Bostonians who have been missing out on dining at the award-winning 80 Thoreau — it’s all the way out in Concord, after all — can now rejoice. Ian Calhoun, Vincent Vela, and chef Carolyn Johnson are opening their new restaurant, Mooncusser Fish House, in Boston’s Back Bay on Saturday, July 22.
First announced back in September 2015, although in the works for the past six years, the restaurant is located in the triangular building at 304 Stuart St. that previously housed Viga, a takeout spot, on the first floor. (The main dining area at Mooncusser, however, is up on the third floor.)
Mooncusser’s unusual name, which has piratey roots, is actually a reference to Calhoun’s Cape Cod childhoods, which he spent on Mooncusser Lane in East Dennis. And as the name suggests, Mooncusser Fish House’s focus is fish: local fish, sustainable fish, seasonal fish, a five-course tasting menu full of fish ($85 per person), and plenty of a la carte fish options as well.
The opening menu features starters ($10-$18) such as fluke crudo, chowder, and seared gnocchi with uni and chanterelles, while the entrees ($30-$42) include grilled wild king salmon, stuffed skate, and a grilled lamb trio. 80 Thoreau’s pastry chef, Katie Hamilburg, is also overseeing desserts at Mooncusser, from frozen lemon meringue to sea salt caramel macarons.
The restaurant opens tomorrow, but its more casual downstairs bar, Moon Bar, will debut later this summer; stay tuned for an opening date. Mooncusser is open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Mooncusser’s six-year-old big sister, 80 Thoreau, is still going strong in Concord as well. Head up that way for a fine-dining experience that highlights New England ingredients in New American cuisine.