A new modern American restaurant has taken over the space that housed Back Bay’s buzzy restaurant, Cafeteria, for 13 years. Eva, also from Cafeteria owner George Aboujaoude, opens for dinner today, April 22, with its full menu (279A Newbury Street, Boston).
While a few Cafeteria throwbacks — like spinach and artichoke dip and a tuna burger — land on Eva’s menu, don’t expect Cafeteria 2.0. When the pandemic forced Cafeteria’s doors closed in 2020, Aboujaoude decided to throw out the old to make way for something new. This meant overhauling the interior and exchanging all-day dining for distinct meals with distinct menus.
Tiffany Barqawi Design has splashed the formerly white space in a palate of verdant greens and serene blues. Hand-woven raffia light fixtures, earthy natural wood accents, and a leafy wall covering gives the space a connection with the outdoors.
Chef Luis Figueroa, formerly of Committee in Seaport, is dishing a crowd-pleasing menu of sharable plates like tuna tartare with soy and citrus over crunchy fried wontons, as well as lamb meatballs; entrees like braised short rib gnocchi and lamb rich with mint chimichurri and creamy garlic labneh; and brick-oven pizzas like the pepperoni, sausage, and mushroom pizza version named for Figueroa’s own daughter, Anasofia.
Eventually, the restaurant will add lunch and brunch service with plates heaped with French toast served with berries, whipped cream, and Nutella; grilled sourdough burrata; and green tomatillo shakshuka.
Eva’s opening hours are Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Take a look at the opening menu: