Boston’s Only Tuna Wonton Nachos. What More Do you Need?
Here in Boston, seafood is kind of a big deal. Â So itâ€™s not surprising that when the Glynn Hospitality Group snatched up the space that was formerly Jose McIntyreâ€™s on Milk Street in the Financial District, they decided to make it seasonal and seafood centric.
What they created is Central Wharf Co. Â With rustic wood panel floors, exposed ceiling beams, large windows, and some nautical touches, the restaurant is spacious and bright. Â The atmosphere is certainly befitting of the menuâ€™s strong focus on seafood, and the curator of that menu is Chef John Radcliffe. Â Chef Radcliffe was brought on to command the kitchen right when Central Wharf Co. opened last November.
Radcliffeâ€™s approach to the food is straightforward. Â He does â€œnew twists without adulterating flavor,â€ Â focusing on â€œfresh, local seafood.â€ He is sourcing both his fish and his produce primarily from in and around Boston, and recognizes that the local goods are giving the food that extra something special.
Their fish tacos fly out of the kitchen, along with the popular wharf clam bake, which is all the fixings of a traditional clam bake (including but not limited to mussels, little necks, cod, and local New Bedford Chorizo sausage) just packed into one pan. Â However, Radcliffe noted that one of his favorite menu items is the tuna wonton nachos. A true indication of the Chefâ€™s creativity, this play on traditional nachos has tuna tar tar atop wonton crisps that have been smothered in melted wasabi cheddar cheese (which he gets from Yanceyâ€™s in New York), and the whole thing is finished off with pineapple salsa, ponzu, and avocado.
Radcliffe accurately describes the young spot as â€œfun and funky,â€ not to mention versatile. Â They draw in the business lunch crowd, followed by a loyal after work crew to the bar (most of whom are eating the kitchenâ€™s crafty dishes along with their libations), then a dinner rush and on weekends they are open late and bring in a DJ.
The Chefâ€™s passion and excitement about the food they are turning out is palpable, and his focus on fresh and local products is evident throughout the menu. Â He is proud of his kitchen, full of guys who stayed on from the days of Jose McIntyreâ€™s standard Mexican fare but who have grown into creative cooks; inspired by the new direction Central Wharf Co. has taken with its food.
So yeah, seafood is a big deal around here. Â Luckily, Central Wharf Co. knows it, and is taking great care to respect the local goods.