Some couples can't handle working together in the kitchen. For married chefs Meghann Ward and Kevin Walsh, it's a way of life.
The couple met over a decade ago while working at Michael Schlow's legendary Radius, and have since paid their dues in kitchens from San Francisco, where they together opened Tom McNaughton's Flour + Water, to Kennebunkport, Maine, where they helped launch Ken Oringer's Earth at Hidden Pond. Staying within Oringer's family of restaurants, Ward wound up chef de cuisine at the South End's no-rules Italian Coppa, while Walsh became pastry chef at Back Bay's now-late Clio. But their dream was to open a restaurant together, one that wove their collective and individual experiences into one. Finally, opened in partnership with Ward's stepmother, Marlena Ward, the result is the multifaceted Tapestry, now offering two distinct dining experiences in the Fenway neighborhood space that formerly housed restaurant-slash-rock club Church.
"We've been wanting to start a family business that was a real reflection of our cooking styles," says Ward. "We really try to pull together different cultural references and techniques, and our exposure to other countries through travel, to create our own voice." Check out the slideshow below, where we'll let the food — and beautiful beach club-inspired space — speak for itself.
69 Kilmarnock St.; 617-421-4470
Meghann Ward says that the name "Tapestry" was chosen to invoke the interweaving culinary inspirations — gleaned from work experiences and personal travels — that have inspired the eclectic melting pot of a menu she and husband Kevin Walsh have designed. But the menu also reflects their commingling culinary identities: Ward cooking with soulful instinct ("I cook for you like your grandma would," she says) and Walsh especially adept at technique and presentation. And even the physical space itself has different, complementary personalities. It's divided into two rooms: the "Expo Kitchen," seen here, which serves more casual fare, and the "Club Room," which focuses on more refined plates.
The Club Room, a laid-back scene where pals will want to linger over craft beers and chef-driven bites, features a menu that is all about oysters, Neapolitan pizzas and sweet and savory snacks. This wood-fired pie, with its expertly crisped crust, is topped with spicy mustard greens, foraged mushrooms and Taleggio.
The airy Expo Kitchen, with its light woods and soft blue and yellow color palette, was inspired by a New England beach vibe, says Ward. Each room seats about 75, plus there's a 26-seat private dining room and spacious patio.
Behold another Expo Kitchen snack: boquerones with dill mustard and wood oven-roasted asparagus.
The "Club Room" has a midcentury Miami feel inspired in part by the family-favorite movie "The Godfather Part II," says Ward. You could probably imagine a member of the Corleone family here, puffing on a cigar in one of the bold bucket and wingback chairs arranged by the glass-enclosed four-sided fireplace. Go ahead and do your best imitation — minus, you know, the smoking.
From the Club Room menu comes this lamb tartare inspired by a trip the chef-couple took to Turkey. Yogurt raita is infused with grilled lamb bones, and flavored with Middle Eastern spices like harissa and nigella, which is similar to cumin. It's accompanied with chopped fava beans and fried fava leaves.
Hot Havana nights? No, just summer in Fenway. Wild wallpaper lines an accent wall in the Club Room.
Ward and Walsh were married in Mexico late last year (cheers!) and that south-of-the-border energy informed this seared and slow-roasted chicken under a separate layer of crispy chicken skin. ("That's everyone's favorite part!" says Ward.) It's served with green romesco made with charred spring onions and tomatillo, accompanied by confit radish and sweet potato garnished with lime butter and cotija cheese.
The tropical Club Room contains cool sliding doors that lead to a private dining area.
The Club Room's bar is overseen by beverage manager Anne Thompson (formerly of BISq). Expect refreshing tiki-inspired cocktails and unique biodynamic wines. You'll also find at the bar Will Isaza, one of our most recent 30 Under 30 honorees.
A sweet finish from the dessert menu: parfait of white chocolate and sea buckthorn, a coastal berry, with lemon verbena. "It's sort of like diving into a creamsicle," says Ward.