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An Italian Street Food Pop-Up Brings Comfort to Boston, Starting With Arancini

Koselig Posto, from an Eleven Madison Park alum, is a new local business that aims to combine Italian roots with Norwegian vibes

Two pairs of plump arancini, each with a cup of tomato sauce, sit in white paper holders surrounded by aluminum foil.
Arancini from Koselig Posto.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

New pop-up Koselig Posto — touting Italian roots and Norwegian vibes — is here to comfort chilly Bostonians with warm arancini. The business is currently popping up at local breweries and other venues.

In Norwegian, the word koselig gets at roughly the same concept as the Danish idea of hygge (which had a moment in the United States a few years back), evoking feelings of comfort and warmth. The Koselig Posto team, Nicholas and Monica Beck, describe it as “the cozy setting of good company, tasty food, and delicious drinks,” and that’s the vibe they hope to provide with their Italian street food pop-up, starting with arancini.

The Italian-meets-Norwegian concept may seem unlikely at first glance, but it’s actually a logical blend of the Becks’s backgrounds and experiences.

The Becks each grew up in “the same predominantly Italian American town on Long Island,” Nicholas tells Eater, each separately developing strong family ties and a love for baked ziti.” Nicholas, who is of Italian, Irish, and German descent, recalls the Sunday dinners of his childhood with his extended family. “Those Sunday sauce dinners became a giant piece of who I am today and why I wound up working in food,” he says.

Monica is of Italian and Norwegian descent and spent childhood summers in Norway, falling in love with Norwegian traditions and the koselig way of life.

“The light is just right, the music is vibing, the conversation is flowing, and you’re left with this really great warm feeling,” says Nicholas, who was able to experience it firsthand when traveling to Norway to visit Monica’s family. “We recognized the similarities between [Italian and Norwegian] cultures and knew we wanted to incorporate both using koselig as a North Star,” he says.

The idea started blossoming from that first trip to Norway together in 2016, but it solidified when the Becks got married in late 2021 and honeymooned in Sicily, “which really allowed us to immerse ourselves in our Sicilian roots,” says Nicholas. “We were surrounded by simple and delicious comfort food, and we both realized this food was going to be the counterpart to the koselig setting we wanted to create.”

The time and the place were right: The Becks had moved to Boston from New York in April 2021 for Nicholas to work at a private social club that was opening. “The size of the project was tremendous, and I came to the conclusion that this wasn’t the right fit for me,” he says. His previous culinary experience included three years at New York City icon Eleven Madison Park, where he started as commis and left as tournant, then helping to open the group’s fast-casual sibling Made Nice (which has since closed).

“We really admire New England for all its charm, so we decided to stay in Boston rather than move back to New York right away,” says Nicholas. “We felt starting this project here is the perfect backdrop for what we envision Koselig Posto to be.”

While Nicholas has a culinary background, Monica is a product developer for cosmetics, specializing in color development. “Her affinity for pottery, plateware, glassware, vases, and really anything that finds its way onto the table — along with her knack for design and color — really begins to paint the picture of what Koselig Posto will be aesthetically,” says Nicholas.

For now, Koselig Posto remains focused on a concise menu and pop-ups out of venues “that lend themselves to the koselig setting we hope to one day create,” says Nicholas. Hopeful plans for the future include hosting dinners with an extended menu and “really curating the end-to-end koselig experience.”

The debut menu is comprised of two risotto arancini options, each with Parmesan fonduta and tomato sauce; one also has braised pork shoulder. “Beginning with the humble arancini and giving it the royal treatment felt like the right place to start,” says Nicholas, noting that arancini made up a large part of the Becks’s diets while they were in Sicily. “It’s just so good and satisfying,” he says. “It can lend itself to so many variations.”

In the future, Koselig Posto will explore some of these variations, including Norwegian-inspired flavors. The Becks have also been working on a lasagna to add to the menu. “Though not traditional street food, it’s still something we want to incorporate,” says Nicholas.

Watch for updates on upcoming Koselig Posto pop-ups on Instagram. On the calendar for this month already: February 18 and 19 at Create at Bow Market in Somerville and February 20 and 21 at Remnant Brewing, also at Bow Market. The team also has some April dates lined up: April 2 at Bent Water Brewing in Lynn and April 8, 9, and 15 at Idle Hands in Malden.