Last week Aquitaine Boston reopened with a Bastille Day celebration that Sergio and I attended. After closing earlier this year to renovate the 20 year old restaurant, their opening was highly anticipated to say the least. The most notable changes to the restaurant include a private dining section in the space formerly occupied by the tiny wine bar and moving the redesigned 11-seat pewter bar to the left of the newly monogrammed floor entrance.
The restaurant is much lighter. The black and burgundy color scheme has been replaced by French oak paneling and brass antique lighting, but perhaps the most appreciated change by patrons will be the second bathroom. Aquitaine has proposed a 14-seat outdoor patio but that may not be a reality until next summer. The menu remains largely the same, with the exception that their lunch special, featuring many of their plates for $12.95 is not currently being offered.
Sergio & Chef Chef Bob Krajewski
Plat du Jour
Aquitaine Bar courtesy of Aquitaine Boston
Aquitaine monogrammed entrance courtesy of Aquitaine Boston
If you think dining in Boston is getting more expensive you would be correct based on the findings of a recent survey published by Alignable Main Street Insights that was based on research done by First Data.
According to the findings, Boston ranks as the most expensive city in the United States with the average meal price of $44.02. That price point also made Boston the city with the highest weekly revenue transactions for restaurants, despite only ranking only 5th in the number of average weekly transactions. For all of you who want to read more about the survey findings, which ranked and compared the 25 biggest cities in America, click here.
This year Boston JerkFest™ has expanded and is a 2-day festival that will take place this Friday and Saturday at the Ben Franklin Institute of Technology at 41 Berkeley Street in the South End.
The outdoor festival features Jamaican jerk spiced food and all things spicy and hot as well as a rum and brew tasting on Friday, June 24th from 6:00 – 9:30 pm. The event will include live music, unlimited tastings of rum, local craft beer and several Caribbean inspired drinks. Click here to get discounted tickets for Saturday only on goldstar.com.
To get tickets for Friday and the Rum & Brew Tasting visit the official event website, bostonjerkfest.com.
One of the South End’s most popular restaurants, Aquitaine, closed for renovations back on February 21st. Shortly after closing they papered their over-sized windows to hide the work being done but soon that paper will come down and their doors will be open for business.
Although their website indicates a Monday, June 20th opening, rumor has it that Aquitaine Boston is targeting June 15th. Regardless, I can hardly wait to see the newly remodeled space and want to wish them all the best. This is one of my favorite restaurants in the South End, and I have missed Aquitaine over these last 3+ months.
Last fall I wrote about Bar Mezzana’s opening in the Ink Block’s Sepia Building. At the time the projected spring opening seemed so far off it was hard to imagine, but fast forward 6 months and tomorrow on Wednesday, June 1 Bar Mezzana opens to the public adding another Italian dining option to the n’hood.
Friends and Family nights were well received and the hype is building for the 130 seat (and 40-seat outdoor patio) restaurant that has ties to one of the South End’s favorite chefs, Barbara Lynch. Time will tell where Bar Mezzana sits in the pantheon of great South End restaurants but I wish them luck and look forward to trying the neighborhood’s newest restaurant.
360 Harrison Avenue (at the Ink Block)
Boston’s annoying liquor laws seem to irritate just about everyone I know. One law that looks to be changing is the city’s decades-old prohibition of the ‘bring your own booze’ (BYOB) to restaurants. Known for draconian laws with all things related to alcohol, maybe the Boston Licensing Board overturned a ban on BYOB; a trend that started in the 1920s as a way for restaurants to bypass Prohibition-era laws.
Boston Thrillist wrote a nice article on “What You Need To Know” which I’ve distilled for you below if you want to know more.
1 – Nothing has actually changed yet. The changes if implemented will go into effect at the end of this year (not sure the exact date yet).
2 – BYOB won’t be available everywhere. Places with a liquor license will not qualify; mostly this will apply to smaller restaurants with 30 or fewer seats, dine-in service and the appropriate insurance.
3 – Restaurants can charge you a corkage fee.
You can read the full article in Thrillist which was written in January before the Boston Licensing Board overturned the ban online, here.
Kava Neo Taverna is opening their doors for their South End neighbors to stop by and enjoy the neighborhood’s newest restaurant from 6-9PM tonight.
When I stopped by to talk to the team busy at work, it sounded like they were hoping to be open for dinner daily as early as tomorrow, but I still don’t see the restaurant listed for reservations on Open Table so be sure to check back.
Kava Neo Taverna is located across from the South End Buttery on the corner of Union Park and Shawmut in the South End.