Major Foodstuff Group Opens Contessa on Newbury Street in Boston

Great information for Boston for the duration of the continuing heatwave: The latest rooftop cafe, Contessa, debuts tomorrow, June 22, at the not too long ago opened resort the Newbury Boston on Newbury Road. The elaborately embellished house serves Italian cuisine and will come from global mega-team Main Foodstuff Group.

Founders Mario Carbone, Loaded Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick have opened places to eat these kinds of as Carbone and Sadelle’s in New York City and outside of while some of their restaurants repeat from city to city, this is the first Contessa, and it is also the group’s initial move into Massachusetts. (Soon, they’ll also open the more relaxed Parm at the Burlington Mall.)

A Florentine-style steak is sliced on a plate with a roasted head of garlic and a large bundle of rosemary

Contessa’s bistecca fiorentina
Andrew Scrivani

Geared towards all-day eating, Contessa serves Italian food, specially highlighting some northern Italian dishes — think tortellini en brodo, garganelle verdi al bolognese, and a hefty dry-aged bistecca fiorentina. There is also a prosciutto assortment from a number of regions antipasti this kind of as octopus agrodolce and beef carpaccio and pizzas with toppings these types of as mushrooms or spicy clams. (Whilst many Main Food stuff Group restaurants provide Italian or Italian-American menus, this is the group’s 1st foray into pizza.) For dessert, there’s gelato, cakes, and Boston product pie bomboloni. This is Boston, following all.

The drinks also lean Italian — tons of aperitivi, grappa, amari, and updated versions of classic cocktails, from Negronis to spritzes. The wine record capabilities central and northern Italian picks but also selections from France and North The usa.

Interior view of a fancy restaurant, featuring rose booths, teal seats, a marble floor with multi-colored diamonds, and a retractable roof, with city views visible out the window.

Douglas Friedman

Contessa is situated adjacent to the Community Yard on Boston’s ritziest purchasing street, inside of of the lodge previously regarded as the Taj and in advance of that the Ritz-Carlton — just one of the country’s first spots of the latter — newly revamped into the Newbury Boston by true estate and hospitality administration business Highgate. Accordingly, the restaurant style is pretty eye-catching, with major extravagant cafe from a fancy restaurant team atop a extravagant lodge vibes. It’s by Ken Fulk, who also labored on the Las Vegas places of Carbone and Sadelle’s, between lots of other unique areas dripping with floral installations, bold tiling, and upholstered home furnishings that screams “luxury.” Fulk built Contessa with three-martini lunches and substantial teas in intellect, also drawing inspiration from northern Italian estates and Milanese designers. Diners will locate lots of marble, velvet, and floral touches, with a color palette major on rose and teal.

Even though Contessa isn’t equivalent to current Major Food Team dining places, testimonials of some of the group’s other venues provide a glimpse into what Boston could possibly assume from this newcomer: in a word, swankiness. As Eater’s group of New York critics wrote in a 2014 overview of Carbone, the restaurant serves “gigantic, pricy, nuanced versions of Italian-American standards” punctuated by “a retro Palm Springs coolness.” It’s a “quintessential” place, a ought to for out-of-towners. Carbone and its siblings are inclined to be lovely, stylish, and scene-y. One particular of the other eating places, the Grill, “is [New York City’s] only four-star ode to the past,” Eater NY critic Ryan Sutton wrote.

Overhead view of a dish of octopus and roasted peppers

Contessa’s octopus agrodolce
Andrew Scrivani

Boston is viewing a barrage of New York restaurateurs plant roots right here these days, for greater or even worse (see also: Blue Ribbon Group getting more than the previous areas of Jap Regular, Island Creek Oyster Bar, and the Hawthorne in Kenmore Sq.). Though the metropolis isn’t always instantly welcoming to outsiders — particularly at a time when the pandemic has shut so quite a few little, independent organizations — Bostonians familiar with Significant Food items Group’s venues in other cities are optimistic about its arrival listed here.

Contessa is open up for cocktails and supper company as of June 22, with breakfast, lunch, and brunch to observe in the coming weeks reservations will be obtainable by means of the restaurant’s web site. Private dining for teams up to 25 will be out there setting up in the tumble. Main Food Team is also at the rear of all other foodstuff and beverage functions at the hotel, which include the Road Bar, which opened in the spring.