An intimate evening with Vine Connection’s sake producers at Kamakura
Feeling torn about where to eat tonight? Allow us to focus your reservation-clicking finger on a curated list of the buzziest bars and restaurants in Boston right now— both brand-new joints and established favorites giving us new reasons for return visits….
Kamakura - Downtown has scored a sleek—and sizable—new option for Japanese cuisine. Kamakura comes from chef Youji Iwakura (previously of Basho and Uni, among others), and spreads itself over three levels: from a ground-floor kaiseki bar offering two nightly seatings (5:30 and 8 p.m.) for elaborate tasting menus, to an all-seasons rooftop lounge (named Kumo) for sipping sake while surrounded by stunning city views. We’re glad Iwakura went so big for his debut self-owned venture.
Try this: When you don’t have time for an extensive omakase experience, know that bento boxes of poke, sashimi and more are available for busy lunch crowds— and delivery service is launching soon.
Hot tip: Iwakura believes his may be the first Boston restaurant to serve Koshu wines, a delicate variety made from white grapes from the Yamanashi region of Japan.
More often than not, tipsters, readers, and friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot, and where to get the latest classic Lyonnaise cuisine or multi-course Japanese feast or fancy pigs ‘n’ blankets….. 7. Kamakura, A multi-level jewel in downtown Boston, Kamakura looks to the sky with a lounge that features a retractable roof and views of Boston’s Custom House. From Youji Iwakura (Snappy Ramen, Uni), the new Japanese restaurant fits many occasions: lunchtime bento boxes; afternoon matcha and pastries (coming soon); beautifully plated, many-course tasting menus (modern kaiseki cuisine) for dinner; late-night snacks and sake. There’s Japanese wine, too, which is hard to find around here. Boston has a lot of Japanese food, but nothing quite like this.
Kamakura - Hoist chopsticks with your fellow masters of the universe at this multi-floor Financial District oasis, a reminder that expense-account dining isn’t dead. You’ll savor pricey, precious twinkles of sushi and bento boxes framed by magical views of the Custom House and other romantic downtown rooftops that soften any awkward business lunch. (The best views are from the upper-level Kumo lounge). Youji Iwakura, a Berklee College of Music student turned chef, sharpened his skills at Basho and Uni before starting this tranquil bastion, complete with a top-floor roof deck and an admirable selection of sake and Japanese wine.
At the new Kamakura on the edge of the Financial District, chef/owner Youji Iwakura shoehorns a bevy of concepts into three snug, modern rooms. The first-floor dining room, Kamakura proper, seats 16 at tables, with eight seats at a formal dining bar fronting a finishing kitchen. Reserve seats here for one of two nightly seatings of the Kamakura kaiseki, a lavish set menu ($156, 10 courses). The second-floor Washoku Bistro has a slightly greater capacity with a bartender behind its bar, plus a more casual a la carte menu. There’s also a “cha kaiseki” ($122, eight courses). Kumo, a rooftop lounge with spectacular city views through a retractable glass roof, awaits warmer weather to serve drinks and snacks. The lunchtime crowd is offered a short menu of deluxe-looking bento boxes ($22-$25), and there’s an afternoon matcha tea and sweets service in the works, too. Got all that?
Chef Youji Iwakura first knew he wanted to open a restaurant when he was still in the single digits. “One day when I was seven, I visited a restaurant, and the chef came out of the kitchen and he said something to me,” recalled Iwakura, noting that the details of the conversation are fuzzy. “At home my mom always cooked for me. My dad never cooked. Seeing a man as a chef, a cook, and then come and speak to me, it was totally different.”