Brookline’s Washington Square is getting a new Mediterranean-inspired seafood restaurant, according to an article on the Brookline Tab’s website. Porto Maltese — no relation to Back Bay’s Mediterranean-inspired seafood restaurant, Porto — will take over the space left vacant by the Fireplace (1634 Beacon St.), which shuttered in August after 16 years of operation. Porto Maltese owner Zachary Ostrer told the Tab that he hopes his restaurant will fill a void in the Boston dining scene.
“In Boston I couldn’t find anywhere to go for fish that was high quality, and if it was high quality it was expensive,” said Ostrer to the Tab. “I think this is something that will really do well in Boston.” In addition to its Mediterranean seafood focus, the restaurant will also reportedly have Eastern European influence thanks to Ostrer’s travels throughout the region.
A sample menu filed with Brookline as part of the permitting process indicates that Porto Maltese may serve raw bar items such as tuna tartare and salmon carpaccio; grilled seafood, including sea bass and monkfish; sauteed dishes, including scallops and crab; fish soup; pasta and rice dishes mainly featuring seafood, such as black risotto with squids; and a few non-seafood options, such as veal, spaghetti carbonara, and beef carpaccio. The dessert selection may include profiteroles, tiramisu, and more.
The future of the space at the corner of Beacon Street and Washington Street has been uncertain over the past few years. In 2014, the Fireplace owner and chef Jim Solomon announced plans to close the restaurant to focus on catering. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana was supposed to move in, but Solomon ultimately decided to remain open. (Frank Pepe opened in the Shops at Chestnut Hill instead.) Then, Solomon decided to cease operations for good this summer, which left the space open for a new venture.
Ostrer told the Tab he hopes to be open by the end of December. Stay tuned for updates.
• From New England Fare to Mediterranean Seafood, New Restaurant to Open in Washington Square [BT]
• Porto Maltese to Open in Brookline's Washington Square, Taking Over the Former Fireplace Space [BRT]
• The Fireplace Is Closing (for Real This Time) After 16 Years [EBOS]