An Updated Piattini Wine Cafe Reopens After Fire

Check out before and after photos of the Newbury Street restaurant.

Piattini, before and after. / Photos provided

A refreshed Piattini Wine Cafe reopens today after a fire shuttered the 15-year-old Newbury Street restaurant in October. The two-month renovation gave the 80-seat spot a cleaner, more modern look, says owner Josephine Oliviero Megwa.

The restaurant effectively needed a gut renovation, because extensive water and smoke damage affected the electrical wiring, Megwa says. Visually, it has new rustic, Italian tile flooring, a bright, fresh coat of paint, and a multi-wall mural inspired by Renaissance portraits. The bathrooms are also fully updated. Megwa worked with Carlos Salib of SalibDesign.

Besides the eye-catching art, the biggest change is the updated bar. A curved, black-and-white limestone top creates more space for the nine seats there, Megwa says. Piattini had just secured a full liquor license over the summer, so before the fire, the bar team was developing the wine bar’s cocktail program. Seasonal drinks with scratch-made syrups and juices will debut with the relaunch, like Jack Frost, a candy-can rimmed martini, and apple cider sangria. The wine list will continue to offer small labels, and Piattini will host wine dinners every two months.

Chef Luis Cano also has some new dishes, including a homemade sausage and smoked tomato flatbread, and a white pie with grilled pears, gorgonzola, and crispy Swiss chard. Lemon and basil-steamed clams with fettuccine, and risotto with seared sea scallops and asparagus are also new to the menu.

Piattini first opened in 2001, but the surprise renovation wasn’t part of the business plan in its 15th year year. Piattini updated the kitchen in 2012, and there are plans to build an addition in 2017, Megwa says. A current parking lot will be the site of a 1,000-square foot dining room, which will be used for private events. That could open by this summer, she says.

While it’s been tough to deal with the fire and consturction going into a very busy season for Newbury Street businesses, there is a silver lining to the sudden closure, Megwa says. “It was devastating when it happened. But so many people called me I had to shut off my phone,” she says. “We had reservations and office parties we had to cancel. It meant a lot to me [to hear from guests and friends]. It’s more than a business. We are a part of people’s lives,” she says.

After the two-month hiatus, Piattini is charging into the holidays, open Monday-Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. It closes at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will be closed Christmas Day. On New Year’s Day, brunch will begin again and continue every Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., with dinner until 11 p.m. Piattini is now taking reservations for New Year’s Eve.

226 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston, 617-536-2020,