Ward 8 Restaurant & Bar is the new creation designed from the ground up by Nicholas Frattaroli. Connecting the North End and Bulfinch Triangle in the West End, the location at 90 N. Washington Street is geared for both the Garden events as well as a neighborhood crowd.
We stopped in before the Grand Opening dinner crowd arrived on Monday night to snap some photos and see how it all turned out. The space was recently vacated by NEBO that moved to Atlantic Wharf but it bears little resemblance to that eatery.
The centerpiece of Ward 8 is a 30-seat white marble cocktail bar surrounded by a 70+ seat dining area. One wall is lined with black leather and mirrors and a Ward 8 logo fashions the brick on the other side.
“I want this to be a neighborhood bar where people feel comfortable,” said owner Nicholas Frattaroli. The striking design accents stand out such as the huge marine/warehouse lights that provide subdued lighting amid thick wood top tables and metal chairs.
As a proud new father, Nicholas was able to show off both his 11 week son, Leo, as well as his new business at the grand opening this week. He hails from the famous Frattaroli family including well-known North End restauranteurs, Filippo (Filipoo’s Ristorante), Donato (Lucia Ristorante), Nancy (Artu) and Philip (Ducali Pizzeria & Bar). Nicholas spent several years working with his family before striking out on his own.
Ward 8 takes a different direction from the traditional North End Italian restaurant presenting more of a cocktail bar atmosphere but still plenty of dining tables. The name itself comes from the West End district of political ward boss Martin B. Lomasney, “the Mahatma.” The Ward 8 cocktail was made famous at Locke-Ober in Downtown Crossing.
Adam Sheldon, formerly of Radius, is Ward 8’s General Manager. “I want our customers to have a fine dining experience with the warmth and feel of a North End restaurant,” he said.
Heading up the cocktail bar is Mike Wyatt, formerly of Eastern Standard. The bar will be serving up a craft beers, wine and wide selection of cocktails including specialties: Ward 8 (Four Roses, orange, lemon, grenadine), Il Pomplemo (No. 3 Gin, Campari, St. Germain, Grapefruit Bitters), Bee Sting (Milagro Blanco, honey, lemon, jalapeno) and New England Daiquiri (BMD rum, maple, lime).
The menu includes a raw bar, salads and sandwiches with main courses featuring Ward 8 Mac & Cheese, Cod Bouillabaisse and Braised Short Ribs. When asked about the expected favorite, head chef Kenny Schweizer predicted the Maple Chili Duck Wings will be a winner. Schweizer is formerly of Radius, Bristol Lounge and worked with Ming Tsai of the recently opened Blue Dragon.
In addition to Frattaroli, North Enders might recognize the Imbergamo brothers, Marco and Matthew, who are working as part of the Ward 8 team.
Ward 8 is open for dinner starting at 5pm, 7 days a week. “Snack & Sharing” is a featured part of the menu with service until 1:00 am and the bar is open until 2am. More details can be found at Ward8.com, on Facebook or Twitter.
(Photos by Matt Conti.)