Juliet is known citywide for its ever-shifting identity. Now? Reserve a table to honor Persian New Year with monkfish and saffron panna cotta. Next week? Celebrate Greek cuisine with roast lamb and olive oil cake. A Feast of the Seven Fishes croquembouche, Roman stracciatella, and Quebecoise slow roasted pork with baked lentils have also graced the menu at Josh Lewin and Katrina Jazayeri’s Union Square spot this winter.
“Juliet was really built as a place of experimentation,” Lewin says. “And one thing that we theorized was that in celebrating all of these rotating themes, one of them might take root and become something that we could spin off into a more permanent and specific concept.”
Their theory was spot-on. Lewin and Jazayeri announced last month that they’re crossing the Charles and heading to Beacon Hill to open their second restaurant, Peregrine. A spinoff of Juliet’s Sunday night pasta supper tradition, the restaurant will celebrate the cuisines of Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, and Catalonia.
“It’s a really narrow focus that celebrates a lot of migration and cultural exchange, which is kind of what Boston’s all about,” Lewin says.
Take the paella on Peregrine’s menu, for example. Paella, a Spanish dish, is actually quite popular in Alghero, Sardinia, Lewin says. However, in Alghero—and at Peregrine—paella has an Italian twist: Instead of featuring rice, it’s made with fregola, a type of pasta. In Alghero, the dish is also traditionally made with lobster.
“So you have this dish, which is Spanish in name and in technique, featuring both Italian ingredients and a classic Boston ingredient,” Lewin explains.
Lewin hopes that Peregrine’s trattoria-style menu will give it broad appeal. Casual diners will be able to stop in for drinks and antipasti (think charcuterie and marinated fish), while those celebrating a special occasion could design a multicourse meal, featuring appetizers, small plates, and larger-format pasta or rice dishes. Peregrine will also be open for full service breakfast and lunch.
“There can be a lot of formality that comes with special occasion dining, and we wanted to provide all the flavor, all the fun, and all the service, but let people relax,” Lewin says.
The expansion to Beacon Hill brings Lewin’s career full circle. Before founding Juliet, he made a name for himself as executive chef at the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro. However, while the expansion brings back many happy Beacon Hill memories for Lewin and Jazayeri, their roots are now undeniably in Somerville. The couple lives right off of Union Square, not too far from Juliet.
“Our first restaurant is actually part of the community that we’re a part of for our daily lives,” Lewin says. “But in Beacon Hill, you get the opportunity to be someone’s first introduction to Boston; they don’t have to go looking for you. So we’re excited to try to be a good ambassador for our city.”
When can you make your way to Beacon Hill to get a taste? The team has finished developing the menu, and they’re currently testing recipes and sorting out their staff. While there’s no firm opening date yet, Lewin hopes Peregrine will open in May, just in time for college graduation season.