A Greek restaurant run by an acclaimed Boston chef and restaurateur closed down this week after almost three years operating in Back Bay. Michael Schlow’s Doretta Taverna and Raw Bar (79 Park Plaza, Boston) shuttered on Tuesday, May 29, according to Boston Restaurant Talk.
“After a great run at 79 Park Plaza, located in the Heritage on the Garden, we’re sad to announce that we will be closing Doretta Taverna and Raw Bar at the end of May,” Schlow said in a statement, per the Boston Globe.
The statement went on:
As a company we will continue to focus on creative, hospitality driven concepts and will stay true to our commitment of trying to provide the very best experiences for our guests and our staff. Thank you again to all of our wonderful staff for their hard work and commitment through the years. Via Matta and Doretta would not be the restaurants they were without them.
Schlow opened the Greek restaurant in September of 2015, in the same space where he operated a popular Italian restaurant, Via Matta, for 13 years. As Boston Magazine notes, he has not renewed the lease on the space.
He was ready for something different, he told Eater at the time of the switch from Via Matta to Doretta, saying: “Greek food is beautiful, tasty. When I travel, if there’s a good Greek restaurant, I always go to it. Beautiful whole fish with some lemon and olive oil — as I get older, it’s especially the way I want to eat.”
Toward the end of 2016, he brought in noted Greek food savant Brendan Pelley as chef de cuisine, just a few months after Pelley’s Pelekasis residency ended at Wink & Nod, and Pelley served some spectacular food at the restaurant, helping to improve Doretta’s reputation after some early middling reviews. Pelley departed Doretta earlier this year and now serves as culinary director for Mill No. 5, a complex featuring a cafe, grocery store, and theater in Lowell.
Doretta arrived on the scene during a boon for Greek food in the Boston area. As Schlow unveiled his remodeled restaurant — with a menu that tipped its hat to his wife Adrienne’s Greek heritage — restaurants like Saloniki, Kava Neo-Taverna, Committee, and Greco also emerged, some with fast-casual takes on the cuisine, and others with more emphasis on sit-down dining.
Schlow still operates two restaurants in the Boston area — Tico and Alta Strada — but he’s been pretty busy opening a number of restaurants in D.C. in recent years. He also has restaurants in Los Angeles; in Hanover, New Hampshire; and at Foxwoods in Connecticut. Although his Boston footprint is shrinking, Schlow will perhaps always remain best-known here for his now-shuttered Radius — and its burger, of course.