Check Out the Menu at Allston’s New Casa Caña Rum Bar
The "nuevo Latina cocina" is now open at the Studio Allston boutique hotel.
A section of Allston rapidly developing into a hip hangout for Harvard affiliates, pastrami connoisseurs, podcasters, beer lovers, musicians, and Trader Joe’s shoppers now has a boutique hotel called Studio Allston. The neighborhood also has a little taste of vintage Havana: Casa Caña is now open at the Studio Allston hotel, shaking up daiquiris and more alongside a menu of Latin-inspired shareable plates.
Casa Caña is the latest from the Lyons Group, which manages 20 Boston hospitality brands including Kings dining and entertainment (and bowling) venues, Lucky’s Lounge, Sonsie, Loretta’s Last Call, and more. This time, Lyons is collaborating with the trio of restaurateurs responsible for South Boston’s lovely, Latin-leaning bar and patio, Publico Street Bistro: Jairo Dominguez, Teodora Bakardzhieva, and Theo Bougas of Trio Restaurant Group. Casa Caña’s executive chef is Tim Hixson, who comes from Babbo Boston.
Located across Soldiers Field Road from Charles River’s Herter Park (and the soon-to-debut Owl’s Nest by Night Shift Brewing), Studio Allston debuted, art-filled, this past spring. It’s a short walk over to the Harvard University-related Western Ave. area dubbed Zone 3, which is home to the Podcast Garage, Aeronaut Brewing Company’s original offsite beer garden, Allston’s first luxury condo development and Trader Joe’s, a Jewish deli whose pastrami rivals Katz’s, a pop-up pizzeria, and more.
Casa Caña’s vibe is inspired by “Havana high life,” with a nostalgic and colorful design eye led by Boston architecture firm Dyer Brown. Bright blues and greens play against tobacco tones and dark woods, mismatched Cuban tiles brighten the concrete floor, light fixtures are mid-century, and accent walls feature bold botanicals. Inside, the space seats 74 (with a semi-private dining room), but outside, it expands with more than 100 additional seats, a second bar, and courtyard fire pits.
Hixson’s menu takes cues from Central and South America, as well as Latin-Caribbean flavors, and puts equal weight on snacks, small plates, and entrées. The team is calling it “nuevo Latina” cuisine, and each dish is going for layered textures, colors, and flavor profiles. Snacks include black bean dip with crunchy pickled onions and tortilla chips; and pancho frito (“fried frank,” aka corn dog) with pineapple salsa and lime aioli. To share, there are several summery salads; slider-sized chorizo fritas with a quail egg and potato sticks; sea bass ceviche; and more. A citrusy, coconut seafood stew; and Puerto Rican-style kan kan pork chops constitute some of the large-plate selections. Check out the opening menu below.
The cocktail program is centered on rum, but is also on board with the trend of other Latin American spirits and bright fruit flavors. You’ll always be able to order a classic mojito, daiquiri, pisco sour, or Cuba Libre; but there are also creative originals, like the Platanos Mole Old Fashioned with Bacardi Diez, crème de banana, and mole bitters; and Copa Cabana, with Leblon Cachaça, passionfruit, apricot, and lime. Groups of four or more can order a crystal punch bowl of a couple creations to share.
The wine list is exclusively South American, while cervezas on draft feature New England beers, and cans and bottles offer Latin American and domestic requisites.
Like any good hotel bar and restaurant, Casa Caña is open daily for guest breakfast. The nuevo cocina opens to the public every day at 3 p.m., with full dinner from 5-11 p.m., and drinks and late-night snacks nightly until 2 a.m.
1234 Soldiers Field Rd., Lower Allston, 617-415-5402, casacanaboston.com