Pastoral provides a country feel in the big city

Watch your pizza be prepared while you wait. / Cr: Derek Kouyoumjian
Watch your pizza be prepared while you wait. / Cr: Derek Kouyoumjian

One thing any packrat crafter will note on walking into Pastoral is how much fun chef/owner Todd Winer undoubtedly had in designing this, his first restaurant. Located in Fort Point, old metal milk bottle crates are inverted as clever light fittings; old windows are screwed together to create a divider between the dining room and bar. But the décor isn’t clutter-bug or showoff; Winer used just enough old stuff to do the job. New fittings—nicely upholstered banquettes and pressed tin ceiling in the alcove—compliment the recycled elements and offset bare concrete pillars and ducting with a brightening dose of pretty.

While kitting out the place was clearly fun, Winer, the chef who put the Met Club’s kitchen on the culinary map and who did time with Bobby Flay and Todd English, says he’s having a blast in the kitchen: “This is more me,” he says, his chef whites swapped for an apron over jeans and a t-shirt.

More me means a succinct casual menu with rich embellishments. Winer went and got himself certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana as an official Pizzaiolo. That means he can make big poufy-crusted Neapolitan style pizza in the big red wood-fired oven clearly visible in the open kitchen. Exotic toppings include duck sausage, while pastas include a hand-rolled mushroom-stuffed plins with a sweet amaretto sauce and grilled escarole. Try the rare cooked hangar steak with a harissa mint sauce. Over drinks, share some pizza dough pasties (called knots) stuffed with olives or roasted garlic or the succulent, lightly-crumbed fried olives.

Winer makes his own unaged fresh cheeses, such as ricotta and mozzarella, and selected each wine, wisely including Californian St. Supery’s green certified, estate bottled sauvignon blanc, which is lightly lemony and delicately floral and perfect for spring. Fair to say, Winer’s hands-on and loving it.

Enjoy the soundtrack while you eat

With the garage door rolled up and windows open, Pastoral greets its first spring with a soundtrack composed of the Velvet Underground, Blur and The Stranglers. There’s rotating artwork featuring Fort Point artists (it’s surprising there are any left, given the rents), and a melt-on-the-tongue crispy Nutella pizzetta. Winer isn’t the only one at Pastoral destined to have fun.

If you go:
Entrees: $18-24
345 Congress St. Boston
617-345-0005
www.pastoralfortpoint.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

National

Donut capers stymie police in Oregon

For more than a month, mysterious vandals have been smearing pastries on cars, depositing donuts in lawns and leaving cakes strewn about the streets.

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.