A hotbed of coastal Mediterranean dishes has arrived in Brookline, replacing a 16-year staple of the neighborhood. Porto Maltese (1634 Beacon St.) opened its doors on Tuesday, March 20, per Boston Restaurant Talk, serving a portion of its menu during limited hours, for now, with plans to ramp up to full service in the coming weeks.
The new restaurant — which has no connection to Porto, a Mediterranean seafood restaurant in Back Bay — took over the Fireplace’s coveted corner spot in Washington Square after the restaurant closed down.
Initially, owner Zachary Ostrer wanted to open his restaurant in Boston proper, he told Eater, but when the Fireplace space became available, he saw it as a prime destination location, with parking to boot. Plus, Ostrer’s father lives blocks from the space and counted the Fireplace as his favorite restaurant.
Ostrer purchased the restaurant and redesigned the interior with a surplus of coastal charm, including navy blue accents, rope-wrapped columns, and an ice case for displaying the catch of the day.
In true Mediterranean form, Porto Maltese emphasizes seafood, with more than a dozen varieties of fish available, plus a catch of the day at market price. The restaurant employs a number of different preparation methods for the seafood, serving up dishes that are charcoal grilled, sea salt-encrusted and flambeed, charcoal oven-baked, steamed, fried, and “Porto Maltese style,” which is grilled, marinated, and sauteed. Not enough? “Tell us your whim or show us your recipe and we will make your choice of seafood your way,” promises the restaurant’s website.
“We’ve been getting excellent feedback about the food,” Ostrer told Eater.
With dinner hours from 5 to 9 p.m. and a limited menu currently in place at Porto Maltese, Ostrer said his staff has had the chance to learn the detailed nuances of each cooking method. The team is adding new items to the menu each day and will soon add lunch service as well.
The full menu will include various pasta and risotto dishes, plus a paella for two packed full of clams, mussels, scallops, squid, octopus, and shrimp. There will also be various steak cuts, lamb chops, a hamburger, and chicken, plus sides and desserts. The booze focus is on wines, but beer and cocktails are also available.
Most of the restaurant’s seafood dishes hover around $30, with sides sold separately ($5 to $7 for dishes such as french fries, mashed potatoes, and spinach), and the upcoming pasta dishes will ring in around $20.
Keep an eye on the restaurant’s Facebook page for updates on expanding hours.
• Porto Maltese Is Opening in Brookline’s Washington Square [BRT]
• Porto Maltese [Facebook]
• Porto Maltese [Official Site]