Look Inside: Bostonia Public House, Opening Thursday

By Scott Kearnan  |  April 15, 2014
Credit: Joel Benjamin

On Thursday, April 17 doors officially open at Bostonia Public House, a new "refined rustic" American opening at 131 Broad Street in the Financial District's historic Board of Trade building. And here's a quick tour of some of the space - and plates - that you'll find inside. (Meanwhile, a treat still on the horizon: after opening, Bostonia plans to soon launch live music seven nights a week.)

  • Bostonia Baked Beans. Chef Kyle Ketchum, formerly of Michigan's The Lark, once ranked the Detroit area's Top Restaurant by Zagat surveyors, wants to put contemporary twists on staple New England dishes. So naturally he takes on the nosh that gives Boston its "Beantown" nickname. His baked beans ($9) use navy beans with sugar and molasses, slow-cooked in a cast iron Dutch oven for intense flavors. He trades in ham for the traditional pork, and tops it with bacon breadcrumbs. The whole tasty shebang is served in a branded ceramic tin can with toast points.

  • Wine lovers. Behind the bar you'll see bottles of wine encase in a glass Napa Technology wine system that is designed to keep bottles at optimal temperature and offer two-ounce tasting pours, full glasses and carafes. Its 48 by-the-glass options is being billed as the largest selection of its kind in Boston, with beverage manager Joe Corrado (a longtime vet of Abe & Louie's) curating a number of relative rarities. The restaurant has also produced its own private label, developing handmade varieties of Chardonnay (oaky and buttery) and Pinot Noir (fruity and spicy) from Napa Valley.

  • Credit: Joel Benjamin

    Crab Crusted Cod. Ketchum wanted to place a strong emphasis on local sea food, which shines through in selections like the Native Crab Crusted Cod ($29), a lovely-looking entree served with asparagus, leek and potato succotash.

  • Impossibly Glam Design. The two-floor, 200-seat interior was designed by HGTV and Restaurant: Impossible personality Taniya Nayak. The local designer (who also gave us the glossy interiors of Petit Robert Central, Abby Lane and more) created a space swathed in cognac and coffee tones, with gleaming white subway tile, marble floors, and a 100-foot walnut bar.

  • Detail-oriented. Nayak told the restaurant's team that she wanted guests to feel as though they'd walked into a postcard of Boston. To that end, we love the eclectic vintage items found throughout: a small piano, typewriter, old-fashioned telephone and other antiques culled from across the region are charming details.

  • Bostonia Cream Pie. Naturally the official State dessert gets a nod - and a tweak - at Bostonia. The Bostonia Cream Pie ($9) is a sumptuous treat of vanilla custard, chocolate ganache topped with almond brown butter cake croutons and microgreens.

  • A snug spot. Tucked away by one corner of the bar is this special, cloistered little booth that was inspired by an Irish "snug," a compartmentalized pub hideaway. Mixologist groupies should keep a watch on it, as the Bostonia team hopes it becomes the de facto "bartender's table" for industry.