Where to: Nautilus Pier 4, a Seaport branch of Nantucket restaurant the Nautilus.
Why: For a taste of island life, by the water in Boston. The restaurant’s interior is sizable, with a chef’s table, a bar, the main dining room, and private spaces, but its most desirable real estate might be the pier-side seating. (In addition to dinner, on weekends the restaurant now hosts a first-come-first-served patio party from noon to 3:30 p.m.)
The backstory: The original Nautilus opened on Nantucket in 2014. Long delayed due to the pandemic, now Nautilus Pier 4 makes the journey from gray shingles to glass towers. Many involved in the project trace their ties back to the same Nantucket restaurant: Founding partners Stephen Bowler, Liam Mackey, and Clinton Terry met working at The Pearl; that’s where executive chef Stephen Marcaurelle (Tres Gatos) connected with them, as well.
What to eat: The menu is geared toward sharing, filled with small plates and large platters (e.g. a whole roast Peking duck with steamed buns), with an emphasis on Asian flavors. Bite-size tempura oyster “tacos” feature local bivalves and rice wrapped in seaweed; heritage pork riblets get a Vietnamese-style treatment with black pepper caramel sauce. Blue crab fried rice, a staple of the Nantucket menu, is a must-order. There are plenty of vegetable dishes, too, including an excellent Sichuan eggplant with tofu, pickled chiles, Thai basil, cilantro, and fried garlic.
What to drink: The cocktail list features drinks from Nantucket, like the signature tequila-and-cranberry Ack Nauti, along with new inventions: Those who enjoy snacking while mocking Tom Brady will appreciate the “Noting to See Her…,” which takes its name from a post-Super Bowl parade Tweet by the QB back in February. (“Noting to see her...just litTle avoCado tequila,” he wrote, which is what the drink contains, along with salsa verde and lime, topped with a tostada shell.) There’s also plenty of Nantucket and New England beer, sake, and wine, including a Nautilus-specific rose in a can.
The takeaway: The Seaport has a new option for waterside drinking and dining that feels a little like Nantucket, but closer to home.
300 Pier Four Boulevard, Seaport, Boston, 857-957-0998, www.thenautilus.com.