Officially opening on Friday, November 11, Oak + Rowan is the third project from 34-year-old restaurateur Nancy Batista-Caswell, who also owns Ceia Kitchen + Bar and Brine, both in Newburyport. [Update: The restaurant is now slated to open the week of November 14.] Oak +Rowan, Batista-Caswell’s first Boston restaurant, is located at 319 A St. in the increasingly busy Fort Point neighborhood, right across the street from Blue Dragon. The 5,000-square-foot space is full of bricks, sunlight, a giant garage door that opens wide, a private table inside an old elevator shaft, and cozy bar seats upholstered with a thick corduroy-like fabric. (Local architectural firm Sousa Design worked on the restaurant; Sousa is also behind Alden & Harlow, The Gallows, Tavern Road, and many other area restaurants.)
Oak + Rowan diners will find plenty of pasta, seafood, and meat dishes from executive chef Justin Shoults, who comes to the restaurant via its older Newburyport siblings. The menu includes several crudos — practically a prerequisite at new Boston restaurants these days. Here, raw tuna comes with grapefruit, sea urchin, pine nuts, and mâche (a green), while yellowtail is served with pear, cabbage, and mustard.
And there’s plenty of caviar; try a single taste, a flight of four, or a half ounce, served with a Portuguese “English muffin” and cultured butter.
Also on the menu: squid ink farfalle with pheasant confit, lemon, and uni; doppio ravioli with smoked scallop, cider, and pumpkin; and stone-ground wheat testaroli with beets, walnut crema, and watercress. (On Thursdays, there’s a four-course pasta tasting menu available.)
On the sweeter side, Harvest alum Brian Mercury is serving up house-made ice creams and sorbets, as well as desserts such as a chocolate tart with malt, chestnut, olive oil, and crème fraiche and a roasted apple dish with hazelnut financier, Privateer rum, brown butter, and rooibos.
Keep an eye out for boutique wineries on wine director Mackenzie Campbell’s list, or go for a cocktail from bar manager Chris O’Neill — some are served via tableside liquor carts.
Oak + Rowan is open seven days a week. The bar opens at 4:30 p.m., the dining room opens at 5:15 p.m., and both stay open until midnight. Make a reservation on the restaurant’s website.
- Oak + Rowan Coverage [EBOS]
All photography by Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater