Fenway's Nookie Postal Dishes on His Two Forthcoming Restaurant Concepts
Fenway Park head chef (and former Bravo Around the World in 80 Plates contestant) Nookie Postal is getting out of the ballpark game in the coming months, and going back to his restaurant roots (the chef cooked at places like Oleana before heading to the Green Monster). The Boston Business Journal recently announced Postal’s plans to open Commonwealth, a Kendall Square eatery-cum-gourmet market, and we rang up the chef to get some more info.
Turns out that Commonwealth is just a working title, and will likely not be the final restaurant name, according to Postal: “I know there’s one in Quincy and one in California. We probably won’t end up with Commonwealth, but you have to put something on all the documents,” he says. The dual restaurant/market, though, is very much happening—the waterfront Kendall spot is a mammoth 6,500 square feet, after all. Postal says that the restaurant side will focus on family-style dining, with whole animals and fish and seasonal produce driving the menu of customize-able proteins and sides (think roast chicken, and dressed-up Hen of the Woods mushrooms, Jerusalem artichokes, Swiss chard, and kale). The market side will have salads, soups, and sandwiches during the day, and a chicken rotisserie and much of the restaurant sides available to-go in the evening. There will also be kitchen staples like eggs, milk, and housemade pancake mix. “There’s lots of people that live [in the area], and lots of people that work there,” Postal says. “If you live there, you have to go to Central Square to get a quart of milk. That doesn’t make any sense.” Postal is hoping to secure a full liquor license, and if his concept is approved, a package store under separate ownership will likely open next-door to the market.
Another aspect of Postal’s plans is particularly interesting—the space has a private dining room (complete with a private courtyard!) that during cooler months will play host to the many tech and pharmaceutical workers in the area. But during the warm, outdoor weather, he’ll be making the space a yearly-changing separate restaurant concept (examples he gave me: Shake Shack-style burger spot, a taqueria, a BBQ joint) that will be voted on via Twitter and Facebook by potential customers.
While we’re on the topic of a BBQ joint—Postal has another restaurant under his sleeve, though (alas!!) it will be on New York, not Boston. Steinbones will be a Jewish-influenced bbq joint, and, yes, you’re reading that correctly. Lucky New Yorkers can expect chopped short rib pastrami sandwiches on everything seasoning-topped challah rolls, matzoh ball “hush puppies,” charoset-style apple and walnut slaw, and toppings like Manischewitz-spiked bbq sauce. Postal is still scouting storefronts and commissary space in New York, but the hope is that one day a Steinbones will set up shop in Boston as well.
Per usual, we’ll keep you looped in as we learn more.
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