10 Boston Restaurant Openings We’re Excited for This Fall
Plant-based pub grub from a star chef, Asian-inspired spins on New England seafood, and a lot (like, a lot) of exciting Italian spots.
Spring may be the season of new beginnings, but this year, fall is when Boston will see some of the most exciting restaurant launches around the city. Wondering what to keep an eye out for? Here are 10 projects, including a slew of Italian eateries and a pair of fantastic-sounding food halls, to whet your appetite.
The team behind Bar Chicchetti has been busy teasing its opening on Instagram, which makes sense: It’s the first Boston restaurant from celeb chef Fabio Viviani, whose culinary chops and media savvy (he was voted “fan favorite” on his season of Top Chef) have served him well. So far, those IG posts reveal that the Bar Chicchetti crew has been taste-testing a whole slew of modern Italian-skewing small and large plates, from pastas tossed with Calabrian chilis and clams to Roman-style pizzas and pork chop Milanese. And while the downtown-bound restaurant has been cagier about formally confirming its opening timeline, Instagram nonetheless offers a clue in the form of an Apple Harvest cocktail. The whiskey spiked with rich Meletti amaro and apple cider sure makes it sound like we’ll be sipping this autumn.
54 Devonshire St. (Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall), Boston, instagram.com/barchicchettiboston.
We’ve already told you all about Bar Enza, but here’s a brief recap: Moving into the former Benedetto space at Harvard Square’s Charles Hotel, it’s a “neo-enoteca” that marks the homecoming of Boston-area native Mark Ladner, the man who turned NYC’s now-closed Del Posto into one of the country most celebrated fine-dining restaurants—and, in the process, became one of America’s most lauded chefs. (All caught up now?) Laudner previously shared with us that he plans to leverage his relationships with small New England farms to build Bar Enza’s Italian menu—replete with antipasti, sizzling steaks, and a Piatti del Giorgio (“plate of the day”) program—around local ingredients as often as possible. The single most important reminder you need about Bar Enza, though, is that it’s slated to open in late September.
1 Bennett St., Cambridge, bar-enza.com.
There is a saying that good things come in threes and here’s proof: There’s yet another Italian restaurant opening in the fall with a name that starts with Bar. This one is called Bar Volpe (Italian for fox) and the chef-owner at the helm is none other than wily Fox & the Knife wonder Karen Akunowicz. A James Beard Award winner for that beloved Northern Italian-leaning Southie restaurant, Akunowicz will build on her Italian repertoire at nearby Bar Volpe by looking to cuisine from the lower part of the Boot. Seafood and wood-fired fare are expected to play a large role, there will be lots of wines for pairing, and there will be a shop selling Fox Pasta, Akunowicz’s now-national line of handmade bucatini, spinach mafaldini, and more.
170 W. Broadway, South Boston, instagram.com/bar.volpe.
While we may have reached the end of the “Bar”-based joints, the Italian openings roll on with Da LaPosta. So, what’s in a name? This time, it’s pretty straightforward: The place comes from Mario LaPosta, former executive chef of Babbo Enoteca & Pizzeria (since closed) in Boston’s Seaport. LaPosta originally planned to open his namesake restaurant near his old Seaport stomping grounds, but he’s relocated things to Newton, where he’ll import to the suburbs the same stellar pie slinging that he plied in the city. Besides his wood-fired pizzas, lovingly crafted with his own proprietary whole wheat flour and house made mozzarella, LaPosta will serve street food-inspired starters, daily-rotating pastas, and other mains focused on local, seasonal ingredients. Cocktails and Italian wines, especially those from the Campania region where he has ancestral roots, round out the menu.
825 Washington St., Newton, instagram.com/dalaposta.
It was a different, pre-pandemic world when we excitedly shared the news that chef Andrew Brady and Sara Markey, the married duo behind Somerville’s superlative Field & Vine, would team with natural wine expert Lauren Friel (Bow Market’s Rebel Rebel) to open Dear Annie in Cambridge. Well, a lot has happened since then, to say the least—but the time is nearly nigh for this new venture to arrive. While details remain few, we’re plenty excited by the talented team and the basic premise of the place: Dear Annie will take the familiar vibe of an old-school neighborhood pub and inject it with modern panache, pack it full of unique natural wines, and (in lieu of chicken wings, beefy burgers, and other pub-grub standards) churn out a pescatarian menu guided by the same philosophy of sourcing local ingredients that guides Field & Vine. Dear heavens, we can’t wait.
1741 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, instagram.com/dearanniebar.
Charlestown will have an innovative new food hall on its hands sometime late in the fall, when Foundation Kitchen, slated to move into the Graphic Lofts residential building, opens its doors. The space will house a handful of fast-casual eateries for takeout and on-site dining—Wild Fox Pierogi, a popular maker of Polish dumplings, is among the inhabitants—but it will also provide a shared commercial kitchen for use by up-and-coming chefs and entrepreneurs. In other words, expect to see Foundation Kitchen serve as a platform for a whole new wave of pop-ups, creative culinary concepts, and other small-batch-food businesses that would otherwise struggle to find space and resources in Boston.
32 Cambridge St., Charlestown, foundationkitchen.com.
Chef Will Gilson is about to put the capstone on the three-venue destination he has delivered to the Cambridge Crossing neighborhood. First came Cafe Beatrice, an all-day affair with coffee and baked noms; then came the Lexington, a full-service New American restaurant with a lovely roof deck. Now, though, Gilson is getting ready to open Geppetto, his Italian restaurant, at the tail end of September. Although he’s already been teasing some of the menu items via takeout (including some exceptional meatballs and lasagna), this will be a chance to experience his full splay of modern Italian cuisine in a setting appointed with walnut woods, copper accents, and a warm, glowing fireplace while an amaro cart roves the room dispensing drinks. Gilson has tapped great talent to round out the famiiglia: Cafe Beatrice’s pastry guru Brian Mercury will oversee house made gelato, while chef Tony Susi—whose now shuttered Sage restaurants were pioneers in Boston’s contemporary Italian scene—will serve as the macaroni-making “pasta consigliere.”
100 N First St., Cambridge, 617-945-1349, thelexingtoncx.com.
Finally! Somewhere that vegetarians can bring their friend who always complains that meat-free dining is often “too twee.” (You know you’ve got one.) PlantPub, opening next week in Kendall Square, may be powered exclusively by plant-based ingredients, but Iron Chef America alum Mary Dumont—previously at Harvest in Cambridge and Cultivar in downtown Boston—is planning a fast-casual menu that puts cheffy spins on hearty tavern standards. Think: kimchi burgers with spicy sesame slaw and fried cauliflower “wings” served Buffalo or Korean BBQ style. Dumont’s partner in PlantPub, Pat McAuley, isn’t just a triathlete and veggie evangelist (via his podcast Eat Green Make Green), he’s a serial entrepreneur with hands in the craft beer scene. So expect PlantPub to boast an impressive selection of local suds (there’s even a non-alcoholic IPA from Vermont’s Rescue Club Brewing Co.) and other elixirs, such as Los Angeles-based Pulp Culture’s hard pressed juice.
675 West Kendall Street, Cambridge, plantpub.com.
As sad as we are that chef Jason Bond’s darling Bondir recently closed in Cambridge, we can’t help but be excited by the sound of Judy’s Bay, which will move into the space this fall. After a few years of running Asian-inspired barbecue pop-ups around town, spouses Kim Vo and Lukas Dow have found a permanent home for their restaurant, which will apply Japanese izakaya-informed flavors and culinary approaches to New England seafood standards: baked stuffed lobster with panko, ginger, and scallion, nori-dusted clams, and scup in silken tofu are among the possibilities that Vow previously floated. The restaurant is named for his grandmother, who cofounded a decades-spanning restaurant, Wah May, in Fairhaven, Mass. Luckily it has a full liquor license because we are excited to toast this loving tribute to her hospitality as soon as it opens.
279A Broadway, Cambridge, judysbay.com.
High Street Place
After all the attendant pandemic-time delays, this massive Financial District food hall should finally be ready to open its doors this season. If you need a refresher on all the previously announced eateries, check out our extensive coverage here. The handful of highlights, though, includes the return of Wheelhouse (a previous Best of Boston winner for its epic burgers), a second taproom for Newburyport Brewing Co., and two projects from star chef Tiffani Faison: Dive Bar and Tenderoni’s, serving raw seafood selections and throwback-pizza-parlor eats, respectively.
100 High St., Boston, highstreetplace.com.