Several new restaurants are set to open in South Boston by spring, mostly in the highly trafficked Waterfront and Fort Point areas. From the Seaport to deep Southie, this area has slowly evolved over the past decade as a prime dining destination. Sadly, South Boston lost early innovators like the late Achilles Project, but it’s steadily gained traction for local and destination dining. We’ve chosen seven hot South Boston eateries to try now.
Dress to impress
How fitting that Southie native Barbara Lynch should base her empire and flagship restaurant, Menton, in Fort Point. Menton is not only the poshest and most lauded restaurant in South Boston — it is the poshest and most lauded restaurant in Boston. In addition to being a AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property, it’s our city’s only Relais & Chateaux awarded restaurant. Expect two things then: Exemplary cuisine and expensive prices.
Try: Monkfish with kumquat and pine nuts; Earl Grey infused coconut cremeux.
Prix fixe: $95-$155
354 Congress St.
Forget the snooty salespeople downstairs, forget the horrendous construction right next door, Sam’s at Louis is a soothing minimalist space to go for “me time” or “we time.” It has exceptional water views — right over the Harborwalk and the harbor — making it the best spot for daylight dining. Whereas nighttime sports another kind of sexy. And let’s not forget chef Asia Mei’s progressive, yet homely cooking.
Try: Vegan tofu scramble for brunch or baked gnocchi with Parmesan cream and crisped capers.
60 Northern Ave.
Gather is as much about the social meet-up as it is the culinary hook-up. Located in the Innovation District’s District Hall, its Spartan-rustic interior is paired with chef Dennis Wilson’s menu of sharable nibbles and innovative, healthy-leaning entrees. The bar is usually brimming with after-work chitchat, but the food is well worth staying on for.
Try: Smoky flavored dates with blue cheese and bacon; cod with roasted beets, ginger and carrot puree; and grilled baby clams.
75 Northern Ave.
Cozy up and ride out the winter
Local 149 is situated steps from Carson Beach and Castle Island. It’s the perfect spot to cozy up for dinner and drinks. With seriously good bloody marys and nerve-soothing comfort food, it’s great for a hair-of-the-dog brunch. Aptly named, Local’s fireplace and old knickknacks create a cozy ambiance, and chef David Nevins’ down-to-earth menu makes it an affordable, everyday hang.
Try: Seasonally inspired arancini or branzini with crab aioli.
149 P St.
Swagger ’n’ strut
Fan Pier’s Empire Restaurant and Lounge is a bold, club-y space with an open kitchen serving up pan-Asian culinary dishes and some seriously Westernized, but utterly delicious, deluxe sushi. It’s the place for a night out, for a party, or just to enjoy Chef Kevin Long’s irresistible menu.
Try:Singapore street noodles with shrimp, veggies, and char sui pork in peppery Madras curry spice or Alaskan black cod with a sake soy glaze and wilted bok choy.
One Marina Park Drive
Party night or date night
Stephi’s in Southie, the funkier sister restaurant to Back Bay stalwart Stephanie’s on Newbury, draws in locals ready to party it up in the open-plan bar, as well as groups and couples ready to relax in the dining room. The room’s cheery orange color theme brightens the mood. With executive chef Corey Comeau’s comfort food — fish and chips, risotto — and entree salads, there’s something to please everyone.
Try: Slow-roasted cauliflower with tomato-olive oil coulis or quinoa topped with dates, honey and roasted butternut squash.
130 Dorchester Ave.
Artsy foodie outing
Tavern Road’s striking 30-foot-wide mural is a somber neo-realist epic, created by local artists Project Super Friends. It pays homage to an uncle of co-owner brothers Louis and Michael DiBiccari, who started Studio Sundays in the adjacent TR Street Foods space on the third Sunday of every month. Go for the art, stay for the food.
Try: Polenta with soft poached egg or fried parmesan-garbanzo batons.
343 Congress St.