What's the last culinary buzz in Beantown? There's lot of foodie news in its neighborhoods like the South End and Somerville, as well as the up-and-coming Fort Point Channel, a warehouse-filled area down by the Seaport District where top chefs have been setting up shop and showcasing a wide range of concepts and cuisines. Here are the eateries to prioritize on your next trip.
This popular and stylish South End steakhouse in a cavernous former bank comes courtesy of co-owner/executive chef Chris Coombs who's also had success with Dorchester's dBar and Back Bay's Deuxave. Amid classic steakhouse décor: exposed brick and dark-wood accents, antique-style chandeliers, and leather banquettes diners feast on classic cuts of beef (10 ounce bone-in filet mignon, prime grilled eight-ounce flat-iron steak) along with chops, shellfish from the raw bar, and plenty of crispy frites.
Reminiscent of the New Nordic restaurants, this minimalist blonde wood-accented space from former L'Espalier chef and Noma alum Alex Crabb, has been a welcome addition to the Back Bay dining scene. Choose from a three-, five-, or eight-course tasting menu where the farm-to-table offerings might include anything from foie gras with sugar snap peas to pork belly with radish shiso (the five- and eight-course menus also offer a wine pairing offering).
Award-winning chef and restaurateur Michael Schlow has added a bit of spice to the Fenway dining scene with his Mexican-themed Barrio Cantina. This convivial spot with a cheery décor (sunflower yellow-back bar chairs, vintage Mexican posters) serves a range of Tex Mex faves like fajitas, tacos, and enchiladas along with 80 tequilas and 15 margaritas—though many are partial to the blood orange and pomegranate.
The Kirkland Tap & Trotter
Opened last month, this Somerville sister restaurant to Craigie on Main has already become the casual neighborhood tavern chef-owner Tony Maws envisioned it to be. Expect house-made terrine and grilled root vegetable salads, along with nose-to-tail and wood-fired grill dishes. And look out for a signature grass-fed beef burger, the KT&T, which like one at Craigie, is not on the menu but is available in limited supply. There's also a robust beer selection including many on draft.
Society on High
From the owner of beloved wine bar Les Zygomates, this Financial District restaurant, with its copper-topped tables and plush leather booths, surely appeals to the after-work biz crowd. The menu features pan-seared sea scallops with potato gnocchi and a grilled pork chop with black-eyed peas but many make a beeline to the buzzing marble bar to sip cocktails, perhaps the rye-based Old Square or the rum-based Phinny's Punch and nosh on bar bites like lobster sliders and candied spare ribs.
On Congress Street, Fort Point's emerging restaurant row, is the recently opened Tavern Road, featuring a lively open kitchen and a 30-foot street-style wall mural by local artists. Have a drink at the bar, the handcrafted Down & Brown cocktail made with rye is a favorite, before dining on a selection of tasty small plates using locally sourced New England ingredients such as fresh ricotta with tomato jam, Chatham bluefish with corn, and grilled octopus with focaccia croutons.
Fans of Blue Ginger, chef Ming Tsai's perennially popular Wellesley restaurant
were thrilled the chef, who trained in Paris and Japan, opened sister spot, Blue Dragon, an 80-seat Asian gastropub in Fort Point earlier in the year. This casual spot offers a tapas-style menu with dishes ranging from crispy pork tail with mango sticky rice to pad thai with scallops and bacon, along with plenty of unique cocktails, including the rum-based Dragon Bowl for two and specialty sakes.
Photo Credits: Boston Chops: Courtesy of Boston Chops; Asta: Open kitchen at Asta, Boston by Eric Wilhelm Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic; Barrio Cantina: Courtesy of Barrio Cantina; The Kirkland Tap & Trotter: Michael Piazza/The Kirkland Tap & Trotter; Society on High: Courtesy of Society on High; Tavern Road: Courtesy of Tavern Road; Blue Dragon: Courtesy of Blue Dragon