Why drive into Boston when there are so many excellent restaurants right here on the South Shore? Here’s a roundup of 20 eateries that opened within the last three years that are heating up the local dining scene.
SORELLE BAR & GRILLE
1400 Bedford St., Abington; 781-421-6156; sorelleabington.com
The foodie world was buzzing when chef Andrea Schnell opened Sorelle Bar & Grill in April of 2017. Previously the executive chef at Square Cafe in Hingham, Schnell is known for her culinary creativity. The newly remodeled Abington eatery features a sleek bar area, cozy dining room and spacious outdoor patio. Sorelle’s Italian-centric menu offers a combination of traditional and more modern dishes. Favorites include Sicilian-style baked cod, Maine mussels served in a creamy lobster broth, seared Faroe Island salmon and crispy Point Judith calamari. Finish your meal off with a slice of Schnell’s creamy pistachio cheesecake.
15 Main St. Extension, Plymouth; 508-747-0471; mallebarbrasserie.com
After 10 years of owning the popular Plymouth restaurant The Blue-Eyed Crab, chef Jim Casey and his wife Heather shook things up last November by opening their second restaurant in town. The menu at Mallebar Brasserie puts a modern twist on French cuisine and everything from the sauces to the soup stocks is made from scratch. The menu changes frequently to reflect the seasons and Casey’s culinary creativity (can you say amuse-bouche?). Some of our favorite dishes include the steak frites and the lobster bisque with fresh truffles and fried lobster.
101 Kingston Collection Way, Kingston; 781-582-1010; barrustic.com
This restaurant broke the mold when it moved into the Kingston Collection in late 2016. Designed with an industrial-chic aesthetic, Bar Rustic features a lively bar scene and unique culinary entertainment opportunities (catch a cooking show next door at The Studio Kitchen). A wood-burning oven serves as the focal point of the main dining room and executive chef Joe DiFrancesco’s menu showcases a wide range of New American dishes like Korean BBQ baby back ribs and clam pasta with pancetta, cherry tomatoes, corn, jalapeno, house-made tagliatelle, garlic and herbs.
THE OYSTERMAN RAW BAR + TAVERN
30 Railroad Avenue, Duxbury; 781-934-2900; theoystermanduxbury.com
Opened in the fall of 2016, The Oysterman is situated in Duxbury’s Millbrook Marketplace where the Millbrook train station once stood (an old section of track now serves as a foot rail at the bar). With a name that honors the hardworking men and women who harvest Duxbury’s famous briny bivalves, it’s no surprise that this restaurant has a great raw bar. The menu also includes creative appetizers like Thai shrimp nachos and Tequila lime scallop ceviche and hearty entrées like filet mignon and the Oysterman cheeseburger, made with two smashed beef patties, melted American cheese, house-brined pickles, onions and a secret sauce. Don’t miss their great brunch cocktails like the Back River Bellini and the build-your-own bloody Mary bar.
43 Washington St., Norwell; 339-469-1670; littlecarmens.com
Avocados for days—that’s what life is like for chef Nicole DiGiusto, owner of Little Carmen’s. DiGiusto operated a popular cafe in Plymouth for 15 years before deciding to relocate to Norwell. Her creative menu of American breakfast and lunch dishes with a Mexican twist was an immediate hit. We love the huevos con chorizo and the most popular breakfast dish on the menu is chilaquiles, which consists of scrambled eggs and pulled pork served over corn chips with enchilada and verde sauces and finished with mixed cheeses, queso fresco and homemade roasted corn salsa. If you prefer, you can also get more traditional American breakfast items like eggs Benedict, but we like that this place dares to be a little different.
10 Cordage Park Circle, Plymouth; 774-343-5120; terraplymouth.com
Inside a restored factory building that once housed the Plymouth Cordage Company, Terra delivers a high level of culinary craftsmanship and an inviting industrial-chic atmosphere. Owner and chef Taylor Naples prepares rustic Italian dishes with seasonal New England ingredients. Many items on the menu are cooked in cast-iron pans inside a wood-fired oven. Start your meal with the Point Judith calamari or eggplant rollatini followed by handmade pasta or a perfectly roasted ½ chicken or double-cut pork chop. Pair your meal with a glass of wine or a creative cocktail.
HOOK & HARVEST
227 Chief Justice Cushing Highway, Scituate; 781-545-1340; hookandharvest.com
Coastal artwork hangs on the walls and fresh seafood is featured on the menu at Scituate’s Hook & Harvest. The restaurant is owned by siblings Kara and Michael Tondorf, a pair of restaurateurs who grew up in town and whose culinary enterprises have helped to invigorate the dining scene (they also own Riva and The Rivershed). The new restaurant is spacious but cozy, furnished with beautiful wood farm tables made by Rustic Marlin in Hanover. Start your meal with a Hook & Harvest Board that features artisanal meats and local cheeses before enjoying a flavorful dish like Massachusetts diver scallops served with truffle fingerling potatoes, peas, carrots, arugula, fried leeks and cranberry jam.
BRICK & BEAM
705 Adams St., Quincy, 617-481-5434, brickandbeam617.com
Since taking over a space that was occupied by Villa Rosa for more than 60 years, this culinary newcomer has become a neighborhood favorite. The atmosphere at Brick & Beam is industrial and hip, with exposed brick walls, ornate wallpaper and wooden beams that stretch across the ceiling. The menu features a wide range of American comfort foods like thin-crust pizzas, New York strip steak and mac ‘n’ cheese made with orecchiette pasta and a blend of aged cheddar, Gruyère and Parmesan. It’s the sort of place you could meet friends for after-work drinks, bring the family for a casual dinner or saddle up to the bar to watch a sports game on the big-screen TVs.
65 Summer St., Kingston; 781-585-6555; A3Pizza.com
Some people thought chef John Cataldi might be a little crazy when he opened up a casual pizza joint next-door to his upscale restaurant, Solstice. But A3 hit a homerun by offering old-school American-Italian favorites and a family-friendly atmosphere. We love the classic Margherita pizza made with fresh tomatoes and aged mozzarella, basil, Romano cheese and oregano. The restaurant also offers a Sunday supper, designed to feed four to six guests and served family-style with big bowls and platters. The meal includes salad, garlic bread, one cheese pizza and a choice of entrées, such as chicken parmigiana or chicken marsala.
TRIDENT GALLEY & RAW BAR
23 Shipyard Drive, Hingham; 781-374-7225; tridentrawbar.com
Seafood is the main event at Trident, the newest restaurant to be opened by local restaurateur Brian Houlihan. Located at Hingham Shipyard, the restaurant features rustic-chic décor elements like thick rope pendant lights and oyster shell-encrusted artwork. The menu showcases the freshest local seafood and the raw bar towers are particularly impressive and built to feed a crowd. Come with friends and enjoy an assortment of small plates like braised beef short ribs, seared yellowfin tuna or grilled Spanish octopus. The menu changes regularly, so there’s always something new and exciting to try.
ZEF CICCHETTI & RAW BAR
1472 Hancock St., Quincy; 617-481-4848; zefquincy.com
Located next-door to its sister restaurant, the Mediterranean steakhouse Alba, Zef Cicchetti & Raw Bar is already a Quincy hot spot. The restaurant features high ceilings, a beautiful bar and a delightful selection of Italian entrées and small plates. Order a glass of wine from their extensive wine list and sample some prosciutto and dates, grilled octopus or linguine vongole (clam pasta). This summer, the place to be will be their amazing rooftop deck.
FUJI AT WEST OF CHESTNUT
1420 Hancock St., Quincy; 617-770-1546; fujiatwoc.com
Boasting upscale décor, artfully plated sushi dishes and creative libations, Fuji at WOC is the ultimate Japanese fusion restaurant. Owner Jimmy Liang has 10 restaurants in the metro Boston area, including six in Quincy, but this spot is extra special. We love the taro taco with fresh tuna, house-made spicy sauce, fresh mangos, jalapenos, microgreens and ikura (salmon caviar). The flavor combinations are exciting and each dish is presented like a work of art. It’s no surprise that these guys took home the title of judge’s choice at the YMCA’s Taste of the South Shore event.
35 School St., Pembroke; 781- 754-0931; Gatherandeat.com
This unique farm-chic breakfast and lunch spot opened in February is aiming to become a community gathering place in Pembroke. The creative menu offers healthy choices like the quinoa scramble, sweeter options like the stuffed french toast made with seasonal fruit compote and even a breakfast poutine. They serve Bean Stock coffee from Wellfleet and water from Simpson Springs in Easton. They also offer communal Sunday dinners where guests dine at long tables and enjoy a meal served family-style in vintage Pyrex dishes.
FIRE & STONE TRATTORIA
285 Saint George St., Duxbury; 781-934-6310; Fireandstoneduxbury.com
After years of building gourmet pizza ovens for his clients, stonemason Christopher Jeffcote decided to start his own pizza business. In the beginning, Jeffcote and his wife, Kaitlyn, were pumping out Neapolitan pizza from a micro-sized takeout joint in Duxbury. Thanks to their wildly popular pies, they were recently able to relocate to a larger restaurant space with (you guessed it) custom brick pizza ovens. The creative menu features specialty pizzas like the Island Creek, topped with fresh-shucked littleneck clams from Island Creek Oysters and the Big Koa Burger, topped with grilled pineapple, cilantro lime aioli, lettuce, grilled onions, mozzarella cheese and crispy pancetta.
110 Main St., Weymouth; 781-335-0010; precinct10restaurant.com
Weymouth’s Precinct 10 is a hidden gem. This unique eatery serves up American cuisine with a Prohibition-era twist. The restaurant’s atmosphere is reminiscent of an upscale cocktail lounge, with dark red and black décor, velvet and leather furnishings and crystal chandeliers. Flat screen televisions play a combination of sports games and pop music videos. The menu consists of American favorites with a touch of Southern influence. Meat lovers will fall for The Smokehouse Platter, which offers a choice of four types of meat, including brisket, chicken, pastrami, pulled pork, baby back ribs and sausage that are smoked for hours to achieve a sweet barbeque flavor. The flavorful paella, made with mussels, littleneck clams, shrimp, scallops, calamari, chorizo, peas, peppers and onions served over Spanish rice is the perfect dish for sharing.
8 Stagecoach Way, Cohasset; 781-923-6125; perch143.com
This Cohasset restaurant offers a gorgeous view of the nearby St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The menu features creative American fare. For starters, there are “snacks,” like spiced almonds with harissa powder and honey; deviled eggs; parmesan cheese straws and pulled-pork sliders and a selection of small-plate dishes. The burger bar is also quite impressive. Customers choose a protein (beef, turkey, organic salmon, buffalo chicken or a quinoa-and-black bean combination) that are served on multigrain rolls (brioche, focaccia, English muffin and gluten-free options are also available) and come with baked french fries.
DAVIO’S NORTHERN ITALIAN STEAKHOUSE
250 Granite St., Braintree; 781-843-4810; davios.com/braintree
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse was a welcome arrival when it opened its doors on the lower level of South Shore Plaza. The menu features flavorful antipasti, handmade pastas as well as delicious steak and seafood options. One of the restaurant’s most popular entrées is the Bolognese and you can’t go wrong by ordering the restaurant’s signature spring roll appetizer, which is available in several different flavors (chicken parmesan, Reuben, shrimp cotija and even Buffalo chicken).
THE RANGE BAR & GRILL
306 Whiting St., Hingham; 781-875-3382; therangehingham.com
This lively American sports bar is adjacent to a 97-bay driving range and pro shop. The restaurant is designed to appeal to sports fans and is the kind of place where the after-work crowd can hang out and enjoy live music and a delicious meal. Guests can order a flavorful burger or snack on wings on the outdoor patio, which features an enormous hearthstone fireplace. Other menu favorites include the Buffalo chicken bread bowl and the Range reuben sliders that come with three corned-beef brisket sandwiches topped with melted Swiss, sauerkraut and whole grain mustard on pretzel buns.
KKATIE’S BURGER BAR
1440 Hancock St., Quincy; 617-770-1440; kkaties.com
At the end of 2016, KKatie’s Burger Bar opened its third South Shore location and introduced its belly-busting burger lineup to Quincy residents. The casual come-as-you-are atmosphere is popular with sports enthusiasts and anyone who loves a good burger. Signature menu items include the KKrunch Burger, which consists of an Angus burger topped with house made potato chips, cherry wood smoked bacon, American cheese and caramelized onions, and the Good Morning Burger that is topped with a fried egg, crispy cherry wood smoked bacon and American cheese.
1 Greenside Way, Plymouth; 508-224-2400; farmerstableplymouth.com
This small café-style restaurant operated by Lynn Tripp and her daughter Olivia opened in Redbrook’s new residential community in South Plymouth in October 2016. The tables are set with antique china and the menu reflects a farm-to-table culinary philosophy. Guests can enjoy delicious breakfast and lunch options all day long, such as fresh green salads, oven roasted turkey sandwiches and avocado toast. They also serve special Friday night dinners.