It's almost go time at Doretta Taverna and Raw Bar, the new Greek restaurant from Boston star chef Michael Schlow. The man behind Alta Strada, Tico and many past hits (including the beloved, now-defunct Financial District destination Radius) has turned the space that formerly housed his Italian restaurant Via Matta into a Greek concept that should lure a whole new crowd to 79 Park Plaza by Boston Common.
Doors are slated to open to the public next week, but we snuck in a bit early to take a peek around and learn a bit more. Here's what you can expect when you stop in.
The Greek heritage of Schlow's wife, Adrienne, whose family hails from Sparta, inspired the culinary direction of Doretta. Schlow strives to maintain the simplicity of Mediterranean cuisine, emphasizing "fresh, locally sourced, seasonal cooking that’s highlighted by good olive oil, a little lemon and lots of fresh herbs." Case in point: this Mediterranean branzino prepared with olive oil, sea salt and orzo salad.
The name "Doretta" is derived from the Greek word "doro," which means "gift." And the restaurant is gifting the Park Plaza space with a whole new look. The 150-seat spot includes a center bar, show kitchen, display raw bar and French doors that lead to a patio.
The menu of light, bright cooking is divided into five sections: raw bar, spreads (which are served with homemade flatbread), small plates, entrees and sides. Seen here is the fresh and simple village salad with tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, red onion, feta, oregano and red wine vinegar.
Adrienne Schlow is also a talented artist, and the restaurant is filled with her vibrant, colorful work.
You can't go Greek without some scrumptious spreads. Seen here is fava bean hummus with apricots and pine nuts.
General manager Megan Cormier, formerly of Cru in Nantucket, also oversees the international wine program. But the cocktail menu gets plenty of attention too, thanks to creative libations like the Mykonos, an island-inspired mix of white rum, Roots herb spirit, Falernum and fresh lime juice.
The interior design was a collaboration between Schlow, Andrea Morton of AMorton Design and Michael Nedeau of Party By Design. Funky flourishes abound, like this cool fixture that romantically fragments light in a private dining alcove. That alcove also features a unique work by Adrienne: a silver wall featuring figures drawn with precision using a paint-filled hypodermic needle.