Still, there are pockets that remind you of the ghosts of Seaport past. Drydock Ave, for instance. Far away (fine… only a few blocks) from the bustle of luxury hotels, craft breweries and overpriced tourist “crab shacks” lies a small stretch of warehouses, parking lots, ship terminals and overgrown shrubs and grass. And there hides Chickadee.
Though it’s been open since July, it’s only this past month that people have begun to take notice of the locally sourced establishment. The Boston Globe described the food as being “cooked perfectly, making you swoon” while the ...mproper Bostonian described Executive Chef John DaSilva’s menu as being a “fine technique hiding even in seemingly humble dishes, and lots worth Instagramming.”
As well it should be. DaSilva, an alumni of Beacon Hill’s esteemed No. 9 Park and, until recently, Head Chef at Somerville’s Spoke Wine Bar has enjoyed numerous accolades over just a few short years, from being named one of Zagat’s “30 Under 30” to being a runner up chef in Boston magazine’s 2015 “Best of Boston” award. Heading up Chickadee’s management team is another No. 9 Park veteran, Ted Kilpatrick (who also saw O Ya’s ventures into Manhattan recently,) while one more No. 9 Park fills out the bill; chef de cuisine Stephanie Bui.
And while those credentials may be impressive, the menu seems more so. Describing themselves as “New England born and Mediterranean inspired,” the menu includes such starters as striped bass ceviche and crab gratin; cucumber gazpacho and squid ink fusilli; and main entrees including roasted porchetta with watermelon and fried peanuts and grilled lamb harira with chickpeas and lentils.“I want to use the local bounty in a way that just tastes right,” explains DaSilva.
No less intriguing is Kilpatrick’s curated list of cocktails. With suitably ornithological names such as the Albatross (Dutch gin, plum shrub and pink salt,) the English Partridge (Rye whiskey, Earl Grey Tea and sweet Vermouth) and the Orchard Oriole (bourbon, ancho chile and high-proof rum) the offerings nestle snugly alongside a selection of almost strictly locally crafted beers.
Located at the heart of the recently opened Innovation and Design Building, it will likely be only a matter of time before Chickadee helps transform the once desolate Drydock Ave into the next big nest for Boston diners.
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