Field & Vine

By Jacqueline Cain · 09/07/2021    Somerville · New American · $$$

Andrew Brady and Sara Markey appear to be living a certain millennial dream at Field & Vine. The Somerville couple and co-owners—chef and manager, respectively—invite people over often to their cool, open-concept place in Union Square, to fill the table with of-the-moment dishes and pop bottles of natural wine and local beer. Sure, it’s their job—but it’s no wonder that Field & Vine has become a favorite of Boston’s tastemakers since it opened in 2017, replacing the avant-garde Journeyman restaurant. From their always-on-point playlists of low-key 90s indie classics to their thriving potted plants, Brady and Markey make hosting the kind of dinner parties we strive for—OK, only dream of pulling off—look achievable and fun.

We’re happy to leave the hospitality to them, though. For one thing, Field & Vine’s open kitchen is equipped with a wood-fueled grill that we could never get permitted at our place. Wielded by Brady and a talented team of cooks, the flames impart a comforting atmosphere throughout the restaurant, and an expert char on food that enhances the inherent sweetness of even the lowly cabbage. Brady’s menu changes frequently with the ingredients farmers and local purveyors bring in, but expect to discover a garden of delights no matter the season.

But the menu isn’t all about the grill, nor all about vegetables. Raw seafood, for example, shines in ceviches year-round, with the likes of summer fish and peaches; or winter scallops in a citrusy coconut curry with sweet potato. And don’t overlook the baked goods: We start practically every meal at Field & Vine with Cheddar Cornbread. If there’s a pie or tartine being used as a vehicle for foraged mushrooms or smoked meat that night, it’s always tempting, too.

Brady and Markey—an ever-present host, by the way, with excellent taste in wine—live nearby and met working at the spot’s neighbor, Bronwyn. Evolved from a pop-up dinner series with a brick-and-mortar secured via a successful Kickstarter campaign, Field & Vine is authentically local in a way that moves Boston’s farm-to-table scene forward.

Get a taste of Field & Vine alongside your next cocktail at Backbar: Chef Andrew Brady is responsible for items on the neighbor’s snack menu like Ranch Popcorn and a Fried Chicken Sammy with pickled jalapeños and herbs. 

Fermentation is one tool Field & Vine employs to serve New England ingredients year-round. You’ll see pickles on the menu tarted up with vinegar, others that are lacto-fermented or brined to bring out acidity.

Finish a great meal and want the night to continue? Walk a few minutes to Bow Market and have another round at Rebel Rebel wine bar. Field & Vine’s Brady, Markey, and Rebel Rebel owner and sommelier Lauren Friel are set to open a new place in Cambridge in 2021 called Dear Annie.

Must Haves

  • Fresh fish goes swimmingly with Field & Vine’s fermented hot sauces, fancy oils, foraged flowers, and other in-season accoutrements.

  • Cast-iron baked to tender springiness, this complex carb is sliced to serve with soft sweet-and-salty miso butter and crunchy pickles.

  • Creamy cheese balances ingredients like acidic sungold tomatoes or velvety cherries and fennel sausage. Texture is always there, no matter the preparation, thanks to toppings like smoked breadcrumbs or salty sunflower seed crumble.

Fun Fact

The large installation of twining vines that hangs above the chef’s counter is the dining room’s only holdover from Journeyman. Handcrafted by local floral stylists Foret Design Studio, it fit the vibe so well that owner Sara Markey commissioned new woody sculptures from them when Field & Vine recently expanded its dining room.

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