Juliet, Shepard Land on Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants List

Portland, Maine's Drifters Wife and Oberlin in Providence round out the New England contingent.


Shepard. / Photo by Jim BRUECKNER for “The Interior Design of Shepard in Cambridge”

The Bon Appétit edit team has spent a fair amount of time in the Boston area this year, and today, a couple spots have a coveted distinction to show for it. Somerville café Juliet and Cambridge’s Shepard are singled out among the nation’s Best New Restaurants on the magazine’s annual list, curated by deputy editor (and restaurants go-to) Andrew Knowlton and senior editor Julie Kramer.

Elsewhere in New England, the BonApp team recommends Drifters Wife, which “nails that date-night wine-bar vibe that city dwellers know so well… [but] on the coast of Maine, taking in that salty ocean air,” and Oberlin, a Providence gem for seafood and pasta, which “checks every one of our ‘foods we want to eat right now’ boxes.”

Juliet, which opened in February, is the first permanent venture of former pop-up darlings Bread & Salt Hospitality, aka chef Josh Lewin and partner Katrina Jazayeri. The airy space offers quick-service breakfast and lunch, as well as prix-fixe dining at a comfortable chef’s counter. “Juliet is what you make of it,” the editors write. “One thing is guaranteed: This will be energetic, personal cooking that’s truly one of a kind.”

At Shepard, Knowlton and Kramer found “the smartest restaurant in Cambridge.” James Beard Award-winning chef Susan Regis (UpStairs on the Square) and Rene Becker (Hi-Rise Bread Company) debuted the elementally appealing restaurant late in 2015, earning Regis another JBA nomination in the process. (Not to mention a 4-star Boston magazine review, as well as a national Best New Restaurant nod from Eater.) BonApp notes chef de cuisine Peter McKenzie’s adeptness with open flame cooking, as well as a mastery of flavors and non-traditional ingredients disguised as comforting home-cooking. “You’ll feel like you’ve been invited to a dinner party of Harvard professors, albeit one where the host casually brings out greens with fermented black beans.”

Later this month, the 50 Best New Restaurant contenders will be whittled down to the “Hot 10.” Check out the full list of finalists on bonappetit.com.