Oak + Rowan Lands in Fort Point This Week

With New England-fueled crudo, pastas, hearty meats, and composed desserts from the team behind two dining destinations in Newburyport.
Lamb trio at Oak + Rowan

Lamb trio at Oak + Rowan. / Photo by Katie Noble provided

UPDATE, Wednesday, November 16: Oak + Rowan is officially, officially taking reservations beginning tonight. Enjoy.

PREVIOUSLY:

Boston finally gets a taste of what the Caswell Restaurant Group is capable of this week when Oak + Rowan debuts in Fort Point.

Oak + Rowan is the third concept from Nancy Batista-Caswell, owner of Ceia Kitchen + Bar and Brine in Newburyport, and the 2014 StarChefs Coastal New England Rising Star Restaurateur. In Boston, she’s joined by executive chef Justin Shoults, an alum of both CRG’s Newburyport restaurants, and a Zagat 30 Under 30 honoree; and Food & Wine and Boston magazine award-winning pastry chef Brian Mercury, most recently of Harvest.

Shoults’s menu, with small and large-format plates to share, combines elements of both of the CRG’s two other concepts. It has a range of crudo, including halibut poke with egg yolk, turnip, shallot, and white sturgeon caviar; oysters on the half shell, and composed seafood dishes, a la Brine. The caviar program is expansive, with international selections available by the taste, in flights, and by the ounce, along with miniature Portuguese muffins, care of Mercury. There are prime steaks, as well as beef tartare, a lamb trio, and a daily house-made sausage. Oak + Rowan has a large focus on house-made pastas and breads, as well. Check out the opening menu below.

“Our food is thoughtful, exciting, and utilizes the best ingredients available,” Shoults says in a press release.

Definitely save room for dessert. Mercury’s treats are seasonally driven and rooted in New England classics—roasted apple with hazelnut financier and brown butter; a chocolate tart with malt and chestnut, and crème frâiche—and also modern and elegant. There will also be house-made ice creams and sorbets, in flavors like rosemary pine nut and sweet potato.

On the bar, expect craft beers, with local options from Lord Hobo and Jack’s Abby joining craft selections by Evil Twin and Great Divide on the opening list. CRG wine director Mackenize Campbell highlights small-producer varieties on her ever-changing list, with options from the Americas, France, Italy, as well as regions like Portugal, Germany, and Austria. There are 15 by-the-glass options. Bar manager Chris O’Neill is behind classic and signature cocktails, and also the tableside cocktail cart.

The 5,000-square foot restaurant pays homage to its industrial building, with exposed brick and floor-to-ceiling windows, with elegant, modern design elements including jewel-toned upholstery, oak, and dark marble. Sousa Design Architects, the firm behind many of Boston’s hotspots, led the renovation.

“Boston has no shortage of talented chefs and visionaries, and we’re excited to put our own stamp on the city’s dynamic culinary landscape,” Batista-Caswell says.

Oak + Rowan is in the throes of friends and family services and soft opening this week, and begins taking reservations for dinner on Friday, November 11. It is open nightly from 4:30 p.m.-midnight (dinner begins at 5:15 p.m.).

319A St., Fort Point, Boston, 857-284-7742 / 857-350-4099, oakandrowan.com.

Sepia farfalle / Portuguese English Muffins and caviar

Squid ink farfalle. / Photo by Megan Swann, Star Chefs / Portuguese Muffins and caviar. / Photo by Nancy Batista-Caswell

Photo by Toan Trinh

Photo by Toan Trinh. / Photo by Toan Trinh


Jacqueline Cain Associate Food Editor at Boston Magazine jcain@bostonmagazine.com