By Catherine Smart · 01/28/2020    Seaport · Mediterranean · New American · $$$$

Getting to Chickadee—a spot tucked into the Innovation and Design Building at the farthest reaches of the Seaport—always feels like a bit of journey. Good thing it’s 100 percent worth the trek. Opened by No. 9 Park veterans chef John daSilva and beverage director Ted Kilpatrick, the “New England born, Mediterranean inspired” menu is full of showstoppers. Bold flavors, bright contrast, and impeccable technique come together in every bite and sip. If Samin Nosrat and Thomas Keller had a baby (and were Yankee bred) it might look a lot like Chickadee.

Take the Grilled Carrot Salad, for example: It’s a humble name for a knockout dish of sweet, earthy, spiced roasted carrots on a bed of impossibly creamy green avocado hummus, topped with silky ribbons of the fresh root, dressed with a bracing vinaigrette. Or the Smoked Sea Trout Dip, which is topped with a buttery foam, fresh horseradish, snappy pickled mustard seeds, and a mess of herbs you scoop up with toasty salt and vinegar rye chips. And don’t miss the Squid Ink Fusilli—with perfectly crisp breadcrumbs, sweet tomatoes, and porky sopressata.

Exacting standards are evident in every delicate cocktail glass, too. Try The Pelican Brief, a light springy blend of vodka, fennel, caraway, lemon, and egg white—it will win over even the licorice-averse despite tasting like the Platonic ideal of a black jelly bean. Speaking of sweets, the excellent brunch menu boasts Homemade Donuts (try the heavenly halva caramel version) and decadent Brioche French Toast with fresh blueberries, feather-light whipped ricotta, and walnut praline.

The restaurant’s website describes their namesake—also Massachusetts’s state bird—as “innately industrious, curious, and social creatures: they are creative opportunity seekers.” The same could be said of Chickadee’s patrons: folks who don’t mind venturing off the beaten path for the caliber of restaurant they’ve been searching for.

Give yourself plenty of time to get there. You’ll be heading through the traffic knot that is the Seaport. But did we mention it’s absolutely worth the trouble? Plus, there’s free parking on site after 6 p.m.

Can’t commit to a full meal? The expansive bar is the perfect place to explore the snack section of the menu while sipping a cocktail or two.

This is a place to power lunch. With so many artisans and interesting businesses at the Innovation and Design Building, Chickadee is the perfect spot for getting deals done—or just letting off some steam with your co-workers, in style.

Must Haves

  • These raised beauties are cloaked in dark caramel and studded with the sesame confection to make the perfect bittersweet breakfast dessert.

  • One scoop of this creamy, smoky, bright-but-rich dish and we lifted a moratorium on foams. The “aerated butter” plays super nice with the pop of pickled mustard seeds and shower of fresh herbs.

  • Diving into the jet-black pasta in a soupy tomato sauce with porky, bread-crumby bits is like slipping into a fur coat found in your grandmother’s closet: comforting, toasty, and luxe.

  • Your first thought will be: “There is no way I can eat that whole Swiss roll of pork fat.” Your second will be, “I’m so, so sad that I have to share this with my date.” With Brussels sprouts, peanuts, pear, and so much melty porky goodness, it’s alchemy.

Fun Fact

Chickadee owners John daSilva and Ted Kilpatrick are both Barbara Lynch alums, which explains the serious technique evident in everything coming from the kitchen and the bar.

Tastes of Chickadee

So good we can't stop writing about it. Read more about Chickadee!

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