WGBH's Henry Santoro sat down with JP Faiella and Shannon Kubik from Boston's Image Unlimited Marketing Agency to share some ideas of places to go to ring in 2017 in Boston.
Henry Santoro: You're listening to WGBH's MORNING EDITION. I'm Henry Santoro. New Year's Eve is right around the corner. And if you're like me, you're still figuring out what to do on Saturday night and maybe even Sunday. Well, here to help us figure it all out are JP Faiella and Shannon Kubik from Image Unlimited, one of Boston's premiere restaurant and lifestyle marketing agencies. Good morning.
JP Faiella and Shannon Kubik: Morning.
Santoro: Forty one years ago when First Night was first created here in Boston the nightlife and the restaurant scene was a lot different than it is now. Now, it's a real foodie destination. It wasn't really that back then. But there's no shortage of great places to go to end this year and start the new year. What places are on your radar? JP, why don't we start with you sir.
Faiella: Sure. You know every place in the city is obviously a great place to go during First Night. I think the first place we go is over to the South End for the Beehive. The Beehive this year is doing a couple of different things. They're doing a modern retro speakeasy. Dinner is served al la carte from 5 to 8 p.m., at 9:00 p.m. they're flipping their concept and doing a three course pre-fee and that's $125 per person. And I'm not sure if you've been there before but real Bohemian food from all over the world- it's amazing.
Santoro: Great stuff.
Faiella: Amazing. Yeah. And if people don't want to do the pre-fee, they can do the $40 per person after 9 o'clock and they're doing an R&B music. Rumor is there's going to be a belly dancer- or two. So that should be pretty cool.
Santoro: What better way to spend New Year's Eve than with a belly dancer.
Faiella: Absolutely. In the same neighborhood we have the Aquitaine Group, which I'm sure you're familiar with.
Henry: Oh, Jeff Gates.
Faiella: Amazing. Jeff and Seth and Matt, great guys. Five locations in the South End and they're all doing New Year's Eve specials and they're also doing an al la carte brunch. And if people are in the suburbs they also have Gaslight Lynnfield which is in the Market Street, Aquitaine, Chestnut Hill and Dedham.
Santoro: Really great restaurants. Good, good stuff. Now it seems that- you just touched on it JP- it seems that New Year's Eve is celebrated in two waves. There's the early birds and then there's the night owls.
Santoro: And restaurant doors have recognized this and are offering a double seating. You can go in early or you can go in late.
Kubik: Yes. One of our other clients is doing that as well. Pier 6 over in Charlestown, they have amazing views of the water and the waterfront-whether it's the summertime, wintertime. But they are doing the earlier side dinner so it's a pre-fee for $55 per person. A couple of different courses there. And then at 9:00 o'clock they switch over to more of a party feel.So that's $21 plus cocktail attire, I think Top 40 music, past apps, live countdown, toast, fun giveaways -so it's going to be a real party scene.
Santoro: And some places have these very intimate dinner packages. I do know that Salty Girl...
Faiella: Oh God, the hottest restaurant open of the year. Yeah.
Santoro: And I mean, you want to talk about a small restaurant there's what, 30 seats in there? And that's it. Thirty people and the place is full.
Faiella: And they don't take reservations all year long except for these two nights.
Santoro: But they're doing the whole caviar and champagne thing.
Faiella: It's huge.
Kubik: Yes. So that's really kind of taking Boston by storm. Their concepts there is to really take caviar and make it look more approachable.
Kubik: So this dinner is a five course meal. And there's one seating at 9:00 p.m.- it's $175 per person but those tickets are going fast.
Santoro: If you've never experienced a real full blown caviar and champagne dinner slash experience, you have no idea what you're missing. I've gone to two in New York City and they were both unbelievable.
Kubik: Oh, yeah. This is the way to go out on New Years Eve.
Santoro: What about places that aren't directly in the city like maybe Newton, Charlestown, Cambridge.
Kubik: Yeah there's a couple different locations. You had mentioned the Aquitaine Group - they have some fun takes on their Boston restaurants but we also have a cook in Newton. Chef Paul Turano is one of our favorites. He does amazing food that's really approachable and it's also really family friendly. They're doing an early dinner from 4:30 to 11 so you can get back home to watch the ball drop and you can bring your kids- some really great specials that evening. But then again they're doing a family friendly brunch the next day.
Faiella: And then you have both concepts in Cambridge that we talked about. The intimate and the huge. So Moona is another big open this year, probably one of the biggest in Cambridge. And that is a really small Mediterranean restaurant- I think hummus, tabbouleh. They do everything in house, it's a craft kitchen. Not many seats for that one either. That is a perfect place to go.
Santoro: For the more intimate.
Faiella: Oh totally. And then you have the Beat Brasserie which is like...my God, the anchor property of Harvard Square. They'll have al la carte specials from 5 to 8 p.m. if you want to do dinner. And then at 9:00 p.m. they're doing a three course, huge- you know, vetted in only way Beat Brasserie can do. There's live music- it's $120 per person. And then like you said, night owl at 9 p.m. that you can do for $35 per person.
Santoro: So there's really no shortage of places to go to.
Faiella: Oh my God no. There's still time.
Santoro: Very very cool. JP Fiala and Shannon Kubik run Image Unlimited. One of the top agencies in Boston that specializes in restaurants, chefs, and lifestyle as you just heard. Thank you both for coming.
Faiella and Kubik: Thank you.
Santoro: And do have a very Happy New Year.
Kubik: You too.
Below is information on area places In Boston that are holding New Year's Eve events:
Saltie Girl, the newest restaurant from restauranteur Kathy Sidell (MET Group) is offering an exclusive caviar dinner, and there’s only one seating at 9PM. This is the first time that you can make reservations at Saltie Girl!! Only 30 seats available. Chef Kyle McClelland is offering a luxe, 5-course prix fixe caviar dinner. $175 per person.
Over at the MET Kathy Sidell is doing a la carte New Year’s Eve Specials and a New Year’s Day brunch on both the January 1st and the 2nd. Have a hair of the dog with their craft your own bloody mary bar— there are thousands of combinations!
South End/ SoWa:
This is a Modern Retro Speakeasy! Serving an a la carte dinner from 5pm-8pm, for the early birds or those with plans later. At 9PM the dining room will flip and Executive Chef Greg Torrech will serve a three-course, prix fixe dinner ($125 pp). Do you want to skip dinner? Tickets to just the party beginning at 9PM can be purchased. ($40pp) There will of course be live music all night long along with a special performance by the Lee Fish Orchestra accompanied by two young and talented R&B singers, and we hear there may be a belly dance performance or two. There’s no party like a Beehive party!
The Aquitaine Group has 5 locations throughout SoWa and the South End including Aquitaine, Metropolis, Gaslight, La Motta’s and Cinquecento. Each location is offering a la carte NYE specials. For the morning after they are offering a la carte brunch specials (and lots of mimosas!) If you don’t want to venture into the city, their suburban locations are also offering New Year’s Eve specials and New Year’s Day Brunch: Gaslight Lynnfield, Aquitaine Chestnut Hill and Dedham.
Four-course menu ($55) served in addition to the regular dinner menu (served 5:00PM – 9:00PM), as well as a ticketed party ($60) from 9:00PM – 1AM (21+)
*TOP 40 Party Music*
*Cocktail Style Appetizers*
*Champagne Toast @ Midnight*
*Live Countdown to Midnight *
*Amazing Waterfront & City Skyline Views*
*Cocktail Attire recommended*
French Moroccan Cuisine in an Eclectic, Fun Atmosphere. A la Carte Dinner Specials on New Year’s Eve, Open Until 1AM.
For a quaint, cozy and very romantic New Year’s Eve head to Terramia. Nestled right on Salem Street, serving a four-course prix fixe for $55 per person. Fresh take on traditional Italian Dishes—think pasta, fish, sweet desserts
Check out Cobblestone to cure your brunch hangover. They have delicious breakfast sandwiches, coffee and meals. If you’re a late riser they’ll be serving brunch, and they are available for dine-in, take-out or delivery….
Chef Paul Turano is serving up innovative takes on American classics. Cook is a family-friendly New Year’s Eve destination serving a la carte specials and they’ll be open for a laid-back brunch on the 1st.
Inman Square’s newest restaurant! This Eastern Mediterranean is great for small groups and an intimate dinner. Serving up a la carte small plate specials in honor of the New Year. Expect to try some traditional Mediterranean New Year’s dishes at this dinner.
New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Party! Similar format to its sister restaurant, The Beehive. Serving an a la carte dinner from 5pm-8pm, for the early birds or those with plans later. At 9PM the dining room will flip and the Beat will be serving a three-course, prix fixe dinner ($120 pp) Want to skip dinner? Tickets to just the party beginning at 9PM can be purchased. ($35pp). In true Beat fashion, there will be live music all night long, and the great Dennis Brennan will play a rocking New Year’s Set as the clock strikes midnight.
**Reservations for all of the locations are highly recommended.