Ever since Colton Coburn-Wood was a teenager living in California, he’s had an affinity for tacos. Now, with help from co-owners Brian O’Donnell and Dropkick Murphys frontman Ken Casey, the 27-year-old chef is ready to turn out his own at Antique Taqueria, slated to open in Dorchester in early May.
“I’ve always been really fascinated with Mexican food after going to all the different taquerias in LA,” says Coburn-Wood, who previously worked at Ken Oringer’s now-defunct La Verdad in Fenway. “It’s kind of like a dream come true.”
Coburn-Wood, who’s also the executive chef at Casey and O’Donnell’s Lower Mills Tavern, says the menu will have 3-5 ceviches and 10-12 tacos as well as daily specials. The tacos will include varieties such as duck confit with duck cracklings and plantain puree; fried crab on a blue-corn tortilla with chipotle black bean puree, shredded cabbage and a mango and red onion salsa; chili-infused beer battered fish with pureed squash and pineapple salsa; and crispy pork belly with goat cheese, roasted beets and prickly pear syrup. All the tacos will be served on housemade tortillas that Coburn-Wood says will be made each morning.
“With each taco, I’m trying to do something different that Boston hasn’t seen in a while. They’re traditional but they have my own twist on them,” Coburn-Wood says. “Each one is kind of like if you were to order a dish at a fine-dining restaurant, but these will be composed on tortillas.”
The tacos will be served in a space designed by O’Donnell’s wife, HGTV veteran Taniya Nayak, who is going for a retro-Mexi-Cali vibe in the former antique store that will fit up to 50 people. A bar lined with plenty of mezcals and tequilas runs the length of the front area, and mostly low-top tables fill the area near the back wall.
When Coburn-Wood agreed to help open Lower Mills Tavern in June, he didn’t think he would be opening a taqueria less than 12 months later. But when the storefront became available down the street from LMT, the partners pounced on it. The quick turnaround has made for a whirlwind year for the chef, who has an ownership stake in Antique.
“It was never part of the original plan,” Coburn-Wood says. “But I always had a taqueria concept in the back of my head. To see it actually come to a reality is something really amazing, and I’m stoked to do this.”
Antique Taqueria 2297 Dorchester Ave., Boston