Boston’s most famous retail street will soon get a new taste of France from the team behind a popular seafood restaurant: Michael Serpa and his Select Oyster Bar team plan to add to their Back Bay presence with Grand Tour, a Parisian-style bistro located right around the corner at 314 Newbury St., slated to open in fall 2019.
Drawing upon his dual loves for Paris dining and for cycling, Serpa decided to name his new restaurant after three of the most grueling races in cycling — La Vuelta a España, Giro d’Italia, and Le Tour de France, which are each referred to as a Grand Tour.
Grand Tour will evoke European dining, with dishes like rabbit in mustard sauce, steak frites, roasted duck, cheese and charcuterie, and vegetables. The menu is still in development, but it will include staples and a rotation of seasonal items.
“I really just wanted to open a place that has a legit steak frites,” Serpa told Eater in an email. “It’s one of my favorite things to eat — simple, delicious, not fancy. I love a good steak frites.”
Differentiating itself from its neighboring sibling — which opened nearly four years ago and has become a seafood standout in the city — Grand Tour will have a focus on vegetables, meat, and game, but Serpa said that there will be a few seafood items on the menu, “for good measure.”
“I really want to give our regulars from the neighborhood another option,” he said. “Food will be on the lighter side, generally, with some heartier classic dishes in the winter months.”
Serpa and his team, which includes his wife and operations director Lina Velez, plan to serve lunch and dinner seven days a week, with a focused wine list that builds on methods used at Select Oyster Bar. Wines by the glass will feature American producers alone, while the bottle list will include French and American wines. There will also be a small beer list.
In keeping with operations at Select Oyster (and inherited from Serpa’s time at Neptune Oyster in the North End), Grand Tour will not serve dessert or coffee, which helps turn tables quicker — a good strategy in popular restaurants with limited seating — while also encouraging diners to get out and explore the neighborhood. (Hint: Lady M Cake Boutique is steps away, serving crepe cakes and more, and those with naughtier tastes can find Sweet-N-Nasty nearby.)
Construction is already underway at the two-level, 50-seat Newbury Street restaurant.
“The space will be somewhat similar to Select, as we are in another brownstone, just a bit smaller (if that is even possible),” Serpa said.
The base level will include an open kitchen and a marble bar, while the lofted level overlooking the road will serve as additional dining space. In season, Grand Tour will have a front patio for outdoor dining.
“I really love the vibe of some of the bistros I’ve been to in Paris and Montreal, and I want to bring a version of that to the neighborhood,” Serpa said.
Per the current plans, the restaurant will operate from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
• Chef Michael Serpa Will Open a Parisian Bistro on Newbury Street [BM]
• Grand Tour [Official Site]
• Grand Tour [IG]