James Beard Award winner Chef Karen Akunowicz has already proved that the North End doesn’t have a monopoly on good Italian eats with Fox & the Knife, her super-successful nod to Northern Italian cuisine. At her newest venture, Bar Volpe, she’s shifting her gaze (and people's palates) south.
Located on Broadway in South Boston just a five minute stroll from its sister restaurant, Bar Volpe is inspired by the Chef’s sojourns through Southern Italy, with the bold, fresh flavors of Sicily, Naples, Campania, and Puglia all shining through on the menu. Think wood-fired seafood, rotisserie meats, and lots of cheese. Fresh pasta takes center stage here, both on the menu and literally–a glass-walled pastificio sits just inside the door, where guests can sit and watch their noodles take shape while they dine, or buy fresh pasta and sauces to go. There’s also a mozzarella bar, with house-made burrata and ricotta, also available to go from the restaurant’s Market Bar.
Much like the food she’s showcasing, Akunowicz’s restaurant is meant to encourage community gathering and conviviality. The space is simply decorated, with big bright windows overlooking the street, white tile, and bold yellow banquettes that evoke a subtly retro diner feel (the 25 seat bar used to be an Airstream). There’s a secondary dining room perfect for private events (or gather 9 of your closest friends and rent out the pastificio), and between the lively bar and wood-fire oven, every seat in the house will make you feel like a part of the action.
Pull up a seat at that Airstream bar and you’ll find yourself in a world of Italian imbibing. Italian spirits and ingredients feature prominently on the cocktail list, which also offers a full Negroni Service. The wine list is mostly meant for weeknight neighborhood hangs, so expect to see the usual suspects like Nebbiolo and Chianti, with a focus on great value and the occasional baller selection for special occasions. Akunowicz is also offering her very own wine label at the bar, whose first offering, “Forli Sangiovese,” is a hand-harvested gem that proves that her love of Italian cuisine doesn’t stop at the kitchen door.
170 W Broadway
Boston, MA 02127