Restaurant Openings

One of America’s Most Famous Vegan Chefs Has Arrived in Boston

Star restaurateur Matthew Kenney has planted Double Zero, a gourmet pizza and wine bar, in the Back Bay.


Neapolitan-style pizza at Double Zero. / Photo by Adrian Mueller

The man who already has his hands in more than 40 (!) vegan restaurants across the country is sprouting something new in Boston: Double Zero, a plant-based gourmet pizzeria (ooh!) and wine bar (aah!) from James Beard-nominated chef Matthew Kenney, opens on Newbury Street today.

This is the fifth location of Michelin-rated Double Zero, which has its roots in NYC’s East Village, as well as the first Hub project from Kenney. A native New Englander, Kenney recently put his green thumbprints on our region by establishing Plant City, a unique vegan food hall—outfitted with multiple restaurants, bars, a coffee shop, and a market—in Providence, Rhode Island. Although he managed to slide in that Ocean State opening shortly before the world turned upside down, Boston’s Double Zero is a long-awaited launch we thought we were getting in 2019.

No matter. Since then, plant-based dining has only continued to explode in popularity, fueled by important conversations around the health and environmental impacts of meat-heavy diets. We’re seeing it happen in (very) fine dining: When NYC’s Eleven Madison Park, one of the most country’s most celebrated restaurants, reopened in May after its pandemic-time hiatus, it announced it was going entirely meatless. We’re also seeing it happen with meal kits: AC Kitchen, the new home-delivery service from Boston-based personal chef Allen Campbell, who co-created Tom Brady’s famous TB12 Nutrition Manual, is focused on plant-based and “flexitarian” dishes.

Maine native Matthew Kenney blazed trails for high-end vegan cuisine. / Courtesy photo

Now we’re seeing it happen with a fancified pizza destination in Boston’s Back Bay, where Kenney—an early proliferator of sleek and polished vegan eateries—has prepared a menu of Neapolitan-style pies made with Italian 00 flour, a finely ground and low-in-gluten variety that is considered the gold standard for pizza dough.

In the name of science and research, you may now proceed to test this hypothesis by scooping up wood-fired selections such as the Truffle pizza, topped with cashew cream, wild mushrooms, Tuscan kale, and lemon vinaigrette; the Bianca pizza, loaded with non-dairy cheeses such as macadamia ricotta, cashew mozzarella, and almond Parmesan, plus pepperoncini and rapini; and the Pesto pizza, which balances all that basil with other greens like zucchini and arugula. There are also a number of non-pizza small plates like a standout Caesar salad made with sunflower seed dressing, as well as pasta “bolognese” with a walnut and mushroom ragout, and more.

The Boston location of Double Zero resembles the original East Village location, seen here. / Photo by Adrian Mueller

Importantly for any pizza place, Double Zero does offer delivery through third-party services, but it’s worth swinging by to discover the contemporary wood- and concrete-swathed space, or pull up a seat on its patio to sip from the menu of exclusively natural wines. As for Kenney? Expect to see his plant-based empire continue to grow from here: He was recently named chief culinary director of PlantX, a massive digital marketplace of plant-based products, with plans to spearhead the brand’s new meal delivery service.

In the meanwhile, we repeat: pizza, wine, patio. Your move.

163 Newbury St., Boston, 857-350-3405, matthewkenneycuisine.com/double-zero-boston.