When Smith & Wollensky throws a party, they do it right. The celebration they offered on September 21 to the city of Boston was nothing short of spectacular.
And, did I mention the food?
The occasion was the grand opening of the Restaurant Group’s newest iconic location, on the Boston Atlantic Wharf at Fort Point Channel. They literally rolled out the “Green Carpet” in honor of the Smith & Wollensky signature color, carried through each of its other locations.
But don’t for a minute think that this is a chain restaurant. Each of the now-nine locations has a personality that reflects the community in which it resides. For the new location at the Atlantic Wharf on Fort Point Channel, that means an atmosphere that is more “waterfront chic” than “stuffy steak house.”
What Smith & Wollensky is, to be specific, is a boutique restaurant group with a passion for doing things well. You see it in the building at 290 Congress, designed by Peter Niemitz of the Niemitz Design Group. With custom seating, signature lighting, an eclectic collection of contemporary art and antique accents, plus touches of an industrial environment, it sets a new standard for classic style with a modern feel.
To get things started, the company had the traditional ribbon cutting, with David Doyle, the local General Manager alongside Peter Christie, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. Christie affirmed the choice of Smith & Wollensky to move to Fort Point, saying, “Your timing couldn’t be better,” and cited projections that say 165,000 more people will be visiting Boston in 2012 than in 2011. With that in mind, the two used a huge steak knife to “cut” the ribbon and moved into both the new building and the future.
Smith & Wollensky President Michael Feighery took advantage of the fun atmosphere and poked a little fun in their own direction with a “rib eye” cutting, meant to help introduce a new signature dish, the Deconstructed Rib Eye dinner. For a restaurant known for its Prime USDA dry-aged steaks hand cut on the premises, watching a giant section of ribs roasting on a spit over an open fire was pure entertainment—and even more fun to watch as Boston's Executive Chef Matthew King, Corporate Chef John Piccolino and Houston's Executive Chef Tom Elbashary cut the ribs.
In fact, having fun in an upscale but approachable environment is something this new location has done from the start. They’ve proven themselves comfortable enough with their “brand” to play, just a bit. So, the signature drink at the new Boston location was—of course—the Boston Tea Party Martini. The invited group of VIPs toasted the opening with martini glasses raised, full of Absolut Wild Tea vodka mixed with fresh lemon juice and a twist.
Showing the heart of the Restaurant Group, all proceeds from alcohol sales over the week of grand opening activities are being donated to the Doug Flutie Junior Foundation for Autism. The Heisman Trophy winner himself was there to accept the $10,000 check, along with his wife, Laurie, and the foundation’s Executive Director, Lisa Borges.
The Green Carpet ceremonies were followed by a reception with a selection of appetizers—including sliders made from the restaurant’s signature steak. Invited guests were then treated to a five course dinner. Click here to see the full menu.
To see the actual ribbon cutting, rib eye cutting, and more, see the video, below. And, check back for more stories about this new restaurant and the impact it is having on Boston. We’ll even give you a recipe and more mouth-watering photos that will make you plan your trip to Boston’s Atlantic Wharf!
Also see our Editor's blog for a perspective from behind the scenes.
Event coverage sponsorship was provided in part by Absolut.