Five Things to Eat at Peregrine in Beacon Hill
Here's what to order at the new Italian islands-inspired restaurant—complete with wine pairings.
We have lift-off.
This week, Peregrine finally opened right inside the lobby of the dapper new Whitney Hotel in Beacon Hill. The restaurant—named for the fast-flying falcon—takes much of its culinary inspiration from the Italian islands, with nods to surrounding regions. And it comes from chef Josh Lewin and Katrina Jazayeri, the duo behind Juliet in Somerville. (Which happens to be on our list of the 50 best restaurants around town.) This was one we were waiting for.
We previously spoke with the couple to learn all about their travels in Italy and other general inspirations for the concept—you can find that here. But now that they’ve officially nested this new project, we asked them to share some specific menu highlights that reflect the story they’re trying to tell. (Jazayeri, who oversees the wine list, provided some suggested pairings, too.) Now that you know where you’re going, here’s what to eat when you take your perch.
“We have strong feelings about ham,” says Lewin with a laugh. He’s not kidding, though; expect Jamón serrano to be a mainstay on the “Antipasti/Salumi/Crudo” section of the menu. After all, “the best cured hams in the world come from Spain,” Lewin says. Why the detour from Peregrine’s primarily Italian influences? Lewin says that compared to ham from Italian pigs, which are often bred to produce more fat cap (a thick white layer that lends to “amazing Italian sausages”), Spanish ham has a luscious marbling that makes it tops for noshing as a starter. (And that was supported by a blind taste-test of hams at one of the Peregrine preview dinners, Lewin adds. Strong feelings: validated.)
Pair it with: Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco “Fondatore” (Emilia-Romagna)
Mussels and clams “Pommidoro” style
No, that’s not a misspelling of pomodoro. Pommidoro is the name of a trattoria in Rome where Lewin and Jazayeri shared one of their favorite meals together—and returned with inspiration for this dish. A garlicky, herb-laden tomato sauce with oodles of olive oil accompanies steamed local mussels, wild-harvested from the open ocean off the coast of Chatham. (Lewin points out that commercial mussels are much more commonly farm-raised.)
Pair it with: Domaine Réveille Macabeo “On Aura Tout Bu” 2018 (Cotes Catalanes)
All-day omelettes are a tradition at Juliet, so the team decided to include this reference to their first restaurant at their second breakfast-through-dinner venture. Although Peregrine looks primarily to the Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily, Lewin says this was a chance to reflect traditions from the nearby French island of Corsica. The savory omelette is cooked with fresh herbs and lemon peel, and arrives with sheep’s-milk cheese and garlicky breadcrumbs.
Pair it with: Paterna, Malvasia+Trebbiano. “il Terraio” (Tuscany)
Steak “Italian and Catalonian style”
Lewin says this steakhouse-inspired “after-work dish” is designed to “fill you up and send you on your way.” He wanted to take inspiration from both the Boot and Spain’s Catalonia coast, and the result includes roasted garlic aioli; potatoes al forno, cooked with rosemary and (even more) garlic; and a crunchy finishing salt made with anchovies and fennel. The steaks are cut from the chuck roll, an “economical” choice that also introduces some nice marbling.
Pair it with: Division Pinot Noir, “Methode Carbonique” 2018 (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
Tagliatelle alla vongole
Aside from a few imported Italian varieties, most of the pasta at Peregrine is made in-house. That includes these ribbons of tagliatelle, which contain a “good dose” of black pepper and black truffles right in the dough, Lewin says. (When coupled with local clams, he says, there’s a “peppery clam chowder” sensibility that tips a hat to New England.) Add white wine, butter, a finishing salt of black truffle, and some chili oil. Serve. Repeat nightly—or at least, whenever you fly by Beacon Hill.
Pair it with: Cardedu, Vermentino di Sardegna. “Nuo” 2017 (Sardegna)
170 Charles St., Boston, 617-367-1866, peregrineboston.com.