Yesterday, Globe style writer Chris Muther introduced us to Storyville, named for the legendary '50s jazz club that once occupied the space. Located at 90 Exeter St., it was most recently Saint. The new Storyville is a speakeasy/nightclub soft-opening Sept. 9.
Drinks and food will hew to the era of the original club. William “English Bill” Codman, recently of Woodward, is taking charge of the libations. He'll feature tiki drinks and classics, with a slant toward New Orleans cocktails.
Louis DiBiccari (Sel de la Terre) helms the kitchen, after spending his summer weekends cooking at the Herb Lyceum in Groton. (He'll continue there on Fridays and Saturdays through the month.) He's created a menu of 15 plates, all designed for sharing. "What I'm paying the most attention to is the food history of Boston that brought us to where we are right now," he says. He looked at old menus from places such as Union Oyster House and Locke-Ober for inspiration, as well as figures like Julia Child. "I was trying to wrap my head around what would duck a l'orange be like now if I were to put a more modern twist on it?"
One answer: curing the duck leg with a subtle hit of cocoa powder, wrapping the breast around the confit, poaching and searing it, and adding a little orange glaze. "That might change," DiBiccari says. "There's a lot of recipe testing going on over here right now."
Other dishes you might find:
- Green bean casserole topped with gooey local cheese.
- Crab Louis (of course), with updated salad ingredients such as baby tomatoes, avocado, radishes, and pickled jalapeno dressing.
- Beef Wellington, made with a flavorful cut like hanger steak, enclosed in scallion pancake batter instead of puff pastry, and topped with pickled mushroom salad.
- Salade nicoise, with house-made tuna belly conserva and farm eggs.
- Baked beans "on steroids": molasses baked beans with guanciale, foie gras, bacon bits, and homemade bread crumbs.
"I don't cook in a gimmicky or molecular gastronomy kind of way. I don't cook with foams or do cylinders," DiBiccari says. "I don't want to change what was being done, just revisit it a little."
What's cooking in the world of food.
ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.