Phantom Gourmet: Bostonia Public House In The Financial District

BOSTON – Boston is a city full of rich history and great food – and you can get both of them at Bostonia Public House. Located in the Financial District, Bostonia Public House is a throwback to the bygone days of Boston.

"It almost feels like you're really stepping back in time. We really wanted to give a wink and a nod, if you will, a tribute to Boston, and its rich culture," said General Manager John Fitzgerald. "We have some really cool elements like the Mayors of Boston wall, or just little touches of historical pieces. It's just sort of a nice place to pay tribute to what Boston has to offer."

Fitzgerald and his team have created a sophisticated dining space, decked out with a rich wooden bar with comfortable leather seating, a state of the art wine system, and handsomely dressed servers. While this place looks fancy, Fitzgerald says they welcome everyone – whether you're dressed up or not.

"When you walk in the door, you kind of see a fun, inviting place. It's a warm, welcoming environment. Polished and playful, but not pretentious. Very approachable."

And nothing sets the tone quite like live music.

"Going back to the early 1900s, in a lot of public houses you'd have a live piano player. So Wednesday through Saturday, that's what we offer is live music, bringing back the classic American song book."

Chef Kyle Ketchum's menu combines comfort food with the classics, offering upscale fare like carefully selected cheeses and housemade charcuterie, and down home dishes like sesame glazed chicken wings or hot housemade chips with onion dip.

"My ultimate goal with the menu was to create something that was friendly, inviting, but to let everyone know there's a chef driving the culinary aspect of it. I wanted them to know that there's someone back there with a vision."

Every meal starts with a complimentary ceramic tin of classic Boston baked beans.

"Being called Bostonia Public House, we wanted to go back and think, what could we do to kind of give maybe a little amous bouche to our guests; something a little special from chef?" recalled Fitzgerald. "So we thought chef would come up with a great version of his own Boston baked beans. We call them Bostonia baked beans."

For something really special, Bostonia's poutine is prepared with nostalgic tater tots, rather than fries, for a stick to your ribs starter.

The poutine at Bostonia Public House is made with tater tots. (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

The poutine at Bostonia Public House is made with tater tots. (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

"It's super crispy tater tots and then we serve it with a mixture of fresh cheese curds and a blend of mozzarella and white cheddar," described Chef Kyle. "Then you just make a house made brown gravy with a hint of black pepper.

"Some of the tater tots are super creamy or they soak up the brown gravy. They can absorb it, then they're very soft and fluffy. Then you get some of the crispy edges on the outside with the gooey cheese."

"It's decadent. It's sinful. It's delicious. It's the ultimate comfort food," bragged Fiztzgerald.

Bostonia's ribs are taken over-the-top when they're cooked in duck fat.

"We cook our ribs in duck fat for 18 hours- slow and low. I want it to fall right off the bone and just melt in your mouth, and these do just that," said the chef.

"The fattiness adds so much to the flavor of it. Cook them in duck fat and all of a sudden you've got a whole different element of a rib," Fitzgerald said.

Since the restaurant is just blocks from the harbor, seafood is prevalent on Bostonia's menu.

"When people come to Boston, they expect amazing seafood, and that's one thing that we wanted to make sure that we presented."

There's an overloaded shellfish platter with housemade tuna crudo; a native crusted cod served over a potato leek succotash; and a non-traditional lobster roll stuffed with a unique lobster salad made with yuzu crema and avocado topped with bacon crumbs.

"Everybody does a lobster roll. Once again, I wanted something different," said Chef Kyle. "You taste a little fattiness of the bacon then some smokiness."

"It's not for the purists of lobster rolls; it's for the indulgent people," explained Fitzgerald. "Absolutely delicious, and a different way of approaching a lobster roll. Who doesn't love bacon?"

Bacon has also found its way onto Bostonia's Burger. Topped with a caramelized onion compote, this burger is so succulent that they decided to put it on focaccia, to catch all of the juices.

"No one wants to have a super moist and juicy burger and then all of that runs down into your hand," said Chef Kyle. "So the bun is a little heartier and it catches it and it just enhances the complete bite."

That nod to the old-school continues right through dessert with Berkshire Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potato Doughnuts and Bostonia's version of Boston Creme Pie.

The Bostonia Cream Pie. (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

The Bostonia Cream Pie. (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

Kyle has reinvented this classic, and turned it on its head, layering chocolate ganache with a cream filled tartlet that's topped with amaretto soaked almond croutons.

"So it is a very different take on a Boston cream pie," explained Fitzgerald, "but that's why it's the Bostonia cream pie. It's a new version of an old classic"

You'll find Bostonia Public House at 131 State Street, and online at

Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.