Red Paint Hospitality Group—the team behind Hopewell Bar & Kitchen and The Avenue—is hoping to hit all the right notes with its new eatery in the shadow of Symphony Hall. The Westland, which opened in early January, features a tavern-inspired menu, a whiskey-focused bar program and subtle nods to the neighborhood.
“It’s not a fancy destination place where you go once a year for a special event,” owner Douglas Bacon says. “My inspiration was to make it the kind of place where you might go for dinner with your family on a Saturday night or go sit at the bar and have an appetizer when you’re meeting friends.”
Setting up shop in the long-shuttered Symphony 8 space, The Westland draws influences from English pubs and French brasseries for its casual atmosphere. The 129-seat interior includes plush red leather banquettes and a bar area on each of the two floors.
Bacon says that compared to his other restaurants, “This [one] is more ambitious with the menu and the presentation and the inside of the space. We’re aiming a little bit higher than any of my other locations.”
Helmed by chef Danielle Dorcil (formerly of Fat Baby), the kitchen is open nightly for dinner, with plans to expand to weekday lunch and weekend brunch. The menu includes shareable options like pork-belly fries topped with crispy Brussels sprout leaves and maple sweet potato aioli, as well as a number of grilled pizzas, like a prosciutto pie featuring pistachio pesto, mascarpone, arugula and fig preserves. Bigger bites include dishes such as porchetta served with sweet potato puree, veggies and mustard velouté, plus sandwiches and an eponymous burger stacked with shallots, truffled mushroom aioli, tomato tapenade and red wine gastrique.
The drink program, spearheaded by bar manager Julia Buccieri, features a lineup of cocktails named after statues at Symphony Hall, like the Three Graces, made using Espolon Anejo tequila, Don Ciccio & Figli mandarin liqueur, crème de cassis, lime, wildflower honey and egg white, as well as an extensive whiskey list with offerings like Whistle Pig and Pappy Van Winkle.
“I know we’re going to get a lot of people who are going to Symphony Hall and the Huntington Theatre and New England Conservatory and other places,” Bacon says. “But my first goal is to serve and connect with the people who live close by.”
The Westland 10 Westland Ave., Boston (617-208-6292) westlandboston.com