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THE TIP

Recharging Battery Wharf

The new Aragosta Bar + Bistro’s deck is a perfect spot to nosh on a plate of lobster ravioli. The new Aragosta Bar + Bistro’s deck is a perfect spot to nosh on a plate of lobster ravioli. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff)
By Devra First
Globe Staff / May 6, 2011

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Aragosta Bar + Bistro 3 Battery Wharf, Boston

617-994-9001

When Sensing opened, there was buzz. Michelin-starred chef Guy Martin was coming from France to open a restaurant in Boston. Excitement! Or, perhaps, much ado about not much. Martin arrived, got things rolling, and returned to France.

When Sensing closed, no one made a fuss. Now the restaurant in the Fairmont Battery Wharf hotel has reopened with very little fanfare, and a new name: Aragosta Bar + Bistro. This may prove to be little ado about something. Chef David Daniels hails from the wonderful Topper’s at the Wauwinet in Nantucket. He has also spent time at Ambrosia on Huntington, Stephanie’s on Newbury, and the Federalist, as well as in California.

The restaurant now features the Italian-Mediterranean fare to which Bostonians gravitate, prepared with seasonal New England ingredients. There are plenty of crowd-pleasing dishes here, such as traditional clam chowder, Caesar salad, lobster fra diavolo, and a pork chop with Fontina, pancetta, and peppers. They share the menu with more-unusual offerings — lobster bisque with sweet corn tortellini, scallop crudo with shaved fennel and capers, baccala fritters with lobster gravy, seared tuna with roasted fennel, Marcona almonds, and golden raisin puree. In the middle are updated classics such as pappardelle Bolognese (the ragu is made of veal cheek and oxtail) and lobster ravioli (served with pea greens, fennel pollen, cauliflower, and truffle).

Previously claustrophobic, the restaurant has had a bit of an update, too. It now features warmer colors and a row of windows where there once was a wall. But the terrace is really the place to be — it offers a view of boats on the harbor.

It’s like a tiny taste of Nantucket in the city. If Daniels’s food at Aragosta is as fine as what he served at Topper’s, it won’t be long until the buzz begins.

Devra First can be reached at dfirst@globe.com.

Ratings

  • 4 Stars Extraordinary
  • 3 Stars Excellent
  • 2 Stars Good
  • 1 Star Fair
  • No Stars Poor