In 2019, fine dining flourishes, rule-free, wherever it finds itself. Exhibit A: chef Peter Ungár’s ticketed tasting-menu experience inside the same Somerville warehouse as a hipster-packed brewery. And it is an experience—theater, really—to sit at the 20-seat counter, lined with suit jackets and T-shirts alike, and watch the tiny army on the other side tweeze together stunning plates such as octopus with charred strawberry and local beach-rose vinegar. Away from sky-high Boston rents, Ungár has room to experiment—and reveal what unencumbered talent tastes like.
Near the heart of Central Square, a fireplace-warmed room beats with intangible warmth. This is Pammy’s, where married co-owners Pam and Chris Willis wed the timelessness of an Italian trattoria with a New American ethos that permits giddy riffing: Witness squid ragu over ink-blackened spaghetti with pops of almonds and sweet fried peppers. Add a post-meal affogato at the bar and it’s official—we’re in love.
Photo by Nina Gallant / Styling by Chantal Lambeth
The beautiful space with the epic, high-rise view that used to contain GreenRiver has been sitting dormant in the Gold Coast for more than a year and a half. Now, with the opening of WoodWind this week, a new concept promises high-end cuisine with a serious sense of fun, plus the return of a well-liked Chicago chef.
The ultimate special occasion destination, Tasting Counter — tucked away inside Aeronaut Brewing — offers an elaborate, multi-course adventure of high-technique plates that highlight as many Massachusetts products as possible.
Chris and Pam Willis call their hospitable Cambridge restaurant Pammy’s a “new American trattoria,” but the Italian influences are strong, from the not-to-be-missed pasta dishes (made with flour milled in the restaurant) to the aperitivi.
WoodWind is the name of a regional restaurant featuring small plates that’s coming to the former GreenRiver space on the 18th floor of the Lavin Family Pavilion at 259 E. Erie Street. Craveable Hospitality Group’s — formerly the David Burke Group — plans to open a restaurant at that address were first reported in July.
A duo well-versed in the Italian-American genre is about to reinvigorate a longtime restaurant location in East Boston. Pazza on Porter officially opens on Friday, October 11, filling the short-lived Craft Table & Bar space with handmade pastas, spiedini (grilled skewers), custom-roasted coffee, and more.
This tiny coffee shop lures you in with scratch-made goodies like muffins, scones and cookies, plus kind customer service and a small menu of salads and sandwiches. But it’s the cafe’s devotion to top-level barista work that is its biggest attraction. All of the espresso drinks are made with carefully selected beans (often from New England roasters) and farm-sourced dairy; the foam art alone will make you a regular.
Somerville’s very Bavarian wurst haus goes all out for Oktoberfest, with 21 days of beer, live oom-pah music—and chef Tim Wiechmann’s irresistible menu of weisswurst, spätzle, beer-braised pork shank, a sausage-stuffed bretzel ball, and more. The parties start Thursday, Sept. 19 and run nightly through Sunday, Oct. 13, plus all day on the weekends.
Two chef’s whim tasting menus at Jamaica Plain mainstay Ten Tables cater to omnivores or vegetarians, with four courses and optional wine pairings.
Tasting Counter’s nine-course tasting menu is a complete mystery going in: Based around seasonal ingredients (at least half of which come from Massachusetts), each course is prepared and plated in front of diners, served with options of wine, beer, sake, or non-alcoholic beverages.
A pair of restaurateurs behind Italian spots on the north shore and in Boston’s North End are poised to open a joint venture in East Boston. Raffaele Scalzi (a co-founder of the Boston Pizza Festival, and a co-owner of Casa Mia in Marblehead) and Mivan Spencer (owner of Café Dello Sport in the North End) will open Pazza on Porter in September.
This quiet spot in Somerville offers a bunch of sandwiches, including egg and egg-free options. On the egg side of things, there's a black pepper biscuit sandwich with scrambled egg, cheddar, and optional bacon, and an egg and feta sandwich with tomato and arugula on a brioche roll. Meanwhile, the "Lil Figgy" sandwich comes on seven-grain bread smeared with almond butter, bananas, honey, and cinnamon.
Emory “Andy” Kilgore’s grandfather, the third-generation Emory in his family (Andy’s the fifth), was best known to his friends and family as “Spuds,” on account of his love for potatoes. It’s fitting, then, that a signature dish-in-the-making at Andy’s highly anticipated Beacon Hill bar and kitchen, the Emory, which opens Monday, July 29, is baked potato beignets: buttery choux pastry dough with starchy potatoes and bacon worked right in, fried up fluffy and light and served with cultured cream.
Unsurprisingly, this 20-seat setup tucked inside a Somerville warehouse excels at the format for which it’s named. Chef Peter Ungár continually catches us off-guard with ingenious touches prepared inches away—think: pads of mackerel brined in fermented daikon broth and crowned with turnip kimchi and herbs from the restaurant’s living wall. Also unexpected: the recent launch of TC Market (a line of house-made condiments), not to mention news that an à la carte Counter will land at a local food hall this year.
When Cassandria Campbell and Jackson Renshaw opened their food truck Fresh Food Generation in 2015, it was just that: a food truck.
Since then, their business has expanded to include catering and a cafe space at the DotHouse Health Center in Dorchester, enabling the duo to bring fresh, local, healthy food beyond Dudley Square where they started.
Prepare to eat some not-so-humble pie. Though he’s moved away from his fine-dining roots, Tim Wiechmann promises “chef finesse” for the wood-fired slices at Union Square’s T & B Pizza, opening next door to its German-oriented sibling, Bronwyn, on Tuesday, June 25.
Owners Chris and Pam Willis call it a New American trattoria; we call it perfection in a neighborhood restaurant. It’s the big smile from Pammy herself at the host stand. Chef Chris’s soulful, somewhat-Italian-but-100-percent-his-own menu (hello, mussels with squid-ink arancini and lime-leaf aioli). The showstopping communal table and vases of fresh flowers. For all of those reasons and more, we find ourselves running to Pammy’s warm embrace again and again.