In late May, the just in-bloom Rose Kennedy Greenway gained two new, quite different eateries. The largest, Palm [One International Place, 617-867-9292, thepalm.com] overlooks the Greenway at the Oliver Street intersection via floor-to-ceiling windows and a spacious patio. Formerly situated in smaller digs in Copley Place, Palm’s soaring ceilings and terra-cotta marble make for grand ambiance.
Contrasting nicely with the lofty design are the post-WWII style cartoon wall etchings, which caricature local sports heroes — and advertise with complimentary self-references. On the rear wall, horseshoe-shaped red leather booths are the kind of tables where you might imagine a diamond-dripping Elizabeth Taylor downing martinis or Don Draper sealing a tryst.
Palm opened in 1926 in midtown Manhattan and now boasts 30 restaurants. You won’t see words like “naturally raised” or “organic” on this menu. Steaks, seafood and hearty Italian dishes such as chicken parm form a focus. Among Palm’s signature items is a colossal lump crabmeat cocktail. Succulent crabmeat is encased in radicchio and served with horseradish. It’s perfectly chilled and tasty, but colossal refers to the flake of the crabmeat, not the size of the dish, which is small. Another signature, the Louis “Gigi” Delmaestro salad, is a chopped salad with an iceberg base, laced with shrimp, egg and avocado, and seasoned with chunks of bacon and juicy onion. If you have room, top if off with a rich flourless chocolate torte.
For lighter fare, head across the Greenway, at the intersection of Cross and Salem streets, to Lee Napoli’s Bread + Butter [64 Cross St., 617-248-6900, breadbutterboston.com]. The new bakery and cafe serves up salads, sandwiches (try a grilled pear and brie with fig jam), croissants, cakes and cookies. Napoli is a longtime fixture on this town’s culinary scene — she cut her pastry chef teeth more than a decade ago during Boston’s fine dining revolution and also heads the wonderful Chocolee handmade chocolate store in the South End.