“We’ve been able to harness the creativity and talent of our kitchen and bar by reanimating a private dining space.”
It’s no secret that Boston restaurants are struggling. Between the constantly changing regulations and overall decrease in customers, this is the toughest year that local restaurants have ever faced. They continue to fight for their lives by innovating, making changes to dinner service, and finding new ways to feed their communities. Some restaurateurs have even decided to open entirely new concepts to serve specific needs for their diners as the temperatures drop and patio dining becomes less and less feasible.
On Nov 11, the owners of Troquet on South opened a new concept called Offsuit. Putting a previously unused back room to new use, Offsuit is a hidden, socially distanced speakeasy. With high ceilings, plenty of room between tables, and lots of airflow, it’s both cozy and spacious. For now, the restaurant seats just 15 due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the energy is buzzing.
The entrance through the Utica Street alley is marked with just a #5 and is first come, first served. In a time where “going to the bar” is outlawed, this cocktail-forward restaurant is a breath of fresh air (even under a mask!). “With Offsuit, we’ve been able to harness the creativity and talent of our kitchen and bar by reanimating a private dining space attached to the rear of the restaurant,” said Chris Campbell, owner and sommelier at Troquet on South.
The team has managed to make social distancing feel intimate through dim lighting, ambient vinyl tunes, and retro decor. While all COVID-19 preventative measures are followed very closely, this is one of the rare places we’ve been in Boston where you can truly unwind from the stresses of the news cycle—you’ll want to ignore all the notifications on your phone for an evening and cherish the time with your COVID-approved-dinnermates.
According to beverage director Matt Marini, the beverage program has a “no frills, no fuss” approach. Which is not to say that they don’t have inventive cocktails on the menu, but rather that what you see on the menu is what you get. Expect well-executed drinks, served in a straightforward manner. The Siberian Kiss and the Isolated Incident are must tries, but there is surely something for everyone on the list.
For food, because Offsuit shares chef Tyler Stout with Troquet on South, expect a similar combination of internationally inspired cuisine with things such as yakitori skewers, a Chicago-style pork chop sandwich, charcuterie, and crispy pig ears on the menu. The theme is cozy, belly-warming dishes to help soothe the tough year that we’ve all had.
OFFSUIT. WED-SUN, 4-9:30PM. 21+. First come, first served. Only parties of four or fewer are allowed.
J.Q. Louise is a food and travel writer based in Boston. Join her 100,000+ followers on Instagram @jqlouise and on her blog at https://jqlouise.com.