7 Hearty Stews to Help You Survive the Worst Winter Ever

Warm up with giant bowls of chili and gumbo
February 17, 2015
by Scott Kearnan

It's been a tough two months for area restaurants, with back-to-back snowstorms (and endless T snafus) making it difficult to lure diners out. If the satisfaction of helping some local businesses isn't enough to encourage you to venture out, here's something else that might help: the promise of some soul- and stomach-warming winter stews.

Vegetable chili at Henrietta's Table. Chef Peter Davis' stalwart at the Charles Hotel offers the cozy warmth of a country farm house. So does his fresh-from-the-farm veggie chili, a healthy mix of farro, quinoa, lentil, beans and roasted chile peppers. It's served with housemade cheddar and scallion empanadas and drizzled with a jalapeño-cilantro oil. 1 Bennett St., Cambridge; 617-661-5005 

Persian-spiced winter stew at The Kirkland Tap & Trotter. For more exotic heat, this stew (pictured below) at chef Tony Maws' Somerville restaurant integrates Persian spices with a medley of winter veggies, green rice and a kicky horseradish cream. 425 Washington St., Somerville; 857-259-6585

Brazilian seafood stew at Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar. We love the DIY table-side prep involved in this South End newcomer's stew (pictured below), a heaping mix of whatever's fresh. (Right now, that's littleneck clams, Nantucket bay scallops, rock shrimp, lobster, sea bass and tuna.) Guests add the broth — coconut milk, lobster, tomato and hot peppers —using a pitcher delivered to the table. 412 W. Broadway, South Boston; 617-917-5626

Cacciucco at PostoSpeaking of seafood, you'll want to swim by increasingly prominent restaurateur Joe Cassinelli's original restaurant. The Somerville Italian is serving a tomato-based stew filled with swordfish, scallop, shrimp, bone-in monkfish, calamari and mussels. Use the grilled ciabatta to soak up that saffron- and citrus-spiced broth. 187 Elm St., Somerville; 617-625-0600

Gumbo at Savvor. Couldn't make it to New Orleans for Mardi Gras? We already gathered up a handful of Southern-inspired dishes that will help you make the most of Fat Tuesday. But here's one more Creole-inflected option, courtesy of the soul- and comfort-food slinging Leather District restaurant. The gumbo (pictured at page top) features chicken confit, smoked sausage, shrimp and Jasmine rice. 180 Lincoln St.; 857-250-2165  

Irish beef stew at Stephi's on Tremont. South Boston is usually regarded as the heart of Boston's Irish-American community, and you'll love one of our favorite, hearty and traditional takes on beef stew (pictured above) at this South End eatery. Stout braised beef is mixed with root vegetables and served with an Irish cheddar biscuit to sop up every rich sip of stew. 571 Tremont St.; 617-236-2063

Wild boar chili at Tico. It's game on at Michael Schlow's Tico, where Leo Asaro has stepped in as executive chef. (Outgoing exec George Rodrigues has moved to Schlow's second Tico location in Washington, DC.) He's introduced a wild boar chili, spiced with poblano, jalapeño and red bell peppers, laden with lima beans, and topped with chopped corn nuts. (Yes, the snack food.) 222 Berkeley St.; 617-351-0400

winter food