Through spring and early summer, a message on Forum’s website stated simply, “Coming back in August.”
No further information was needed to explain why the Boylston Street restaurant’s doors were closed during dining’s busiest time of the year. Forum was caught in the devastation wreaked by the Marathon bombers in the Back Bay on April 15. Today, exactly four months since that tragic afternoon, Forum returns to business.
“It hasn’t felt right with our doors closed through the spring and summer,” says general manager Chris Loper. “Maybe this is the missing piece for us and the city.”
Fortunately, no staff or diners were harmed by the blasts, which blew out the front window, but caused no major integral structural damage. Soon, however, minor repairs evolved into renovations that have given the two-year-old Forum a whole new look.
“We always thought that people passing by on the street might think the restaurant looked sterile, a bit night clubby,” says Loper of Forum, which is part of Boston Nightlife Ventures, whose restaurants also include Noche in the South End and The Tap in Faneuil Hall. “It looked dark and the outside is black. We wanted to brighten the space. We decided to rethink our appearance for a warmer look.”
Another big change takes the form of new chef Dan Shroeder at the kitchen's helm. “I knew he was good from working with him at various places, but he has passion in the kitchen like no one else I’ve ever seen,” Loper says warmly. “We’ve gotten a lot of curiosity and support from old customers and people in the neighborhood,” he adds. “We have an opportunity to regroup and create a different kind of place.”
The New Menu
Shroeder’s menu will be more inventive, particularly the dinner menu. “We’ve upped the ante a little bit,” says Loper. “Before it was more casual, the usual things like flatbreads. We wanted to bump it up and have more upscale dishes, and at night particularly.”
New dinner dishes include halibut with lobster chorizo risotto, pork chop with the chef’s own recipe mac and cheese, Asian marinated quail and a New York sirloin whose accompaniments include fried hollandaise sauce.
755 Boylston St.