Nearly two decades ago, Brian Piccini inaugurated his Boston restaurant portfolio with dbar, a full-service restaurant that seamlessly transforms into a nightclub and lounge as the night evolves. The restaurant was unique to the Dorchester neighborhood and Piccini recalls how many locals thought it wouldn’t last.
The opposite occurred, however, as dbar quickly became a community gathering hub, and seen by many as “more than just a restaurant” for its inclusive approach to hospitality.
If you haven’t yet slid into one of dbar’s long leather banquettes, accented by warm candlelight, to enjoy their innovative approach to New England cuisine, now’s the time. Below, Piccini expands on the best things to order from the menu—and remember, be prepared to stay awhile; after all, part of the restaurant’s allure is its renowned late night revelry.
“When we first opened, we wanted to serve meals that would delight guests enough to turn them into regulars and this is one of them,” says Piccini about these crispy scallion pancakes served with a three chili soy vinegar dipping sauce. The shareable dish brings “a symphony of textures and flavors” with a tender inside and blend of spice, tang and savory notes. “Even though there are plenty of Vietnamese restaurants within a mile radius, ours knocks it out of the park every time,” he says.
A classic combination of steamed PEI mussels in a white wine, garlic and herbed butter broth accompanied by golden French fries, Piccini says this appetizer is nostalgic. “It brings me back to my childhood vacationing on the Cape. It is very shareable and everyone at the table can try some seafood.”
Giannone Chicken Under A Brick
This is a dish so nice it appears twice across Piccini’s restaurants. The expertly prepared chicken under a brick paired with mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and mushroom Madeira jus was one of the original menu items at dbar. “Guests still come back for this classic,” says Piccini, adding that they love it so much “regulars started asking for this at our other restaurants.” That’s how Giannone Chicken Under a Brick ended up on the Boston Chops menu, Piccini’s modern steakhouse venue in the South End and Downtown. “The heat of the brick cooks the chicken from both sides, giving the skin an unforgettable crisp.”
Whiskey Glazed Pork Loin
Another favorite based on nostalgic flavors is the eight ounce pork loin smothered in a whiskey-infused glaze and served with homemade leek spaetzle, crispy Brussels sprouts, and glazed apples. “My mom would cook us pork with apples once a week, this dish brings me back to my childhood,” says Piccini. “The pork is packed with flavor but it is the vegetables that accompany the main that make this one of my favorites.”
Hot Italian Sausage Cavatelli
Italian lovers’ will appreciate the perfectly al dente, handmade cavatelli that serves as a canvas for hot Italian sausage, tangy tomato, sautéed broccoli rabe, and a hint of white wine and red pepper flakes that comprise this new menu item. “It’s a homage to traditional Italian flavors infused with innovation, inviting you to savor the perfection of handcrafted cuisine.”
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