Patricia Yeo’s Moksa. Jody Adams’s Trade. Louie DiBicarri’s Storyville. Tiffani Faison’s Sweet Cheeks. And on and on. From speakeasies to ‘cue joints, it’s an astounding season for restaurant openings here in Boston. And, as such, we naturally took it upon ourselves to preview some of these newcomers’ most delectable nibbles. (Do note that a few of these restaurants haven’t even opened yet, so you’ll have to content yourself with mouthwatering photos … for now.) We also saw fit to sample a few exciting new dishes at some tried-and-true classics, from Bistro du Midi to 51 Lincoln. In sum, we’re pretty pumped for autumn here in Boston. After viewing our slideshow, we hope you will be, too. And when you’re done checking out our picks, make sure you head over to our other Grub Street editions — Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco — to see what they’re looking forward to this fall. Happy eating.
Moksa450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; Opens in OctoberWe can’t wait for Patricia Yeo to open her izakaya in Central Square. Not long ago, she described it to us as “Ginger Park on steroids.” In the meantime, we’ll conserve our strength and gaze at this photo of her curried wild boar samosa.
Trade540 Atlantic Ave., Boston; Opens in Mid-OctoberJody Adams’s extremely anticipated restaurant at Atlantic Wharf is going to be one of the hottest openings of the season. Her menu, inspired by travels to Italy, Spain, Africa, France, and beyond, will rely on clear, straightforward flavors. Simply grilled fish will be a mainstay.
300 Technology Sq., Cambridge; 617-576-3000; Available now William Kovel has brought fresh life to Kendall Square with his sleek, high-concept Catalyst, fashioned as both techie boardroom and fine-dining destination. The Four Seasons and 28 Degrees alum has these crispy pork rillettes on the menu, a satisfying mid-autumn nibble even for those discriminating MIT’ers next door.
Sweet Cheeks1381 Boylston St, Boston; Opens in OctoberWhen Tiffani Faison’s old employer, Rocca, shut down several months ago, we wondered what was in store. But we weren’t worried: We knew she’d bounce back with something quirky, and that something is Sweet Cheeks, a down-home BBQ joint just up the road from Fenway. She predicts that this dish will become a signature. We won’t disagree.
354 Congress St., Boston; 617-737-0099; Available now As soon as we get that raise/book deal/modeling contract that we’re sure will happen any day now, we’ll celebrate at Menton. No, it’s not a new restaurant, but it’s a modern classic that set a fresh standard for fine dining in this city. We imagine biting into this chestnut ravioli, one of Chef Colin Lynch’s new innovations, as the snow starts to fall outside.
581 Washington St., Boston; 617-956-0888; Available nowBina’s gone through a few chefs but seems to be hitting its stride once again with Chef Will Foden. We never would have expected to find lamb’s brains in Downtown Crossing, but here they are, on the restaurant’s new Frattaglie menu. (Translation: offal.) These are served with lemon and fried sage.
Craigie on Main
853 Main St., Cambridge; 617-497-5511; Available nowTony Maws has added this earthy pasta to his ever-changing menu for autumn; we’re used to eating adventurous animal parts at Craigie, so this pasta is a comforting change. We’ll order it as a first course before experimenting.
222 Berkeley St., Boston; 617-351-0400; Available nowMichael Schlow’s new pan-Latin carnival in the Back Bay has become a go-to for small plates; silky risotto offset by nubs of chorizo and chiles is at once soothing and spicy.
279A Broadway, Cambridge; 617-661-0009; Available nowSure, Bon Appetit just named Bondir one of the best new restaurants in America. But that hasn’t gone to Chef Jason Bond’s head. He snapped this soup shot himself, saying that it’s one of his favorite new dishes. “We went out into the kitchen garden and picked what’s best,” he told us. “Celery root, celery, parsnip, carrots, big Forono beets, fresh-dug onions, and their greens.” It’s garnished with, among other things, seared pork jowl. Za’atar marjoram adds a kick of spice. More, please.
470 Centre St., Boston; 617-477-4851; Available nowJamaica Plain’s new tapas go-to now offers a trio of rich, cocoa-braised oxtails. They’re crowned with Monte de Vinha, a raw sheep’s milk cheese from Portugal, and piparras, a vinegary pickled pepper from Spain. Down a few bites, then browse the restaurant’s collection of vinyl.
51 Lincoln51 Lincoln St., Newton; 617-965-3100; Available nowTomato season is on the wane, so we’ll get this spontaneous, pretty creation from Chef Jeff Fournier while we still can, for a last gasp of summer.
90 Exeter St., Boston; 617-236-1134; Available nowMadcap chef Louis DiBiccari is at the helm of this reincarnated speakeasy that opened last month in the Back Bay. His Big Easy-meets-Boston menu is designed for sharing, and this dish is one of his favorites.
900 Boylston St., Boston; 617-247-0400; Available nowLydia Shire’s famous popovers get a naughty twist this season with a shot of Jack Daniel’s, whose honey tones she considers nicely suited to fall. Order them as a duo with whiskey for $14 at one of Towne’s three bars, and remember: Shire only uses Lyles Golden Syrup, direct from England, for her signature dish. “Regular honey won’t produce the same results,” she says. Of course, we know what kind of results the whiskey will produce.
Bistro du Midi
272 Boylston St., Boston; 617-426-7878; Available nowChef Robert Sisca braises his octopus for more than two hours, then tops it with a salad of clementines, raw baby artichokes, and briny olives. Crispy, crunchy artichokes complete the dish.
Trina’s Starlite Lounge
3 Beacon St., Somerville; 617-576-0006; Available nowChef Suzi Maitland just added this pasta to usher in fall. Butternut squash ravioli, stuffed with pumpkin puree, is made by nearby Lilly’s Gourmet. It’s tossed in a sweet corn sauce with grilled corn kernels, finished with spiced hazelnuts and arugula.
33 Stanhope St., Boston; 617-742-3333; Available nowFinally, a reason to venture over to Stanhope Street: The Brahmin, which opened this summer, has an array of very good bite-size savories on its menu. These plump scallops, wrapped with bacon and drizzled in orange-maple reduction, are wholesomely delicious.
The Langham250 Franklin St., Boston; 617-451-1900; Available nowOur slideshow wouldn’t be complete without at least one sweet treat, and a pumpkin mousse torte from the Langham’s seasonal chocolate brunch seemed the perfect fit. After all, who can resist praline, Valrhona Caramelia milk chocolate, pumpkin vanilla mousse, and toasted pumpkin seeds? We might gain a few pounds, but we’ll hide ‘em underneath our fall fleece.