Photos by Scott Murry
Lauded local restaurateur and pioneer of the ’90s Boston Euro-club scene (see: sidebar) Seth Greenberg is aiming to have his next city project, Bastille Kitchen, ultimately be more than just a restaurant. And it’s taken the refurbishing of an entire historic Fort Point building from the ground up to come to life.
“I wanted something in that neighborhood, and I fell in love with the space after seeing it. That was the genesis of the project. I saw a void in the market for a great French bistro, and if you really study the restaurant world, particularly in New York, [what's] new [and] en vogue is that Meatpacking District feel. Lots of character. I felt that an interesting bistro in that type of building would be a great thing for Boston.”
It’s been a long time coming too, considering in order to build the restaurant space he and the rest of the Bastille team had to rebuild the entire building simultaneously, so progress could only move at a glacial pace towards completion. Now that it has, it’s a stunner.
“It’s taken a little longer than we hoped,” Greenberg says, adding, “but good things come to those who wait.”
Good things indeed. The raw and natural space houses exposed brick and original structural beams and metal work, a stretch communal table, Edison bulbs all around illuminating the plaid and herringbone upholstered fabrics evoking France-by-way-of-British social club.
Downstairs is another story. Dubbed “Chalet,” the dimly lit subterranean level is actually a lounge and private dining space with its own sleek bar, reclaimed wood walls, six-foot windows to the street, and, down the road, art exhibits and openings for local artists. “At the end of the day it’s inspired by other great projects around the world, while still being original.”
That Meatpacking District-meets-Fort-Point-Channel energy extends to the food, with similar French brasserie sensibilities as the famed Balthazar in Manhattan. Look forward to all-local, sustainable seafood (see: Acadian redfish), New England cheese–like gooey Gruyere atop the French Onion Soup (before it’s topped with a fried egg)–andtea as a reoccurring aromatic component found in their Earl Grey Tea-smoked house butter with sea salt. “It’s a tip of the hat to neighborhood’s [Boston Tea Party] history,” says Greenberg.
And Offal lovers will want to note the roasted bone marrow with sherry-maple glazed sweetbreads.
Lovers of gnawing on bone innards enjoy noting such things.
BASTILLE KITCHEN. SLATED TO OPEN NEXT WEEK IN FORT POINT. 49 MELCHER ST., BOSTON. 617-556-8000. BASTILLEKITCHEN.NET