Restaurant Openings

Here’s Your First Look at the “Redefined Comfort Food” Menu at Stillwater

Get ready for "Ritz chicken" and jelly doughnut crème brûlée, courtesy of former Lulu's chef Sarah Wade.


biscuits at Stillwater in Boston

At Stillwater, bleu cheese-thyme biscuits come with a side of whipped chicken-drippings butter. / Photo courtesy of Nickerson People Relations

If you love crumbly cheeses of all kinds, “marshmallow-y meringue,” and sub-$14 cocktails (honestly, not too shabby by the standards of many new openings), read on—you’re going to want to check out downtown Boston’s newest restaurant. Stillwater opens Wednesday, August 28, with a tempting lineup of “redefined comfort food” during lunch and dinner from snack-food pro and first-time chef-owner Sarah Wade.

Below, check out the full opening menus for Stillwater—from “sexy snacks,” like crumbly bleu cheese-thyme biscuits with chicken-drippings butter; and everything bagel popcorn with pour-it-yourself butter; to entrees, like house-smoked pork mac and cheese, Ritz Cracker-crusted fried chicken thighs, and butter-toasted gnudi (ricotta dumplings).

Wade is well-versed in all things cheesy, buttery, and otherwise decadent; she was the opening executive chef and later, also the general manager, of Best of Boston beer bar Lulu’s Allston. The chef also won Food Network’s Chopped Gold Medal Games in 2018, in an episode which challenged her to fry something in every round.

But Stillwater isn’t all butter and carbs: Wade developed the place—which replaces the former Townsman restaurant, on the edge of Chinatown and the Leather District—to be part of the fabric of the neighborhood.

That means it has some healthy-ish options, like a multigrain tabbouleh salad with smoked carrot hummus, and sustainably sourced Mediterranean fish. A “brown bag” lunch menu (complete with Mom-style sticky notes tucked inside) launches with Stillwater, ensuring the desk jockeys nearby have ample choices—and a little nostalgic encouragement in the middle of the workday.

House-made desserts, though, are not for the faint of heart: Try saving room for jelly doughnut crème brûlée—a Stillwater brunch menu preview, we can hope??—or pavlova with “marshmallow-y meringue” and grapefruit-vanilla curd.

Also on the menu? “Kick ass cocktails,” plus a dozen options for beer on draft, and wines by the glass.

Boston-based designer Maggie Wraight updated the modern, industrial space with cool blues and warm orange, plus sleek black metal and leather chairs and benches, and light-wood tables. The new operator added in an intimate private dining room, which helps to break up the spacious restaurant; and added high-tops and communal seating. At some point, Stillwater will make use of the secluded dining-patio area outside the Radian building restaurant, too, Eater Boston notes.

Stillwater opens Wednesday, Aug. 28, at 11 a.m. For now, it’s serving lunch and dinner every day, with a brunch menu coming down the line.

Here’s your first look at the Stillwater menus.

Stillwater, 120 Kingston St., Boston, 617-936-3079, stillwaterboston.com.

Chef Sarah Wade

Chef Sarah Wade, who spent five years leading at Lulu’s, will open her own restaurant in Boston, called Stillwater. / Photo by Mark Mendoza