Food & dining

Sportello becoming a wine bar, Brio in Chestnut Hill, and more


  • Reps for Chef Barbara Lynch tell us that she’ll transform her Fort Point restaurant Sportello (348 Congress St., Boston) from an Italian diner and bakery into a wine bar in honor of its fifth anniversary. Expect “trattoria-inspired Italian dishes alongside a supremely approachable artisanal wine list,” we’re told. Lynch says that Fort Point has “come alive” since Sportello opened and that the neighborhood now has plenty of prime options for coffee, bakery items, and sandwiches. Sportello will focus on fresh pastas, polenta, soups, and Italian wines from small vintners. The changes will happen during Thanksgiving week.

Brio Tuscan Grille

  • A rep tells us that Brio Tuscan Grille has opened at the new Chestnut Hill Square development on Route 9 in Newton. Brio is a national chain, and this is the first one in the Boston area. As the name suggests, the menu nods to Tuscany. Expect oven-roasted steaks (gorgonzola-crusted filet), chops (Tuscan-grilled pork chops), seafood (grilled mahi mahi), made-to-order pastas (lasagna bolognese), and entrée salads. They’ll also serve a kids’ menu and a gluten-free menu, plus a $3.95 bar sampler menu and a Bellini brunch on weekends. Executive chef Jeff Feldman used to work at Chestnut Hill’s Papa Razzi.

Dirty Water Dough Company

  • Love that dirty . . . pizza? Chowhound reports that Dirty Water Dough Company has replaced the Proper Slice at 222 Newbury St. (between Exeter and Fairfield) in Back Bay. Eater notes that the restaurant is named after an IPA that Cape Ann Brewing Company custom-made for the shop, which is served on tap and also used to make the dough. The pizza toppings are funky: Fenway franks, Doritos, mustard, ketchup, Sriracha buffalo sauce, and even Cheez-Its conspire to make ordering a possibly delicious, possibly heartburn-inducing enterprise.

Kara Baskin can be reached at Followthis blog at and on Twitter @restauranthub.
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