Boston's gained 9,000 new restaurant seats in the past three years, according to Charlie Perkins, founder of Boston Restaurant Group which has found and leased many of those spaces. If it's sometimes hard to keep up with the seemingly unending openings, we suggest a few that will pique your interest and hopefully, make your palate smile!
Now that warmer weather is coming, you'll want to head for the Charlestown Navy Yard where late last summer, Pier 6 opened on the site of the former Tavern on the Water. The virtually re-built, re-designed space offers nautically-inspired decor touches and beautiful views of the surrounding harbor and downtown. Prices range from $5 to $13 at dinner for small plates and $13 to $39 for entrées.
North of the city in the Burlington Marriott Hotel, Chopps American Bar & Grill, the creation of Chef Daniel Bruce of Boston Harbor Hotel and Chef David Verdo with Chef John Costello also offer a diverse range of dishes beyond the typical steakhouse, with numerous creative small plates and appetizers that can be shared. If steaks aren't your thing, go for the large Vegetable Chopps Salad, Lamb Lollichopps Tzatziki or Chopp-Lovers Pizza. Apps and small plates are priced from $8 to $21.
In Boston's vibrant Fort Point Channel, the owners of Island Creek Oyster Bar have a new sibling, Row 34, with a happening bar scene and menu of fresh seafood options from clam chowder to lobster rolls to salmon, bluefish, hake, striped bass and more, there's plenty to choose from with prices starting at $4 for shrimp slider chipotle to the mid $20s for fish dinner entrées.
The Seaport District has a new choice owned by Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier from the former Arrows and MC Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, ME, paying tribute to the Italian Renaissance era, its foods and art. M.C. Spiedo, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, is named for foods that are spit-roasted. Dinner items range from small plates from $5 to $13 and a selection of pizza and calzones ($12-$14) as well as fresh handcrafted pastas ($14-$28) and fish and meat entrées from $21 to $38.
Boston's North End also offers a new spot with a real neighborhood gathering place vibe, Ward 8, opened by Nick Frattoroli, whose family's been in the restaurant business here for 35 years. Unlike the more formal Italian spots he grew up in, Ward 8 is casual with a large bar that encourages dining there, as well as tables. Nine snacking/sharing items are priced from $8 for crispy steak tacos with guacamole to $15 for traditional flatbread with San Marzano sauce and fresh mozzarella. Entrées range from $16 for mac and cheese to $32 for hickory smoked rib eye.