BOSTON - It seems that there's always something new popping up on the Boston Waterfront, but this is THE spot where you and your friends are going to want to "Gather".
Brand new to the neighborhood, Gather restaurant is a stunning space with floor to ceiling windows overlooking Boston Harbor, and funky light bulbs hanging from high above.
"The first thing when people walk in, they look up at the lights," said General Manager Todd Bennett. "As soon as you walk in, you feel the space. You've got the ocean view. It's the urban feel, the openness, the high ceilings. It makes you feel at home, but a different type of home."
The restaurant itself is housed in District Hall, one of Boston's first innovation centers where entrepreneurs gather to share ideas. While techies congregate outside to come up with cutting edge concepts, the chefs at Gather are busy in the kitchen creating culinary magic for their menu -which is presented on wrapping paper.
"We wanted to get a little edgy with it and we ended up putting it on wrapping paper," Bennet said. "It was kinda different. I think we have 20 different patterns. It's just fun, kinda playful."
While the menu is fun in form, what's on it is even more pleasing.
There are Roasted Duck Tacos topped with apple slaw and salsify chips; bite sized Chicken and Waffles smothered in rich, country gravy. And something called 'Boom Boom' Shrimp which are deep fried and slathered in a sambal based sauce.
"So you get a little sweet, a little sour, a little spicy. People love it."
Bennett can't get enough of the Veal Shank with Sage Gnocchi - a dish that was love at first bite. "I took a bite of that and just, I fell in love with it. The gnocchi's unbelievable. It's got a little crisp to it. Shredded veal is unreal. It's just, it's an unbelievable dish."
"I actually had a customer the other night laugh, like, 'Todd, you gotta try this!', I laughed and said I've had it thirty or forty times. And he's like, 'just try it again, it's so good!'"
The Lamb Osso Bucco is soul-satisfying, slow cooked and served in a cast iron skillet with creamy polenta. "It's braised so long it falls right off the bone," he said. "Always tender. Always juicy."
Just as juicy are Gather's Chicken Wings, because these babies are fried in duck fat. "It's kinda like everyone says bacon makes everything better, but duck fat makes it even better than bacon," said Bennett. "It puts an unbelievable flavor on the outside of it. Like any fried chicken wing it's gonna be super tender and juicy on the inside."
Even better is the French Onion Soup, which gets a meaty boost with tender braised oxtail. "It's just basically in a cast iron pot with the melted cheese and the crouton on top, but we've added the oxtail to it, which adds a whole lot of yumminess."
You can also find the oxtail on top of a thin crust Pizza with truffle mashed potatoes and Gouda cheese.
"It's a meat and potato pizza. It's got a lot of flavor with the truffle in it, the braised oxtail. It's definitely a hearty pizza."
At $24 the Lobster Roll may seem slightly pricey, but once you see it you'll know that it's worth every penny.
"I'd rather charge a little bit higher price to make sure when that comes out that people are gonna be like, 'Woo!, I got my money's worth,'" said Bennett.
If you can afford some additional calories, Gather offers decadent desserts like Butterscotch Pudding garnished with toffee and a Pastry Bread Pudding created using whatever sweets are leftover at District Hall's coffee shop, called Brew.
"So every day if you come in, it's gonna be a little bit different. The sauce is the same. The custard's gonna be the same, but the actual breading is gonna be different. One day it might have some raisins in it, another day maybe some walnuts."
And whether you go for a full on dinner, or just a snack over some beers, you're going to feel at home.
"It's just a casual atmosphere. I want you guys to feel like you're coming into your own family room, and this is your space and you can do as you want."
You can find Gather at 75 Northern Avenue in Boston, or online at gatherboston.com.
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