Where to Bastille Kitchen, a French-inspired restaurant in Fort Point from night life impresario and restaurateur Seth Greenberg (Mistral, Woodward).
What for This is Greenberg’s vision of a Parisian bistro experience. It’s vast and stylish rather than cozy and quaint, but you will still find onion soup and steak frites. Of course, there is also octopus ceviche with guajillo chile oil.
The scene Enter the restaurant and find yourself in a foyer with black walls and a red-and-black tile floor that could be described as Moroccan Gothic. You are faced with a choice: Head up the grand staircase into a dining room and lounge area, or down into the subterranean nook known as The Chalet. Pick the former and you’ll find a marble bar with octagonal black pendant lights overhead; a vintage-style poster on the wall of a bare-breasted woman says “Paris.” The soundtrack falls somewhere between French accordion player and house music. Past low couches and a communal table is the dining room, all exposed brick and beams. The Chalet features low red seats and black couches, a fireplace, wood paneling, and plenty of plaid accents. It is to hunting lodges what Bastille Kitchen is to Parisian bistros. Upstairs, women in classy outfits process their emotions, a jolly fellow squires his LBD-wearing date to the bar, and a man with mustache wears a pink polo and sips rose that matches his shirt exactly. Downstairs, a pack of strapping blond co-workers get their drink on and discuss airfare, workers from nearby Blue Dragon relax post-shift, and friendly dudes chat with a cute bartender.
What you’re eating Chef Adam Kube’s menu salutes tradition, and bends it, too. Along with classics, there are twists: tea-smoked mussels mariniere with Earl Grey salt, salmon with wheatberry pilaf and chia seed vinaigrette. Plump agnolotti are filled with seafood sausage and served in saffron beurre blanc with anchovy confit.
Care for a drink? La Vie en Rose is a pretty pink mix of bubbles and flowers, but not as sweet as you might think. It’s made with brut rose, rose liqueur, and a brown sugar cube.
Overheard Conversations about Shake Shack, manhood, personal growth, dreams, and frequent flier miles. A server offers a woman bread, and she hesitates: “Just one piece, because I will eat whatever carbs you put in front of me.” “Everything has tea in it,” someone comments, looking at the menu. “I’m just analyzing him. I don’t think he’s a terrible person, but he has big issues,” a woman tells her friend. In The Chalet, a man comments, “It will be a cool spot in the fall. It screams football.” “Now I have to learn French,” says a bartender, struggling with pronunciation. “Stress kills,” a woman declares, tossing one back. Another breaks out her phone to call an Uber: “Everyone has a Toyota Camry!” Two men get up to leave. A tipsy woman looks at her friend and shakes her head sadly. “He was very cute and you let him go.”
49 Melcher St., Fort Point, Boston. 617-556-8000. www.bastillekitchen.net.
Devra First can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.