Here’s an Early Look at Akinto, Now Slated for a Spring Debut

After a 2015 stint at Wink & Nod, Boston Nightlife Ventures is building a restaurant for chef Patrick Enage's Southeast Asian concept.

Akinto Rendering Morris Nathanson Design

Akinto Rendering Provided by Morris Nathanson Design

As a unique culinary incubator, Wink & Nod has been a quite a success for Boston Nightlife Ventures. The restaurant group, which also operates the Tap Trailhouse, Southern Kin Cookhouse, and Griddlers Burgers, is part of the career paths of the entrepreneurs behind Brassica Kitchen, Juliet, and the on-hiatus Pelekasis, who all took up residence at the South End speakeasy. It currently offers Nepali-by-way-of-New England fare by chef Gita Kantrow.

The growing restaurant group is now developing the first full-on restaurant that stems from its culinary incubator. (It’s also planning Certified Meatball Co., currently on track for a fall opening.) Akinto, a Southeast Asian cuisine by chef Patrick Enage, was on the menu at Wink & Nod from March 2015 until January. In December, BNV announced it took over the space next door to Wink & Nod, with plans to give Akinto its own home.

That will happen in spring 2017, the restaurant group says today. The team is working with Morris Nathanson Design to renovate the former Merrill & Co., as Eater Boston reported. Inspired by the streets of Manlia, the Filipino capital and Enage’s hometown, the interior is full of bright colors and fabrics, with different wood accents.

Akinto will have 148 seats, including a 20-seat bar. The team is going for a romantic, sophisticated vibe—think colorful curtains for privacy. There are plans to host live music, and late in the spring, the restaurant will debut a 32-seat patio. There will be a private dining room that abuts onto the patio, opening up indoor/outdoor events space for up to 76 guests.

Akinto—Filipino for “this is mine”—is informed by Enage’s upbringing. He traveled to Indonesia and Vietnam earlier this year to further develop the Southeast Asian concept, sharing photos from his trip on Facebook.

Currently, Enage is experimenting at a Lexington greenhouse with growing indigenous produce for the Akinto menu. He is cultivating tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, Philippine mangoes, banana trees, calamansi fruit, and guavas at the moment, as well as herbs, and bamboo to use as irrigation for the greenhouse, instead of PVC pipes, a BNV rep reports.

When it’s ready to open, Akinto will serve dinner nightly, and will eventually introduce Sunday brunch.

1 Appleton St., Boston,