Chef Gita Kantrow is next in line to take over the kitchen at luxe cocktail bar/equally luxe culinary incubator, Wink & Nod in the South End. The 29-year-old Boston native is the driving force of her own Kantrow Catering, and will bring Nepalese cuisine to the Appleton Street restaurant starting Aug. 1.
She follows Brendan Pelley's Greek concept, Pelekasis, which will remain through July, and the acclaimed likes of Whisk and Bread & Salt Hospitality, who both have opened their own restaurants since completing the residencies. Kantrow, a former scholar of Trade, Rialto and Journeyman, weighs in on her favorite places to eat, drink and get some solid 2 a.m. takeout.
Best late night meal?
I have a Regina Pizzeria right next to me. I always get pizza from there, but that's the bad part, I always get pizza.
Best meal under $5?
I'd usually say the $1 oysters at Rialto but they just closed. I don't ever pick up anything already made, so spring rolls are pretty cheap and you can make them for under $5.
Best hidden foodie gem?
When I worked at a startup, there was this place near Atlantic Avenue called Siam Bistro. You wouldn't even notice it but they make amazing food. I get the chicken kra-pow. It's simple, nothing complicated, but with lots of basil and made really spicy.
Best place to dine alone?
The Butcher Shop on Tremont is really small but open. You can walk around and they'll be slicing meat. They have a cool bar and really good food. It's good to go by yourself because you can easily start up a conversation there. If there's too much space, it's harder to talk to people you don't know, but this is cozy and neat.
Go-to date spot?
I like The Beehive in the South End. They have live music daily and it's an amazing space.
Best place to catch up with friends?
I like Scoozi on Newbury Street. You can get sangria on the patio and people watch. It's a neat place to show off the city to people who are visiting from out of town.
Place you recommend for out-of-towners?
I used to live in Dorchester, and at night a lot of the restaurants close early. But I tell people to do takeout from Teriyaki House; it's convenient, not fancy, but I've ordered so much food from there.
Most Instagrammable dish in town?
I love Smith & Wollensky's chocolate cake. It's enormous, decadent and perfect. I love that cake. I think so many people try to get fancy, but for me, I'd rather have something simple but amazing, like a massive slice of chocolate cake.