Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bostonist: Tupelo and Sip Cafe now open

Two new spots opened this week. I wrote about both for Bostonist.

Tupelo is a new Southern comfort food restaurant in Inman Square. The reporting process for this was very Web 2.0: the week before it opened, I put a note about it on our go2 Twitter account, @go2foodnews (which you can follow by clicking on the link to the right - hint hint). In the tweet, I referenced their Twitter account (@tupelo01239), which had a lot of good information up already about the restaurant-in-progress.

Then, @Tupelo02139 hit me back, thanking me for the coverage with an @ reply that referenced our feed. Impressed by the speed of their reaction, I direct-messaged Tupelo for more information, and found out that the voice behind Tupelo's Twitter feed is Jen Deaderick, the wife of Tupelo's opening chef -- who happens to be Rembs Layman, the chef who created the delicious menus I've been eating for years at Matt Murphy's and Pomodoro, where my friend Aaron has been bartending on and off for a long time. She passed along Layman's email, and he passed along the new menu (now viewable on Facebook), which looks, well, exactly the way a menu would look if the chef of those two restaurants decided to open a Southern spot. It's still rich, textured, crumbly, comforting, marinated, slow-cooked, and seafood-savvy, with fried oysters and green tomatoes in place of Pomodoro's delicate Italian calamari and Matt Murphy's hearty Irish fish & chips.

Now thoroughly excited (albeit with a twinge of wistful regret, as the menu's not terribly veggie-friendly), I wrote up a post on Bostonist about the new place, which then made its way to Twitter via our RSS feed, which was then re-tweeted by Deaderick, who then thanked me for the coverage via Twitter direct message.

Moral of the story? We're getting great traffic from this, and so is Tupelo. And traffic, my friends, means we both stay in business. It's a win-win without any ethical compromises -- the only thing that's been exchanged is friendly words and timely information. So, for those writers among you who are still crowing, "Why should I use Twitter? What's it good for? I am cantankerous and contrary and feel that mocking this relatively innocuous bit of technology is far more important than researching real and useful information for my readers!" I say to you: this kind of thing is what makes Twitter useful.

But please, if you're still on the fence, I encourage you to stay there -- because food journalism is becoming very competitive in this town, and if I can maintain an edge using this tool while you go on about its inherent narcissism and pointlessness and degrading effect on the English language, etc. etc., I can more easily scoop you.


Speaking of which, I am fairly sure I scooped the Globe this week (although Thrillist scooped me first, sigh) when I wrote about Sip Cafe, which just opened in the old Z Square space in Post Office Square. This location has been my go-to summer lunch spot since my days as an intern at the Boston Business Journal. It has a nice little patio and is located directly inside the beautiful grassy oasis that is Post Office Square, where Financial District work-bots can pick up a cushion to sit on the ground without mussing their suits and skirts, as they listen to live jazz or flamenco under the shady trees and trellis-covered walkways.

I was surprised when Milk Street Cafe vacated the space and again when Z Square took off earlier this year. But I'm happy to see that Jared Mancini, the new owner of Sip Cafe, has snapped up the space and brought his sustainable/local take on the coffeeshop concept to the Financial District. Service is still a little shaky -- we went as a group on opening day and agreed we'd give it another month or two before we returned for anything like a real meal. But the drinks are on point (Mancini slung coffee on Newbury for a while before opening this place) and the location, as I said, cannot be beat. I may return next week, now that the weather in Boston is approaching the 80-degree mark!

Photo of stove via Tupelo; photo of Sip Cafe by Kerry Skemp.


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