Best new restaurants in Boston
The seasonal menu at this Seaport hotspot—named after the Massachusetts state bird—is Mediterranean-influenced, but features ingredients from local farms, markets, and producers. Starters such as kohlrabi tzatziki combine the best of both worlds. The lunch menu focuses on pitas—check out the fried hake with pickled peppers and zhoug. Dinner offers more to explore; pasta dishes are a highlight, dishes might include littleneck clams with green harissa or gnocchi with smoked chestnut. Innovative cocktails incorporate fresh ingredients, too—snap peas, roasted red peppers, and jasmine, to name a few.
Situated between Central and Harvard Squares, this hip trattoria has a slightly retro feel thanks to the amber glow of its globe lights. Nosh on handmade pastas and Italian inspired dishes. Sit side-by-side at the vintage communal table, or huddle by the white tile, double-sided fireplace. Sexy desserts are not to be missed.
Tim Maslow (of the now-closed Ribelle and Strip-T’s) has re-entered Boston’s dining scene with his colorfully-named, brasserie in the former home of Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel. The Japanese-accented menu includes sashimi, tempura, veggie dishes, and more. Besides a pair of dining rooms, there’s a private space that will double as a karaoke room.
This cozy Huron Village restaurant serves globally-influenced, seasonal cuisine with thoughtfully-selected wines. Diners fill the small space’s twelve tables to select between a la carte and tasting menus, both of which change daily to reflect seasonality and sourcing. The cocktail program features aperitif-style cocktails.
Located an errant foul shot from TD Garden, Alcove is the first restaurant from local hospitality veteran Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli (Island Creek Oyster Bar, Eastern Standard, Craigie on Main). The open, minimalist-chic space gets packed before big Garden events, such is the draw of the well-chosen wine list and versatile menu of upscale contemporary fare. The kitchen merges New England-sourced ingredients with Mediterranean techniques and flavors.
Save your gas money: The James Beard award-winning Portland restaurant has opened a second branch in Boston, an upscale casual take on the slightly more formal original. The menu is small but potent: oysters on the half shell, crudo, tartare, clam chowder, Maine lobster stew. The fried fish sandwich is an unexpected delight but, of course, the real sandwich star is the brown butter lobster roll: a rich, nutty, singular treat, the bao-like bun soaking up all that delicious dressing. Save room for the brown butter soft serve, or maybe splurge on a second glass of wine as you savor the restaurant’s bright, clean-lined interior.
From the same restaurant group that brings you Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar, Franklin Cafe, and the ubiquitous Tasty Burger, Our Fathers looks to fill the void created by Boston’s surprising lack of proper full-service delicatessens. The mid-century modern space, a short stroll from Harvard Stadium, presents a stylish locale in which to enjoy updated Jewish classics and overstuffed deli sandwiches. Perhaps most impressive is the handsome, sophisticated bar area, where knowledgeable bartenders offer suggestions from one of the city’s largest gin lists. (Expect dozens of labels you’ve never seen before.)
An offshoot of Watertown’s Cha Yen Thai Cookery, Kala Thai brings fresh Thai flavors to the high-traffic Haymarket area. Start with corn cakes—a Cha Yen favorite—then choose from a selection of noodle dishes (egg or rice noodles), fried rice, or curry. Spicy tom yum soup carries a kick, and chef specialty stir-fried dishes feature fresh ingredients and bold flavors. If the weather permits, get takeout and enjoy on the Greenway nearby.
Subtitled “Slurp-and-Go,” OISA has only 9 seats and no ramen takeout, so expect to grab a bowl, sit, enjoy, and move on. Chef Moe Kuroki’s tonkatsu gained fame through her previous pop-up. It’s on the menu alongside two vegan shoyu options: smoky (with shitake, mesclun, and red pepper) and truffle (with truffled mushrooms, shitake, mesclun, red pepper, and a soy egg).
Yet another casual, modern neighborhood hangout in Southie, The Broadway provides locals with comfort eats, wood-fired pizzas, craft beers, and shareable cocktails. Wood, steel, and concrete contribute to the neo-industrial space, which features a pair of large bars and an open-air storefront.
Bootleg Special aims to deliver a unique take on spicy, Louisiana-style seafood boils and other Southern comfort classics. Groups of social diners pick and slurp their way through shared orders of Dungeness crab legs, lobster, jumbo gulf shrimp, and mussels in handsome, industrial environs. Small plates include both the traditional (seafood etoufee, fried clams and oysters) and creative (crawfish mac-and-cheese, ribs with a Cherry Coke glaze).
From its rustic, stylish home in the South End, Southern Proper serves modern takes on classic Southern and Lowcountry cuisine. Northerners take a trip to the south without leaving town, thanks to smoked and salted meats, fried chicken, barbecue, and Lowcountry-style seafood dishes. Complementing the southern fare is an extensive list of whiskies, ryes, and bourbons.
Yet another restaurant from Chef Jason Santos, Citrus and Salt took over the space of one of his previous projects, Back Bay Harry’s. Befitting a concept specializing in Coastal Mexican small plates, the space is dominated by a giant skeleton mural. Painted flowers and string lights contribute to the beach-y, relaxed ambiance. The bar houses an impressive selection of tequilas and mezcals.