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.
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.
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.
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.