8 Outdoor Fire Pits for Warming Up This Fall
It'd be lovely to spend a New England fall making frequent trips to the great, foliage-covered north and sipping spiked cider around bonfires. Alas, life isn't an J. Crew ad — and besides, car-strapped urbanites can only splurge on Zipcar so often. An alternative? Huddle your hungry, thirsty masses around fire pits roaring at restaurants around town, and enjoy alfresco seasonal dining that's just a T ride away.
75 On Liberty Wharf
Lest you think it's too chilly to enjoy an ocean breeze with your meal, this Seaport restaurant (pictured below) right on the wharf has a solution: its patio fire pit, where you can not only nosh on American cuisine like chargrilled lamb lollipops or Nantucket seafood stew, but also sip on a special selection of "Fire Pit Side Drinks" like mulled wine with pear brandy or a peppermint hot toddy.
220 Northern Ave.; 617-227-0754
Ever since the premiere of the related A&E reality show, chef Paul Wahlberg's fast-casual joint Wahlburgers has been stealing the lion's share of attention. But before he was turning his family's celebrity status into a burgeoning burger franchise, the chef was already receiving separate raves for his high-end Italian in the Hingham Shipyard. Find out why by grabbing a seat by the fire, digging into a menu of pasta, seafoods and steaks from the wood burning grill and warming up with a glass of Italian red wine.
22 Shipyard Dr., Hingham; 781-749-3353
Aragosta Bar and Bistro
You'll want to reserve your spot by the popular fire pits at the waterside terrace at Battery Wharf Hotel's Aragosta (pictured at page top). The nightly seatings (at 5 PM, 7 PM and 9 PM) move fast, owing to the spot's creative offerings of gourmet s'mores and tasty fondues. (If those eats and the blazing flames don't warm you up, fear not: There's still heat lamps.) Besides, a hot toddy just tastes better in an Adirondack chair.
3 Battery Wharf; 617-994-9001
Belly Wine Bar
First things first: this Kendall Square wine bar is temporarily closed for repairs following a fire in a nearby ductwork. We hope that they're back up and running soon, because the patio's fire pit is a favorite place to pull a seat for s'mores-making — or, if you give 48 hours' notice, indulging in a wintery "Arm + A Leg" feast, whole animal dinners available for groups of 4–12.
1 Kendall Sq., Cambridge; 617-494-0968
Besito Mexican Restaurant
Okay, okay. It's technically a fireplace — but it's outdoors, so we're including this fixture among our pit options. The upscale Mexican chain's Chestnut Hill location has a fabulous hacienda-style patio (pictured below) of white brick, and during cooler months the restaurant even hands out complimentary sarapes for snuggling while you dine. It's probably a smart idea to opt for heat-seeking plates like iron skillet-served tacos, or poblano peppers stuffed with goat cheese, pine nuts, raisins and salsa.
199 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill; 617-527-1155
Mare Oyster and Crudo Bar
The recently relocated and slightly rebranded North End restaurant has augmented its menu since moving to its new location — maintaining an Italian seafood focus but pumping up its crudo selection and adding new dishes like hot and cold lobster rolls. And the space is sleeker, the inside covered in white marble while a cloistered patio, with room to seat 120, and has lounge seating, fire pits and a retractable awning ordered from Florence.
3 Mechanic St.; 617-723-6273
Chef Patrick Gilmartin's new restaurant in Somerville's Assembly Row complex has nearly all of its seating outside. The 1,300-sq.-ft. interior seats 36 people, while the 2,600-sq.-ft. patio seats 123. The outdoor area also has its own bar and fire pits, with heat and covering for three-season dining. And yes, as the name suggests, there are views of the Mystic River. All the better for kicking back with his Asian-inflected takes on upscale street food, like the burger topped with spicy mayo and bacon spring rolls, and creative cocktails like the soul-warming Another Sun God, herb-infused mezcal with reposado and dry curaçao.
661 Assembly Row, Somerville; 617-616-5561
Okay, we already advised you to check out his Alma Nove. But if it really is a burger you crave, you might want to hit up the new (as in, two weeks old) location of the fast-casual burger brand from chef Paul Wahlberg and his celebrity bros. There's a big fire fixture on the outdoor patio just steps from Fenway Park, so you can stay warm while staying up-to-date on the game — all while slurping drinks from the full bar, like the location-specific Fenway Fizz, made with gin and a Prosecco float.
132 Brookline Ave.; 617-927-6810