Summer is winding down. (Sorry.) The good news: fall is always a big season for new restaurant openings, and this year appears to be no exception. We looked to September and beyond and pulled out eight openings we're especially excited to see, from a futuristic, science-driven eatery in Cambridge to a history-steeped tavern by Faneuil Hall.
The Gist: Boston is the third city to receive this accessibly upscale bistro brand from international star chef Daniel Boulud, which replaces Asana inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. This (very realistic) rendering from Tihany Design, the same firm behind Daniel, Per Se and Aureole in New York, shows off some of the interior, which includes a dramatic wood ceiling that evokes wine barrels; a 68-seat dining room filled with tufted banquettes, oak and stone; a marble charcuterie counter and glowing, zinc-top bar. Expect alfresco dining on Boylston Street too. For more info straight from the main man himself, check out our Q&A with Boulud here.
776 Boylston St.
The Gist: "Eclectic small plates" and an "innovative charcuterie program" (pictured) will be the focus of this 49-seat restaurant, which comes from the team behind chef-owner Keith Pooler's understated Somerville gem Bergamot. (BISq stands for Bergamot Inman Square.) Bergamot's current sous, Dan Bazzinotti, will take the reins at BISq; Bergamot's wine director Kai Gagnon will import his beverage expertise in addition to serving as BISq's GM. As for the space: expect two bars, including one "food bar" overlooking the open kitchen, walls lined with panels of subway wood, and a chandelier made of wine bottles. To whet your appetite, follow @bisqcambridge on Twitter; we're told the restaurant will be soft-launching select menu items as specials over the next few months.
1071 Cambridge St., Somerville
The Gist: This is going to be big. Cafe ArtScience is the brainchild of Dr. David Edwards, the Harvard professor and engineering genius behind Le Laboratoire, a Paris innovation center merging art and science, which opens a Cambridge location this fall. It includes the consumer-facing Cafe ArtScience, which will allow guests to get closely acquainted with Edwards' groundbreaking approaches to food. The restaurant is “an innovative environment where we pioneer the future of food with an eye toward better, healthier, sustainable living,” Edwards tells us, calling its 25-seat bar the "focus of its experimental activity." Behind that bar will be Clio alum Todd Maul, a Mr. Wizard of mixology who is known to wield a centrifuge as a cocktail tool. Bar patrons can also try noshes from WikiFoods, Edwards’ company that makes futuristic eats with their own natural, edible packaging: like the strawberry-vanilla frozen yogurt pearls seen here, created in collaboration with Stonyfield yogurt and already available in Whole Foods stores. The bar will also employ innovative WikiWare, which Edwards says will answer the question, "What tableware would Louis XIV have used if WikiFoods had existed at the time?” In the main dining room, expect gimmick-free, French-inflected cuisine from former No. 9 Park and Eastern Standard chef Patrick Campbell, says Edwards, who emphasizes that "molecular gastronomy" this is not: “It won’t be spectacle. Think of Patrick as an ombudsman between the public and the future of food. If something is showing up on the menu, it’s not a complete experiment. It’s from a sane chef who thought this through!” The 2,500-sq.-ft. space will also include a 100-seat auditorium for complementary programs and seminars on food innovation and sustainability, as well as an "oPhone hot spot" where guests can compose, send and receive scent-tagged messages ("oNotes") using technology that Edwards invented. He used it this summer to send the first transatlantic scent messages.
ETA: Soft open September 22; grand opening October 30
650 E. Kendall St., Cambridge
The Gist: A "high-energy izakaya" from the owners of O Ya, chef Tim Cushman and his wife, sake sommelier Nancy Cushman. O Ya, of course, is consistently rated among the top restaurants in Boston. It's also among the priciest. But expect a very different vibe at this Japanese pub inside the Verb Hotel, a funky property that marries midcentury-modern design with a rock 'n' roll theme. A rep described the direction to the Boston Globe as "Tokyo pop," and suggested the Cushmans' band, Blue Cheese, may occasionally perform. The land of $275 omakase this is is not.
ETA: Late fall
1271 Boylston St.
Legal on the Mystic
The Gist: The Legal Sea Foods brand launches the next in its growing fleet of conceptual one-offs, a 7,000-sq.-ft. restaurant at Assembly Row in Somerville. The interior will feature an industrial vibe designed by Atlanta's The Johnson Studio (the same firm behind Boston's Del Frisco's Steakhouse), with hard finishes like steel pipes, metal mesh, concrete and brick, plus cypress and walnut millwork. There will be an open expo kitchen featuring glossy yellow tile and an antique brass hood, and a "large beer cooler" and wine display that will serve as a decor feature. The main dining room will seat 240, including a 30-seat bar. Roll-up garage doors will lead to an outdoor dining area for 36. They're still keeping mum on the menu, but we do know shareable plates are on the agenda.
301 Great River Rd.; Somerville
The Gist: Coming to Downtown is this new home to Southern Italian cuisine and errant apostrophes. (The name is actually derived from the Neapolitan slang term "O'mast," which means "the master of one's craft.") In the kitchen is chef Celio Pereira, a 17-year alum of the North End's elegant Mamma Maria, who will employ his masterful craft in the name of housemade pastas, sausages and Neapolitan street food (like fried baby octopus). The 4,000-sq.-ft. space will have a 30-seat patio and an interior from Restaurant: Impossible and HGTV personality Taniya Nayak (pictured), the locally based designer who was also behind Hub spots Bostonia Public House, Blue Inc. and Petit Robert Central, among others. Expect steampunk accents, rentable lockers for storing scotch, wine and cordials and a "pizza bar."
45 Province St.
Strip by Strega
The Gist: The restaurateur is expanding his Strega brand to the enviable Park Square space that formerly housed Whiskey Park. This steak-centric Italian eatery will join his Strega Ristorante, Strega Waterfront, Strega Prime and Nico Ristorante. Aside from its meaty ambitions, there hasn't been much more revealed on the eatery since a March flap over a (short-lived) series of ads.
ETA: Late fall
64 Arlington St.
The Gist: Goodbye, The Tap. Welcome, Tap Trailhouse, featuring "Independence Served Daily." At least, according to the pint glasses you'll find at this new concept from Boston Nightlife Ventures (Forum, Wink & Nod), which has re-conceptualized the dive-y Faneuil Hall-side spot. Expect a newly elevated bar-food menu and upgraded beverage program: wines, cocktails and 24 New England craft brews on tap, including its own IPA brew, The Tap's Trail Ale, which will flow from drafts that boast handles shaped like Colonial-era guns. Warm woods and history-steeped decor will be "inspired by the nearby Freedom Trail." Cheers!
ETA: Monday, September 8 according to Facebook post from Boston Nightlife Ventures.
17 Union St.