5 restaurant openings we’re excited about this month


Our stomachs are growling with a new seafood restaurant at Encore, an ice cream shop in Chestnut Hill, and more.

Lobster frites at Seamark. Courtesy

Spring is upon us and in addition to the season bringing in new blooms, its an exciting time for new restaurants. From two new concepts as a part of InterContinental’s food and beverage relaunch to a restaurant and speakeasy inspired by New England’s seafaring history and a 37-foot bar at Formula 1’s first simulator arcade in the U.S., our stomachs are growling for a seat at these new tables. 

F1 Arcade in the Seaport features 69 racing simulators and a 37-foot-long bar. – Handout

Spread over 15,500-square-feet in the Seaport, Formula 1 brings a fully-fitted racing arcade to Boston, following the openings of two locations in the UK. The 69 cutting-edge full-motion racing-simulators are the undoubted attraction, yet, food and beverage will not fall by the wayside as the website boasts: “We want our menus to be as memorable as your racing experience.” Expect elevated bar snacks crafted with the highest ingredients, like Maine lobster cocktail ($29) and Ossetra caviar service ($180) under raw bar as well as shared plates, tacos, flatbreads and sandwiches (ranging from $15 to $39). The bar spans 37-feet under chandeliers inspired by F1 circuits while neon lights line the walls to evoke the dynamic racing telemetry. Their signature cocktail will be the Pole Position, a blend of Hendrick’s Gin, Creme de Cocoa, Champagne and delicate raspberry pearls, with other Champagne cocktails, an extensive wine list and rotating craft beers.

87 Pier 4 Blvd.

Opens: April 22

Each year The Greenway Conservancy Food Truck Program returns bigger and better than the previous year. This year, the program celebrates its 15th season with 25 food vendors, including nine new partners. Among the newcomers are Bees and Thank You (known for their decadent grilled cheeses that support pollinator health), Daddy’s Bonetown Burgers (Black Angus patties piled high with everything from truck-made Sriracha pickles and Muenster to smoked onions starting from $10) and Hometown Poke (Hawaiian-Taiwanese fusion with heaping bowls from $15). There’s also the anticipated returning food truck partners like Bibim Box, Cookie Monstah and Papi’s Stuffed Sopapillas. Food trucks will be arranged throughout The Greenway during the week starting from April 1, with weekend lineups beginning on Saturdays from May 4 through October 13 and Sundays from June 1 through October 13, respectively.

“The Conservancy is excited to welcome an expanded array of food vendors [back] to The Greenway this season,” shared Olivia Horte, programs manager at the Conservancy. “Food trucks and carts are an accessible way for aspiring chefs to open their own business without the often unattainable costs that go into opening a brick and mortar restaurant… we strive to uplift small businesses and give them the platform, both literally in the park, and virtually through our media channels, to realize their potential.”

Rose Kennedy Greenway 

Opens: April 1

Matria at the InterContinental Boston. – Courtesy

This Italian steakhouse at InterContinental replaces the former Miel (regional dishes from the south of France) that opened as part of the hotel in 2006. Now, the rebrand will satiate diners’ palates with the culinary delights of the Piedmont region in northern Italy, with an extensive wine list to match the caliber of the kitchen. Pastas will be house made alongside specialty prime cuts like the New York Rib Eye as well as seared wild shrimp and balloon mozzarella, which is teased as one of the steakhouse’s signature dishes (entrees will run from $26-$65). The masterful wine program can be joined at the restaurant or in the new Bar Fellini (replacing RumBaBa). Just in time for the warmer weather, there’s also a fully renovated seasonal patio that’s an extension to the main dining experience. 

510 Atlantic Ave.

Opens: late April

Lobster bisque at Seamark. – Courtesy

Encore’s soon-to-open newest restaurant brings with it a lot of buzz as the Vegas-headquartered group Carver Road Hospitality introduces a pier-to-plate culinary program headed by James Beard award-winning chef Michael Schlow. “Seamark is not only an important expansion for Carver Road Hospitality but it’s also very personal for me,” says Carver Road Hospitality co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Sean Christie. “As a Boston native, I got my start and worked in the food and beverage industry in the area for years before moving to Las Vegas. And, during my time as a Wynn executive, I saw the Encore Boston Harbor site secured and watched the property develop and evolve, so it’s all come full circle,” says Christie.

The menu focuses on signature, seafood recipes that showcase New England’s coastal bounty without being too cliche like spaghetti fra diavolo, lobster frites and a spicy seafood stew (ranging from $32 to $45). Attached to the 82-seat main dining room will be Old Wives’ Tale, a separate and intimate speakeasy that pays homage to New England’s seafaring history from the ocean-inspired glassware to the creative garnishes (oyster leaf topped vesper and Ebi Fumi furikake rimmed libations by master mixologist Francesco Lafranconi) as well as maritime antiques. In addition to the main dining room, there is a 30-seat alcove dining room, 41-seat showcase bar and lounge, 34-seat outdoor terrace, 21-seat corridor terrace, and 16-seat private dining room all tied together with oceanic hues including a range of blues as well as minimalist neutrals that evoke the traditional style of coastal living. 

1 Broadway, Everett

Opens: April 12

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. – Courtesy

What began as a yellow scoop truck on the streets of New York City in 2008, this French-style ice cream has evolved into a beloved brick-and-mortar with 50 scoop shops across the country from California to Colorado and now, Boston. This spring marks the first opening of three Van Leeuwen locations to come to the area—starting in Chestnut Hill, followed by the Seaport (131 Seaport Blvd.) and Harvard Square (1 Brattle Square). The designer ice cream broke onto the scene with their vanilla French-style ice cream that’s crafted with more than double the amount of egg yolks as standard ice cream but has since become praised for their creative seasonal flavors. Think: out-of-the-box limited-edition collaboration flavors like Hidden Valley Ranch and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. They also have their 30 signature flavors such as honeycomb, pistachio (made with pistachios sourced from Mount Etna in Sicily), praline butter cake and Earl Grey tea. “We love Boston and are honored to become part of the amazing culinary scene here,” shared Ben Van Leeuwen, co-founder and CEO. To mark their grand opening in Boston, Van Leeuwen will offer guests dollar scoops from 2 to 6 p.m. on Friday, April 12.

55 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill

Opens: April 12

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