken lettuce wraps, Korean short ribs, gyoza, poke and more.

Lobstah On A Roll

Photo: igor r./Yelp

Back Bay’s Lobstah On A Roll is also making waves. Open since the fall of 2017 at 537A Columbus Ave. (between Claremont Park and Worcester Street), the well-established spot to score seafood has seen a 9.6 percent bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.2 percent for all businesses tagged “Seafood” on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis, its review count increased by more than 160 percent.

Lobstah On A Roll offers breakfast plates, soups and salads, and craft sandwiches, like the Harvard Yardbird, with grilled chicken breast, roasted red peppers, bacon, butter lettuce and pesto aioli. But, of course, the star of the show is the lobster roll. Lobster tacos and lobster mac and cheese are also available.

Over the past month, the establishment has maintained a solid 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.


Photo: abbie m./Yelp

South End’s MIDA is the city’s buzziest Italian spot by the numbers.

The Italian wine bar and restaurant opened at 782 Tremont St. (between Northampton Street and Massachusetts Avenue) in December 2016. Over the past month its review count increased by 8 percent, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 1.5 percent for the Yelp category “Italian.” It outperformed the previous month by gaining 1.9 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.

But it’s not the only trending outlier in the Italian category: Bar Mezzana has seen a 4.4 percent increase in reviews, and Terra has seen a 5.9 percent bump.

Popular dishes at MIDA include the lobster scampi, boasting linguini, marscarpone and fresh basil; and spaghetti carbonara with clams, salumi and egg yolk. There’s also a full bar and desserts, like gelato, tiramisu and biscotti.

Methodology: To find out who made the list, we looked at Boston businesses on Yelp by category and counted how many reviews each received. Rather than compare them based on number of reviews alone, we calculated a percentage increase in reviews over the past month, and tracked businesses that consistently increase their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.


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