Seth Greenberg and Cameron Grob bring Bastille Kitchen to Fort Point
By Karina Alexander
Standing in the entryway of the expansive, industrial building in Fort Point, I can tell that the rest of the building is just as grand as the staircase in front of me. Going down the stairs to my left, is the lounge known as The Chalet. It seems to have been torn out the pages of an old school ski lodge brochure, giving it a homey and relaxing feel. Heading up the stairs, is the expansive bar and dining area, set with dim lights and wood panel floors. Even on a Thursday night, the bar is already packed with after work diners.
The 11,000 square foot space is the newest work of Seth Greenberg, former nightclub owner and hospitality visionary, and the Parisian-inspired Bastille Kitchen is anything but ordinary. Having spent many of his summers in France, he opened up Mistral- South End staple- to showcase the delicious fare from the South of France. Wanting something more Parisian, he set his sights on opening the space that is now Bastille.
Bastille Kitchen has the decor that makes you want to sit for hours on end and enjoy dinner. Its expansive wood floors, cushioned chairs, and dim lighting set the mood for a more casual dining experience, yet every aspect of the restaurant is homey. “I wanted to have a low-key, comfortable place that you could sit and enjoy dinner… or just relax and have a drink,” Greenberg explained. The exposed brick and caged lighting add to the low- key charm that Greenberg was going after. The restaurant and bar area also boast soundproofing ceilings and state of the art sound systems, so the noise levels never exceed comfortable levels.
While Seth has managed to make Bastille a stylish Fort Point go-to spot for dinner and after work drinks, it is the expansive and eclectic dinner menu of Executive Chef Adam Kube that stole the show. With years at the Ritz Carlton under his belt, the Johnson and Wales trained Kube focuses on turning out Parisian fare with a twist. He utilizes local ingredients and playful Boston spins on dishes. The Boston Tea Party museum is right around the corner, and there are playful hints at Boston’s past with items such as tea smoked mussels and earl grey infused salts.
The bar serves up a variety of liquors and specialty cocktails, yet it is Greenberg’s own wine project, Forever Young, that you want to get your hands on. The gold medal winning Malbec from Argentina, is full bodied without being overpowering. It has a hint of fruitiness that complements lamb and beef and a long finish that makes it delightful to sip on its own. If it’s a white wine you’re after, the Forever Young Sauvignon Blanc from Chile is not only crisp and refreshing, but also has hints of citrus that complement the fish and lighter dishes on the menu.
With Malbec in our glasses, Kube himself serves our first course. Foie gras torchon is served and the glisten from the brioche rounds tells us it’s going to be fantastic before we even dig in. The torchon melts on our tongues like the creamiest of butters, and is rich without being over decadent. The golden raisin chutney adds a burst of sweetness to balance out the richness of the dish. Tea smoked mussels come out next and we were surprised to note that they were served-without shells! Kube explained that this was to differentiate the dish from many other mussel dishes in the area. The broth was beautifully flavored, the toast it came with served as a delicious vessel to scoop up the flavorful broth, and the mussels themselves were flavored delightfully from the earl grey. The salmon tartare was the highlight of the appetizers, and was served with an arc of toasted brioche. The dish itself was perfectly balanced between the salmon and apple-horseradish crème, adding a nice kick and finish to the course.
Beef short rib wellington was the star of the entrees and was served with pomme fondants and glazed carrots that complimented the tender meat and puff pastry. The short ribs were fall-apart tender and the pastry was flaky, buttery, and perfectly cooked. Horseradish crusted salmon was the perfect option for something lighter. Savoy cabbage and bulgar wheat complimented the fish, while the pomegranate provided a nice burst of flavor and contrasting texture. Tomato garlic couscous with chickpeas, acorn squash, eggplant and pine nuts is earthy, hearty, and a great vegetarian dish to share.
The atmosphere is laid back, with a lot of the week night crowd stemming from the office buildings nearby. The service at Bastille is on point, with friendly servers eager to accommodate special requests, recommend their favorite dishes and beverages, and provide whatever you need for the ultimate experience. Like the servers, the management is quick to please and accommodate every request as best as possible. Running the show is General Manager Michael Adkins, whose years in the hospitality business shine through his spectacular service.
The citrus napoleon rounds off the meal. With graham cracker crust layered with citrus and meringue, it is a light ending to the evening that is refreshing and satisfying. For purists the crème brulee is rich and creamy, and is sure to please the pickiest of dessert traditionalists.