Ted Kilpatrick · Chickadee

By Ellen Bhang · 08/19/2019

Curious about restaurant wine lists? Each month, Boston Globe wine columnist Ellen Bhang chats with a sommelier about a terrific bottle and recommends a food pairing—you come away a savvier sipper.

Meet the beverage pro: Ted Kilpatrick realized early on that wine, beer, and spirits would be key to his restaurant career. “I wanted to be the smartest person in the room,” he says, recalling how driven he was to master the subject so he could be a leader among front-of-house colleagues.

Kilpatrick, now the beverage director and co-owner of Chickadee in the Seaport District, bartended on the side while attending Northeastern University. But it was while working in fine dining that he decided to forge a career in hospitality. Not long after earning a business degree, the Connecticut native landed at Barbara Lynch’s No. 9 Park as bar director. After that, he relocated to New York to work for Cushman Concepts. As beverage director, he helped open three different restaurants (including O Ya New York) in the Park South Hotel. “That was incredibly high-altitude training,” he says, reflecting on his time in the Big Apple. As he and his wife contemplated where to raise a family, they set their sights on the Bay State. “I’ve always loved Boston,” says Kilpatrick. “It was an easy decision to make.”

One gorgeous bottle: Chickadee’s wine list reflects Kilpatrick’s keen insight into what pairs best with the food of chef and co-owner John daSilva. A bottle from winery Von Winning, called “Winnings” ($13 by the glass, $52 for the bottle) is a definite favorite. “It’s a German riesling that wants to be an Austrian,” says the beverage director, explaining how the white wine strikes a balance between a traditional German style that skews slightly sweet and a drier Austrian version that is rich and plump.

Posh plate: That outstanding riesling pairs splendidly with Roasted Porchetta, an herbaceous boneless pork roast surrounded by the pig’s own crispy skin. A salad of watermelon, jalapeño, fried peanuts, and a dash of colatura (Italian fermented fish sauce) arrives with a generous slice of the roast. “It’s evocative of a Southeast Asian dish,” says Kilpatrick. He loves what the wine brings to the robust entree. “It has such sneaky acidity,” he enthuses. “It works hard to clean up.”

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