By KERRY BYRNE
Tokenfire is slated to open this week in the heart of Quincy Center, the latest in a long list of recent restaurant openings that have dramatically reshaped the dining scene in this historic, bustling and rapidly gentrifying urban enclave.
The eatery plans to open to the public on Friday, Dec. 27 at 35 Washington St., steps from Quincy Center T on the MBTA Red Line and commuter rail and within a block of many of the neighborhood’s most notable restaurants, including The Townshend, Idle Hour, Fuji at WOC and Alba Prime Steak + Seafood.
The intimate gastropub will feature globally inspired fare amid a warm inviting Irish pub atmosphere.
“We want to create a community that celebrates Irish roots but offers a global take on modern Irish cuisine,” said principal owner Breda O’Connor.
The vision for Tokenfire was inspired by Noel O’Connor, Breda’s nephew, who worked at many of Boston’s most notable dining destinations, including Kingfish Hall and Boston Rocks in Faneuil Hall.
Noel was a first-generation Irish-American who grew up in Milton with parents who hailed from County Kerry and County Mayo. He died suddenly and tragically in January 2016, hours after finishing a bar shift at neighboring eatery the Townshend, and a year after being inspired to open Tokenfire.
“I’m excited to bring my nephew Noel’s vision to life,” said Breda O’Connor. “Many the day I heard Noel say I want to open a bar and a restaurant and I want to call it Tokenfire. This is a deeply personal project for me and for Noel’s friends and family.”
The Tokenfire kitchen will be managed by executive chef Nicola Battistacci. He’s a native of Italy who worked at upscale eateries in his homeland before moving to South America and then to Boston, where his resume includes stays at South End hotspot Cinquecento and Corfinio Wood Fired Grill in Easton.
The opening menu will pair bright Mediterranean and South American flavors with heartier traditional Irish, American and pan-European classics. Among the highlights of the global menu:
- Rainbow cauliflower with Calabrian chili oil
- Local mussels with ‘nduja sauce, red onions and toasted bread
- Spanish octopus with crispy potatoes, smoked paprika and chipotle aioli
- Traditional Irish Shepherd’s pie with braised lamb and mashed potatoes
- Faroe Island salmon with farro salad, roasted butternut squash, kale and dried cranberries
The menu will also include a creative variety of flatbreads, burgers and salads.
The décor reflects Tokenfire’s rustic-and-contemporary vibe. The eatery features images of the Irish countryside alongside clean, contemporary white-tiled walls.
Guests will dine amid comfort lighting and soothing music, surrounded by earth-tone knotty pine tables from a 400-year-old tree, crafted by Irish-American artist Vincent Crotty.
Twenty draft beers await, ranging from Irish-brewed classics, such as Guinness and Smithwick’s, to the latest local craft beers. Tokenfire will also offer fine wines, cocktails and spirits.
Granite shelving, reflecting Quincy’s history as one of America’s great quarrying communities, sit beneath the large store-front windows that overlook the Richardsonian National Historic Landmark Thomas Crane Public Library and its verdant Olmstead-designed lawn right across the street.
Tokenfire will seat 55 in its dining room and 20 at the bar. It will be open each day from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., pending final occupancy approval from the City of Quincy.