06.08 HOT & NOW

By Paul Giorgio

Another Southbridge Restaurant. The dining scene in Southbridge is expanding. Fins & Tales opened the first week of May. The restaurant is owned by Peter Deforge, a former owner of Rom’s in Sturbridge.

Emerald Isle has new leprechauns. As reported here several months ago, The Emerald Isle Diner on Millbury Street in Worcester has new owners and a revised menu. Jim Iannotti and John Lloyd took over in the middle of April. They have added some kid- friendly options as well as an all-you-can-eat chicken dinner for $12.

Roma opens. Roma, the latest restaurant to open in Worcester’s Canal District and the brain child of Worcester Restaurateur Joe Petrou, late of The Restaurant at Union Station and Primo’s, began serving diners this week.

The Big Dipper moves. Not that Big Dipper! No, this is the Big Dipper Ice Cream Benefit for the Worcester Children’s Friends Society. The event, which is usually held on the Worcester Common, will be moving to Elm Park. The ice cream extravaganza will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 12.

Amici’s new chef. Amici in Shrewsbury Center has a new chef. Drew Angilella took over the position at the Shrewsbury Trattoria in April. Angilella formerly worked at both Piccolo’s and Anthony’s on Worcester’s Shrewsbury Street. Watch for some exciting changes on the menu.

Name Change. Seamus O’Callahan’s in Sterling has changed its name to The Black Sheep Tavern and is now featuring a new expanded menu with daily lunch and dinner specials. The Black Sheep will continue to feature weekly entertainment in the newly renovated lounge along with sports viewing on several plasma TVs. The Black Sheep Tavern is on Rt. 12, 261 Leominster Rd., Sterling, MA, 978-422-8484.

Blue Hydrangea closes. The Blue Hydrangea bakery on Chandler Street in Worcester recently shut down its ovens.

Canal Cocktail Lounge opens. The Canal Cocktail Lounge on Harding Street in Worcester’s Canal District opened for business the last week of May. The Canal, which has a nice living room feel to it, is next door to Castellana’s and features an outdoor Tiki bar.

Al Fresco dining. Summer brings outdoor dining options. With the warm weather comes the opportunity to dine al fresco. Some of our favorite places to eat outside include the following:

The Flying Rhino on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester

Via Italian Table has a great covered patio, also on Shrewsbury Street.

Vinny T’s right on Lake Quinsigamond in Shrewsbury has the best location with a fabulous water view.

Talking about water, Giuseppe’s at the Solomon Pond in Northboro has a great deck.

Chioda’s on Worcester’s Franklin St has a great view.

Block 5 on Green Street has a nice outdoor patio.

Allora in Marlboro not only has good Italian food, but also a deck overlooking the lake.