Faccia Brutta and Bar Pallino to open this spring on Newbury Street

Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette add an Italian-inspired restaurant and bar to their empire.

The Boston Globe
Chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer at Little Donkey in Cambridge in 2016. The Boston Globe

At long last: Faccia Brutta and Bar Pallino are due to open in May on Newbury Street.

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The coastal Italian-inspired restaurant and adjacent bar, set between Fairfield and Gloucester Streets, are from chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette.

“This has been in the works for quite some time,” Oringer told “We had the property earmarked. We had everything earmarked.”

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, which halted the James Beard Award-winning chefs’ plans to expand their successful partnership, JK Food Group, which began in 2005 with Spanish tapas bar Toro, followed by Coppa and Little Donkey.


Faccia Brutta, which means “ugly face” in Italian, will feature a seafood-driven menu utilizing fresh ingredients, including in-season produce from the nearby Copley Square Farmer’s Market. The 85-seat dining room will be open for lunch and dinner. In warmer months, a 40-seat patio dotted with lemon trees and plants makes for an ideal outdoor hangout.

“It is a little bit different,” Oringer said. “It will be coastal rather than the Roman style and the wood-fired oven cooking that we have at Coppa. There will be our handmade pastas, but they will be with rock fish, squid ink, and tomatoes from Mount Etna. … There will be a little bit of meat. We’ll also have a separate gluten-free pasta kitchen.”

At 85 seats, Oringer said Faccia Brutta will be bigger than either of his South End boîtes, though not as large as Little Donkey. “It will have a big bar and a display kitchen; it will be very high energy,” he added.

Bar Pallino, named for the little ball in the bocce game, will focus on naturally made wines and mezcal, which has fans in Oringer and Bissonnette. Though Bar Pallino will be connected to Faccia Brutta by an interior entrance, it will have its own doorway off the alley behind the building, too. Oringer is aiming for a “chill” speakeasy vibe.


“Newbury Street is fun and vibrant, everybody is looking forward to going back to living life to its fullest,” he said. “… People can relax and enjoy their spritz and some snacks, or whatever.”

Faccia Brutta and Bar Pallino will be located at 278 Newbury St., Boston.


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