Near North Station, a water view and a civilized meal
Where to Alcove, a waterfront restaurant on Lovejoy Wharf, a new development near North Station. It is the first restaurant from Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli, whom you may know from his time working at Craigie on Main and Island Creek Oyster Bar. (He grew up in the business; uncle Chris Schlesinger opened East Coast Grill.)
What for Where else near North Station are you going to eat charred avocado with harissa aioli, bigoli with braised duck, and pan-seared sea bream with golden quinoa while sipping a riff on a Sazerac? (You can also get a cheeseburger and a beer.)
The scene A pretty post-work crowd gathers, escapees from nearby companies like Converse, alongside restaurant-industry friends of the bartenders and those who dwell in the adjacent luxury residences. There’s a big U-shaped bar at the center of the restaurant, decorated in grays and dark blues. A group gathers at a live-edge wood table, laptop bags slung on the couches. The glassed-in private dining room showcases a wall-size blue topographical map. Outside the restaurant windows, glimpse that too-rare thing: a water view.
What you’re eating Chef Maxime Fanton is French and grew up in Italy; Schlesinger-Guidelli has roots in the South Coast region (sometimes called the Farm Coast) that stretches along Buzzards Bay. The menu lands somewhere between New England and the Mediterranean: raw bar and charcuterie; small plates such as crab cocktail, octopus with potatoes and black olives, and pickled eggs with vegetables from Sparrow Arc Farm in Maine; house-made pasta, roast chicken, and bouillabaisse; olive oil semifreddo and apple galette.
Care for a drink? Schlesinger-Guidelli has a deep background in beverages, and if you’ve spent time at Eastern Standard, Yvonne’s, or Buttonwood, you’ll recognize many faces behind the bar. Cocktails such as the Squash the Julep (cognac, rum, brown butter squash, and mint) and the Sun Mail, with harissa-spiced apple and maple, feel seasonally appropriate. You’ll find local beer and cider, but also selections from farther afield, such as a citrus saison from Crooked Stave in Denver. There are about a dozen offerings on tap, and many more in cans and bottles. The wine list emphasizes small producers, and there are systems in place to ensure that bottles are served at the proper temperature.
Overheard Talk of shishito peppers, workouts, and politics. “Do we want to have some snacks?,” someone asks, then answers the rhetorical question himself: “Yes, we do!”
A man shares his fitness secrets: “It’s a good workout. Yoga! Alcohol!” “We are talking about civics. The branches of government. They have no clue,” grumbles one citizen.
“I voted two weeks ago and I got a sticker,” announces another proudly. “And you almost got arrested. I want to hear more!,” a woman tells her companion encouragingly. A woman finishes a dessert and someone clears her plate. “Did you have that transportive moment?,” he asks.
50 Lovejoy Wharf, West End, 617-248-0050, www.alcoveboston.com