Today, Eater Boston’s big sibling Eater.com released its list of the 16 best new restaurants in America, from a walk-up window serving fried jerk wings in San Antonio to a Korean tasting menu restaurant in New York City.
Boston snagged one spot on the list, thanks to chef Karen Akunowicz’s love letter to Italy, Fox and the Knife, a South Boston enoteca that opened in February and pays homage to the time Akunowicz spent learning pasta-making in Modena, in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region.
The restaurant is the first solo venture for Akunowicz, a 2018 James Beard award winner and Top Chef alum, who was previously the longtime executive chef and partner at Myers + Chang in Boston’s South End.
The Fox and the Knife “has always been something inside of [Akunowicz],” she previously told Eater, and it’s meant to be a casual neighborhood joint that draws influences not just from Emilia-Romagna but from elsewhere around Italy. Though multiple regions are represented, the restaurant dials into some hyper-specific regional specialties in a way that much of Boston’s vast Italian and Italian-American food scene doesn’t.
Take the tigelle, for example, a Modena-style bread cooked in special cast-iron pans, or the pasta with a pistachio pesto, a nod to the herb-rich coastal Liguria region. (At opening, this dish featured a typical Ligurian pasta shape, too — trofie. But Akunowicz changes up the pastas now and then, and it’s currently served with campanelle.)
Find out what else landed on the 2019 list here, including a Laotian restaurant in Dallas, a Malaysian all-day cafe in New York, a butcher shop and restaurant in Detroit, and more.