There is no subtext behind the name of Pastoral, chef/co-owner Todd Winer’s first restaurant, where the rustic theme is proudly on display. All the food will be either licked by fire or coming out of a brick oven, and the star of the show will be the Neapolitan pizzas—an Old World favorite. But thanks to the farmhouse decor, you really can’t miss the vibe from the moment you step through the door at the Fort Point restaurant.
In the main dining area, different types of chairs are scattered around mismatched tables (mixed-wood ones, zinc-topped ones, a farm table made from a saw-horse and a communal table pulled out of a barn in Maine). The tin ceiling has a chipped-paint look, and a chandelier is made from wire milk crates and old milk bottles. Even the host stand is made out of metal roofing and wood-stove legs. In keeping with the do-it-yourselfer-meets-antique-aficionado theme, a collage of reclaimed windows from old New England warehouses and farmhouses separates the dining area from the adjoining bar.
The bar offerings will range from traditional wine, beer and cocktail selections to more unique sips such as wine on tap, orange wine, and beer infused with seasonal fruits or kept in the oven overnight to add a smoky flavor.
“I kind of wanted to take that whole process that everyone has been doing with spirits and swing it 180 degrees toward beer,” says Winer, who previously served as executive chef of the Met Restaurant Group. “But it’s really important for me that everyone is welcome. Whether there’s Budweiser and pepperoni pizza or if you want a sour ale from Trillium and some weird pizza that we’re coming up with for the day, we want to accommodate you.”
The well-traveled Winer recently got his Neapolitan pizza-making certification and installed the much-hyped “Maserati of Neapolitan ovens” in the kitchen, so the dough will be ready to stretch by the restaurant’s opening, slated for mid-February.
“It’s light, it’s fresh, it’s all-natural,” Winer says of Neapolitan pizza. “You can eat six of them, and they don’t fill you up. It’s not really processed cheese, premade sauce, frozen crust. It’s the real deal. Each one is hand-stretched to order.”
But don’t call the Fort Point eatery just a pizzeria. The varied menu will include meat and fish, such as skate and Acadian redfish. A lunchtime takeaway spot, offering pizza slices, sandwiches, calzones and salads, will turn into a chef’s counter where nighttime diners can get an up-close view of the kitchen action.
“We’ve come pretty far from breaking bread,” Winer says. “But we still want to have that Old World-style hospitality.”
Pastoral | 345 Congress St., Boston | pastoralfortpoint.com