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From the Dial at the Recently Opened 907 Main To Giusto in Newport, Gourmands Have Reasons To Smile Again This Month

By Michael McCarthy | November 2, 2020 | Food & Drink

From The Dial at the recently opened 907 Main to Giusto in Newport, gourmands have reasons to smile again this month.

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Chef Justin Urso leads the kitchen at The Dial, located inside the new 907 Main.

MAIN ATTRACTION

When the 67-room 907 Main opened earlier this fall in Cambridge, executive chef Justin Urso—who worked with Frank McClelland at both L’Espalier and Sel de la Terre—was tapped to lead the kitchen of The Dial. His menu, which, on warmer days, can be enjoyed on a charming patio in the heart Central Square, includes small plates like jerk quail (with mango puree and jicama pineapple slaw) and entrees like moqueca, a Brazilian shellfish stew (pan-seared scallops, rock shrimp, jasmine rice, paprika coconut broth and cassava chips). Courtney Nunheimer leads an impressive beverage program; our early favorite is dubbed Weekend in Oaxaca (Peloton mezcal joven, oloroso sherry, orange blossom, grapefruit, agave and Peychaud’s bitters). 907 Main St., Cambridge, 617.354.9907, 907main.com

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Family-style dishes reign at the soon-to-open Bianca.

DATE NIGHT

Look for Tim and Nancy Cushman’s soon-to-open Bianca, which was specifically designed for The Street Chestnut Hill. The concept will have indoor and outdoor dining and a menu that includes wood-fired pizza—made in a custom Mugnaini Tuscan oven—and homemade pastas and breads. The twist here is a neighborhood dining experience that caters as much to intimate date nights as it does to family jaunts on the town. 47 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 857.576.8300, biancachestnuthill.com

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Chef Kevin O’Donnell of Giusto.

NEWPORT CALLING

If Bostonians needed yet another reason to head to Newport this fall, they have one: the opening of Giusto, the first indie restaurant concept from chef and Rhode Island native Kevin O’Donnell. The 3,800-square- foot space features a combo of high-top tables, intimate banquettes, a 14-person private dining room and a 100-seat patio, located at the new Hammetts Hotel on Commercial Wharf. O’Donnell’s Italian-leaning menu draws heavily from local inspiration, with small appetizers like Calabrian-style quahog stuffed with chile, orange and corn; entrees include striped bass with olives, capers, tomato, lemon and fennel; and a cast-iron ribeye antipasto with potato and Jimmy Nardello peppers. 4 Commercial Wharf, Newport, R.I., 401.324.7400, giustonewport.com

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Sirloin bavette steak at OAK Long Bar + Kitchen.

FAMILY AFFAIR

Fairmont Copley Plaza welcomes chef Zaid Khan, who has made stops at the brand’s sister properties in Bermuda and Seattle. He takes over at OAK Long Bar + Kitchen, with notable dishes like sirloin bavette steak (with glazed baby carrots, buttered rapini, hen of the woods mushrooms and brown butter jus), Georges Banks halibut (corn puree, leeks, Persian cucumbers, mustard crisp, pea vines), and confit butternut squash (Vermont maple, creme fraiche, pomegranate, nuts and seeds). 138 St. James Ave., 617.585.7222, fairmont.com

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Shrimp-laced pasta at Basil.

SECOND ACT

Chef-owner David Becker has been leading the culinary charge at Sweet Basil in Needham for 20 years, and now he’s opening a second location of the restaurant in Waltham, formerly his restaurant Balani, where he had a Sweet Basil pop-up. Start with arancini (stuffed with spaghetti squash, fig and Parmesan topped with fried prosciutto) or lentil and chorizo soup topped with feta cheese. From there, Becker’s menu shines with entrees that include rosemary chicken (with pancetta, tomatoes and asparagus in a garlicky cream sauce over ziti) and fennel and potato gnocchi (in brandy broth with apples, raisins and caramelized onions topped with a butternut slaw). 469 Moody St., Waltham, 781.472.2805, sweetbasilneedham.com

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Chef Stephanie Barett recently joined the culinary team at Alden & Harlow.

SEASONAL FLAIR

Chef Stephanie Barrett recently joined the team at Harvard Square’s Alden & Harlow as the chef de cuisine. The Johnson & Wales grad recently ran a farm-to-table guest chef series at the luxe resort Chatham Bars Inn; she worked on the program with food luminaries like Jody Adams, Colin Lynch and Will Gilson. Barrett will help oversee a kitchen that produces dishes that include Ora King salmon, grilled skirt steak with masa spoonbread, and tomato leaf pasta carrot Bolognese with herb salad and pecorino. 40 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617.864.2100, aldenharlow.com



Photography by: Brian Samules/Courtesy of 907 Main; By Brian Samules/Bianca; Courtesy of Giusto; Courtesy of Fairmont Copley Plaza; Courtesy of Sweet Basil; Courtesy of Alden & Harlow