5 fall restaurant openings Boston chefs are most excited about

The hardest question you'll be asked this fall is, "Where do you want to eat?"

Fried chicken from Buttermilk & Bourbon.
Fried chicken from Buttermilk and Bourbon. –Buttermilk & Bourbon

Just when it seems like it can’t get harder to decide where to eat in the Boston area, a new season begins and more restaurants open up. Though the Prudential Center’s Eataly is taking much of the fall food scene’s attention at the moment, there are plenty of other local joints you should be sure to try. We asked five local chefs from already established restaurants what they are most excited to eat this fall.


(Photo is from PABU’s San Francisco location)

“The opening I’m most looking forward to is PABU by Chef Michael Mina at Millennium Tower. I’ve always wanted to dine at one of his restaurants, and with PABU being in Boston, I plan to make it a reality. I absolutely love sushi and look forward to experiencing the inventive Izakaya-style dining that PABU offers.” – Brendan Burke, executive chef at Serafina Boston


Michael Mina, a Michelin-starred chef with more than 20 restaurants around the globe, is expected to open his first Boston restaurant in October, according to its website. Mina, along with chef Ken Tominaga, known for Hana Japanese Restaurant in Sonoma County, California, already has a PABU location in San Francisco, which has been rated one of the country’s top Japanese restaurants by Zagat. Located at the Downtown Crossing luxury residential building Millennium Tower, PABU will serve up a modern take on traditional Izakaya-style, including sushi, small plates, fresh tofu, and tempura.

The Paddle Inn

We're getting there…

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“I’m most looking forward to seeing what my friends do up in Newburyport with The Paddle Inn. I have a summer house up there and have been anxiously awaiting its arrival, which will give us even more reason to visit in the fall when it opens. Suzi Maitland is an incredible chef, and her entire team will bring their love for coastal foods from around the world to the North Shore.” – Jason Heard, executive chef of Coppersmith

From the team at Trina’s Starlite Lounge in Somerville, Audubon in Fenway, and Parlor Sports in Somerville comes The Paddle Inn in Newburyport — a restaurant set right on the water with a coastal theme. You can expect coastal-inspired foods from countries all over the world, as well as some beachy cocktails, beer, and wine. There’s no set opening date yet, but you can anticipate its arrival sometime this fall.


Truffles for the pheasant tortellini!!

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“I am very much looking forward to the opening of Benedetto. Giulia is a wonderful restaurant, and I am genuinely curious to see what Michael Pagliarini does with the Rialto space, as it so close to my heart and important to my career.” – Patrick Gilmartin, executive chef of The Independent and River Bar. Giulia is Michael Pagliarini’s other restaurant, and Gilmartin formerly worked at Rialto.

After Rialto recently closed at The Charles Hotel in Harvard Square, chef Michael Pagliarini announced he would be opening up Benedetto in the vacant space and serving up fresh Italian cuisine. Pagliarini is also known for his acclaimed Italian restaurant Giulia, located in Cambridge. Benedetto will feature an upscale dining room, outdoor patio, and casual bar.

Buttermilk and Bourbon

Brunch! @BackBayHarrys

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(Photo is from Santos’s other restaurant Back Bay Harry’s)

“Of course I’m most excited for my new restaurant’s opening in the fall, Buttermilk and Bourbon! I love Southern cuisine and hospitality, and feel like Boston is ready for a spot that really executes both well. I can’t wait to bring my interpretation of Southern classics to life in cool, elevated ways that guests may not expect. The space, like the menu, is going to be fun yet sophisticated and will feel like a little piece of the Bayou right in the heart of the Back Bay!” — Jason Santos, owner and executive chef Back Bay Harry’s and Abby Lane

Set to open in November at 160 Commonwealth Ave., Buttermilk and Bourbon is going to bring Southern-style cooking to the Back Bay neighborhood. Menu items will include BBQ shrimp with housemade biscuits, oyster chowder, crispy boudin, house-fried chicken served Southern-style or with Nashville hot, sweet and spice, or white BBQ sauce. There will also be an oyster bar that features bourbon cocktails on tap.

RFK Kitchen

Get a load of that crispy skin! Cooked to perfection! #FarmtoFork #needhamcommunityfarm

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“I’m most excited about Rachel Klein’s new restaurant, [RFK Kitchen]. I’m a huge fan of her food, and I think she’s one of the most amazing chefs in the city of Boston. She’s going to open a very modern but casual place in Needham.” — Rodney Murillo, culinary director at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse

Scheduled to open sometime in October according to its website, RFK Kitchen describes itself as “catering to the sophisticated suburban crowd,” and will feature a menu that blends modern American cooking with global influences, along with New England ingredients. Chef/owner Rachel Klein formerly served as the executive chef at Liquid Art House and has won many area restaurant awards. RFK Kitchen will also have a bar and lounge area.

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