The Vermilion Club Opens Downtown

The Vermillion Club/Nitzan Keynan

If you need an excuse to splurge on a pair of designer sandals this season, plan a night at The Vermilion Club, a splashy new chophouse and bar on the second floor of The Connector at 115 Federal Street in downtown’s Winthrop Center building. It’s the first full-service restaurant led by acclaimed chef and restaurateur John Fraser in Boston, which ups the ante on his fast casual, first-floor food hall, The Lineup.

Fraser cut his teeth studying under chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry, and studied fine dining in Paris at the revered Taillevent and Mason Blanche before later earning a Michelin star at his vegetable-centric spot Nix in New York City and helming a slew of other restaurants (some also Michelin starred) in New York City, Long Island, Tampa and Los Angeles. The menu, overseen by executive chef Matthew Gaudet, brings a fresh, Mediterranean approach to traditional steakhouse fare, including a range of price points that can cover anything from weeknight meetups to a weekend splurge. Expect to see opulent dry aged meats and whole fish intermingled with some Northeast faves like lobster and clams, with standouts like Three-Way Tartare, which includes sirloin, tuna and tomato tartare served with baguette stacked fries, Hawaiian rolls and lettuce leaves; and Foie Gras Boston Cream Pie, which is a savory sponge cake filled whipped foie gras mousse, butter cocoa glaze and buckwheat apple crumbs. Save some room for a bite of something sweet, too, like Caramelized Puff Pie, Burnt Bee Baked Alaska, and of course a classic NY Cheesecake.

Bring a thirst for cocktails, because beverage director Amy Racine has an eye-popping list of more than 70 sips to try, which are presented in a comprehensive dossier categorized by spirit. Right off the bat you’ll want to try The Vermilion Manhattan, which mixes their own exclusive Knob Creek bourbon barrel with Inniskillin Cabernet Franc Ice Wine in lieu of sweet vermouth.

The sleek space takes its name from the 30-foot glass art sculpture — Vermilion Fiori — that hangs over the bar, which was created by noted glass artist Dale Chihuly. Thomas Juul-Hansen designed the space, which features moody hues of blue, brown, and of course the signature red-orange shade of vermilion. There’s room for 120, including 30 seats at the 55-foot bar, and anywhere you sit will feel decidedly chic thanks to luxe custom furniture and lots of leather and oak. It’s the perfect spot if you’re heading home in search of a proper cocktail after a hard day’s work in the Financial District, looking to impress a date or VIP clients, or celebrating a milestone.

The Vermilion Club will officially start taking reservations via Resy starting on Tuesday, June 18th. They’re open Tuesday through Thursday from 5:00 to 10:00pm, and Friday and Saturday from 5:00 to 11:00pm. For more info about chef Fraser check out his stats here, and be sure to follow them on Instagram for updates on opening day.

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