In the late aughts, Michael Leviton followed his successful Newton restaurant, Lumiere, with Persephone in the almost-maybe burgeoning South Boston Waterfront area. It was part of the haute concept Achilles Project — fabulous restaurant plus trendy bar plus high-end clothing shop equals every girl and metrosexual’s wet dream — but it came too soon and proved too swanky as the economy nosedived. Now, two years later, Leviton’s latest establishment, Area Four, opens a new chapter, a new story.
Named for its Cambridge neighborhood and set beside grassy Technology Square, with more windows than walls, A4’s cubist utilitarian interior is surprisingly convivial; the patio on a beautiful July evening, even more so. The ever-changing menu encourages communion via small plates: There are red and yellow beets with a plucky tarragon vinaigrette, mac and cheese topped with croissant breadcrumbs and a pairing of mozzarella with smoked-tomato pesto and spicy fennel vinaigrette. Very spicy, actually.
More shareables include flatbread pizzas — the fontina and wild mushroom ($15) is simply delicious. Entrees are limited to three choices, though, including a Cape Cod bluefish ($19) — paired with zucchini, sweet corn and salsa verde — and a pulled beef short rib sandwich ($14) that’s so tender it’s practically spoonable.
Almost as spoonable is the honey panna cotta ($8) topped with unbelievably tasty berries and those very useful roasted pistachios. Wine and beer are decanted from eco-conscious boxes and barrels, and none the worse for it. Unlike most, however, the soft serve ice cream is homemade and never saw the inside of a box. Yum!