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By Jessica Bowne and Mackenzie Cummings-Grady | January 4, 2017 | Food & Drink
January in Boston might have a reputation for being cold and snowy, but locals know it’s the best time to explore the city’s fantastic food scene. Warm up with delicious food and drink at these new restaurants you need to try in 2017.
This highly anticipated Peruvian restaurant from the owners of Yvonne’s just opened at the Godfrey Hotel. The sexy sleek space is an exploration of Peruvian and Asian culture, and contains rich flavors from Nikkei and Chifa cuisines. Highlights include an Eggplant Motoyaki, as well as crispy Japanese Butterfish, and a Nantucket Bay scallop ceviche. Expect an inviting space that contains tones of earthy, South American elements, with patterned tiled floors and colorful suspended ropes inspired by Peruvian fabrics. Will Thompson’s cocktail program takes inspiration from the cuisine with complex and rustic cocktails such as the Creole Waltz with rhum barbancourt, pisco mango aji chili, and Jasmine. 505 Washington St., 617-266-0102
Ink Block continues to be a destination for delicious cocktails and food. This sleek, dimly lit cocktail bar is the brainchild of Dropkick Murphy front man Ken Casey and food industry veteran Jarek Mountain. They turned esteemed interior designer and HGTV/Food Network personality Taniya Nayak to set the tone and ambiance for the sleek restaurant. Nosh on the Rock Candy Braised pork belly and pached tuna salad and wash them down with cocktails like the Good Luck Finding a DJ Who Can Move & Shake Like Thissssssss, a mix of gin, cocchi Americano, chartreuse, and orange bitters. 354 Harrison Ave., 857-239-9276
We know the lines and crowds at the new Italian food emporium were slightly tough to bear those first few weeks, but the 45,000-square-foot space was worth the lesson in patience. While local residents will be excited by the fresh fruit and vegetable market as well as the fish monger and butcher, everyone can enjoy the three restaurants, La Pizza & La Pasta, La Piazza, Il Pesce (the latter is a collaboration with Boston chef Barbara Lynch). Shops at Prudential Center, 617-807-7300
South Boston’s reputation as a foodie destination only continues to grow with the addition of this new bistro to the ground floor of the Allure apartment building. The intimate, sleek restaurant with an indoor dining room, bar, and an interior atrium with additional seating, is set to open mid-to-late January with Executive Chef Keenan Langlois at the helm. 11 Dorchester St.
This Fort Point restaurant might have opened in 2016, but it still makes our list of places you need to try in 2017. The cool brick interiors would be perfect for a date night or dinner with a group of friends, and the cocktail cart will please everyone. Opt for dishes like Tarragon Fettucine and the decadent lobster and veal sweetbreads, and finish the meal with the chocolate tart. Thanks to Pastry Chef Brian Mercury, Oak and Rowan’s desserts are easily some of the tastiest and most inventive in the city. 321 A St., 857-284-7742
The first solo restaurant from Chef Tracy Chang (an O Ya alum and co-founder of Guchi’s Midnight Ramen pop-up), the new space in Central Square just opened after the new year. Expect food with Japanese and Spanish flavors, like squid ink oyster bao and and curry crab croqueta. 310 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-945-9290
A sister restaurant to the Painted Burro in Somerville, the Burro Bar is opening in the old Ribelle space in Brookline. Serving Mexican cuisine and cocktails, the bar will have a warmer, more vintage feel than that of its predecessor, with colored velvet furniture, grandiose light fixtures, and sleek wall art. The bar is set to open between late January and early February. 1665 Beacon St., 617-776-0005
Rejoice Back Bay residents! Buttermilk & Bourbon is opening in the former Bar Lola space on Comm. Ave. with a New Orleans inspired menu curated by chef Jason Santos. The restaurant will have a focus on Southern comfort food and bourbon batch drinks, including pork belly cracklings, fried chicken, fried pickles, and Barbeque Shrimp. The restaurant is set to open its doors on February 10. 160 Commonwealth Ave., 617-266-1122
Photography by Nancy Batista-Caswell (oak and Rowan); Adam Detour (Ruka); Matt Li (Pagu)