Piquillo-Almond With Pomegranate Molasses and Fresh Pita at Chickadee in the Boston Design and Innovation Building.
It somehow seems fitting that this week as most Americans are cooking and feasting for Thanksgiving we'd be writing about what many people consider to be Boston's hottest new restaurant right now: Chickadee. Chef John da Silva and Ted Kilpatrick have teamed up to open this cool spot on the "other side" of the very busy Seaport District featuring a Mediterranean inspired menu. It is the very first sit down restaurant at The Boston Design Center, a part of the larger Innovation And Design Building. For folks who have grown weary of the traffic battles to travel and park here we have two words: free parking. And plenty of it.
It is an extraordinary experience right from the start where one is served these fresh pitas, house made and all thick, warm and fluffy like a pillow, just the first of many delicious surprises served up.
We imbibed in the Crimson Sunbird made with gin, huckleberry, jasmine and tonic, every bit as delightful as the glass of Riesling, riding a perfect balance of sweet and dry, a Von Winning "Winnings" Riesling, 2015.
(Foreground) Marinated Beets With Pistachio, Goat Cheese And Ras El Hanout. Charred Eggplant With Bell Pepper and Cilantro.
The salads pictured above were also delectable, all of the details done well especially those candied pistachios in the Beet Salad.
Grilled Salmon With Honeynut Squash, Apple, Leek and Vadouvan. An absolute standout dish.
My marinated, grilled salmon was perfection and as many readers know I am quite fussy about my salmon. Even my dining companion who is not a fan of this fish wanted more. The slightly sweet and smoky layers of flavor made it my instant favorite taste of the day. That vadouvan compendium of spices is everything. This is very worth going back for.
Duck Sausage With Smoked Almond, Grape, Jicama and Mint.
The Duck Sausage was not bad either. The almond was turned out hummus style with more than a slight hint of smokiness, a new experience, and, again, with a balanced layer of tastes and textures that worked perfectly.
Figs With Almond Cake And Gelato.
And, then, of course, there's always dessert, every tiny morsel a new sensation.
The space is spotlessly clean with the bright, airy feel that seems de rigueur these days, an open kitchen and high top tables that were the most comfortable we've ever graced. The service was seamlessly perfect, the dishes inventive and the presentation beautiful.
In fact, the whole area is cool, somewhat reminiscent of that new-yorky-meatpacking-district vibe. Just when we were lamenting the overexpansion of the area it's nice to cut through the congestion and walled-in feeling for a admittedly grittier yet refreshing other side and find this gem. We have not heard one, single bad thing about Chickadee. You should go.
As a final note we had a great conversation with Mr. Kilpatrick on the 2% administration fee charged on all meals in an effort to equalize front and back of house wages, a vexing and delicate problem now facing all restaurants. While most places have not made the leap to address this issue which will crash in with the implementation of a new minimum wage law it seems to be working just fine for them AND their patrons. Congratulations on what many consider to be a bold decision.
21 Drydock Avenue
Boston, MA 02210
We were invited to dine at Chickadee as members of the media with no promise of any editorial consideration.