La Padrona is Open

Brian Samuels for La Padrona

Dining out downtown is glamorous once again now that La Padrona is open in the brand-new Raffles Boston Hotel in the Back Bay. The newest eatery from celebrated chef Jody Adams and partners Eric Papachristos and Jon Mendez at A Street Hospitality (Trade, Porto, Saloniki Greek, The Venetian) has upped the ante on Italian dining with two floors of sleek entertaining space, an expansive menu that draws inspiration from multiple regions of Italy, and an eye popping wine list.

The 8,600-square-foot endeavor invites you in with the light and airy Lounge Bar and Living Room Lounge on the first floor, where you can pop in for a proper cocktail and snacks or wait for a group before ascending the central grand staircase up to the main dining room. On the second floor you’ll find a modern Italian villa-style dining space designed with an eye toward Italy’s Golden Era Cinema period, with deep toned wood floors, heavy drapery, black iron open balusters, warm walnut wood handrails, and travertine stone steps. A 360-degree central bar with a Calacatta viola marble countertop and plush oversized velvet bar stools anchors the room, and the main dining seating consists of intimate booths, four-top tables, comfortable banquette seating, and larger tables for parties of six or more. Those seated on the banquettes will also be able to peep an iconic view out into the Back Bay to see the John Hancock tower. If you’re looking for an extra intimate evening you can reserve one of a few semi-private “Hollywood booths,” which are tucked within niches in the wall, lined with diamond-tufted fabric panels and lit with a mixture of cove lighting, or book one of their luxurious private dining room spaces for a group.

Fans of Adams’ time as a chef in The Hub — especially at Rialto — will be happy to see her teaming up with executive chef Amarilys Colon for a return to her Italian food roots with a menu that spans cuisines from Piedmont to the hills of Emilia-Romagna and the coastline of Abruzzo. Start the night off with an order of Cacio E Pepe Focaccia for the table and then choose from a selection of insalati and antipasti like Roasted Beets & Chicories, Whipped Caserta Ricotta, or Mortadella & Stracciatella in Mano. Handmade pastas on the primi menu include Paccheri & Clams (Barnstable little gem clams, braised tomatoes, kombu, cruschi peppers, and ashes) and you don’t want to miss the decadent Lobster & Uni Risotto with caramelized fennel, tomato, and chive blossoms. Mains include fresh catches of Grilled Swordfish and Seared Black Cod, or you can go for a classic, meaty Slow Roasted Porchetta. Beef lovers will appreciate the Dry Aged Bone-In Porterhouse with bone marrow and grilled focaccia, or the 8-oz. Pan Seared Beef Tenderloiin with black garlic and porcini butter. If you have any room left after all of that, top things off with a Brioche Gelato Sandwich (toasted lemon-glazed brioche buns, pistachio, strawberry mascarpone, and brown butter ginger) or a Sgroppino made with prosecco, lemon gelato, mixed berry sorbet, and brown butter blondie.

The Lounge has its own menu of light bites where you’ll find Adams’ legendary Cheese & Fennel Breadsticks; Fried Olives with pork, Parmesano Reggiano and Calabria chili; and Fried Ravioli Alla Norma with roasted eggplant, tomato, capers and ricotta salata. If you’re stopping by after dinner or a show for something sweet, there’s a Mini Brioche Bomboloni with pistachio cream and mixed berry compote that can’t be missed, or order up a Florentine Cannoli, almond lace, whipped ricotta, and orange to satisfy your sweet tooth.

There’s a lot to take in on the drinks menu, starting with signature cocktails made with premier spirits like the Sophia Loren on the Beach with Rhum J.M. Fruité, Ten to One Caribbean rum, batavia arrack, falernum, vanilla, tropical citrus, hibiscus and ginger. Traditionalists will appreciate their collection of martinis, and adventurists will appreciate new twists like the La Padrona (Bombay Sapphire, Martini & Rossi Riserva Ambrato Vermouth, St. Germain, and accoutrements). There is also a dedicated negroni menu, which includes the La Padrona Negroni, Smoky Negroni, a White Negroni, and the All American Negroni. There is also a selection of Italian beers, cordials, amari and dessert drinks, and if you’re skipping the spirits there are options like the NA Tangerine Margarita made with Free Spirits Tequila, DHOS Orange, tangerine, lime, and bitter agave. The crowning jewel, however, is perhaps the huge wine list of more than 400 bottles that leans heavily into Italian vintages.

La Padrona is open every night starting at 4:00pm for lounge service; 5:00 to 10:00pm for dinner Sunday through Wednesday; and 5:00 to 11:00pm Thursday through Saturday. You can make reservations here or by giving them a call at 617.351.8888. Take a look at the menu on the website and peep the sumptuous space by taking a spin through their Instagram here.

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