July's Can't-Miss Dish

Credit: Chris McIntosh
By Ellen Bhang · 07/03/2023

Looking for a no-fail, mouthwatering, gonna-tell-your-friends-about-it plate? Each month, Boston Globe columnist Ellen Bhang highlights the dish you need to try right now—and something to sip alongside it. 


July’s Can’t-Miss Dish


The Eventide Brown Butter Lobster Roll

On the plate: The Eventide Brown Butter Lobster Roll

Where to find it: As soon as you walk through the doors of the newly renovated Eventide Fenway, it’s abundantly clear that you are no longer in the land of fast-casual. The counter where you once queued up to order is a thing of the past; so are the long tables where you formerly shared space with strangers. Instead, you and your besties can now slip into a comfy four- or six-top and chat with a server about the day’s specials.

Most notably, there’s a full bar, the pièce de résistance that confirms the retirement of the grab-and-go model the Boston outpost of the celebrated Maine seafood restaurant opened with. The transformation, says assistant general manager Noel Lewis, is exactly what Fenway regulars asked for. “The neighborhood just demands a certain approach to service,” he says. “I’m just glad we identified that, and could pivot and rise to that expectation.

The “we” that Lewis is referring to is the team at Big Tree Hospitality, whose principals are chef-owner Andrew Taylor and owner-general manager Arlin Smith. Just over a decade ago, Taylor and Smith, along with chef Mike Wiley, established Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, quickly racking up accolades from national publications and locals alike. In 2017, the company launched the Boston outpost just blocks from the ballpark—and accepted the James Beard Foundation honor of Best Chefs: Northeast. 

Even as the Fenway location transitions to full-service dining, one signature menu item has the delectable staying power of the ginormous block of granite displaying oysters on ice.

Notes on the nosh: The Eventide Brown Butter Lobster Roll—featuring lightly dressed crustacean meat tucked into a dim sum-style bao bun—is far and away the brand’s most lauded dish. “The lobster is warm and rich and buttery, with just the right amount of richness and nuttiness to it,” Lewis says. 

Eventide Fenway’s chef de cuisine Ezra Gold warms the steamed shellfish in a lemony vinaigrette that gets its toasty flavor from brown butter. The split-top bun is also special. The dough undergoes triple fermentation, a process that produces microbubbles throughout, resulting in a roll that is fluffy and subtly sweet. Just as the vinaigrette and the bun allow the lobster to shine, Lewis’ favorite glass pour complements the dish.

Sip alongside: The AGM recommends an orange wine from Meinklang, a biodynamic family farm in Austria’s Burgenland, southeast of Vienna. On 5,000 acres of land, some of which extends over the Hungarian border, three brothers raise Angus and Aubrac cows as well as grow vines. To craft a wine called “Mulatschak,” they take white grapes—Welschriesling, Pinot Gris, and Traminer—and allow the juice to soak with grape skins for about a week. The process tints the wine a coppery-orange hue, as well as enhances flavor and texture. The wine name translates to “merriment”—hinted at by the illustration of a dancing bull on the label.

The Mulatschak is a great choice for anyone eager to try orange wine. It’s unfiltered, ever-so-slightly earthy, and scented with stone fruit and tart berries. Lewis says it’s very approachable, offering a hint of texture and not too acidic, making it terrific with the lobster roll. “There’s just a little light tannic structure to the wine,” he explains. “It’s interesting and fun, hitting all the notes without being overpowering.” Looking around at fellow diners, happily sipping and noshing, it’s clear that Eventide Fenway’s new setup also hits all the right notes.

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