The newest restaurant in Wellesley is about to open its doors. Door No. 7 in Linden Square is nearly ready to introduce all comers to an upscale restaurant and lounge experience that will emphasize small plates, a raw bar, and craft cocktails, all served up in a classy and sleek atmosphere.
Here’s the important information about when you can get it in:
It’s friends and family day on Saturday, December 29th, meaning a table is available by invitation only.
Then Door No. 7 will be open to all, table availability willing, on Sunday, December 30th.
After that, they’re closed Monday, December 31; and Tuesday, January 1, presumably to avoid the double madness of opening a new restaurant and serving on high-expectation days right from the get-go.
Starting Wednesday, January 2, the 150-seat space, owned by Wellesley native Laura Wolfe and her husband John Wolfe, will be open on the daily. The couple also owns The Cottage across the street, as well as two Newburyport restaurants
Door No. 7’s interior was designed by celebrity interior designer Taniya Nayak, who you might know from HGTV and the Food Network. She and her Boston-based firm also handled the 2018 renovation of The Cottage, a project that was all about revamping a much-loved spot by creating a warm and cozy New England atmosphere. Nayak has taken Door No. 7 in a different, sleeker direction. The palette is neutral throughout and the lines are defined. The dining-room seating lends a mid-century modern look to the space, but it’s no time capsule to the past. There’s bleached wood paneling and a floor that’s part polished concrete for the cool factor and part carpeted for sound absorption. The ceiling is designed to further neutralize the clatter and conversation that Wolfe is counting on as part of the sophisticated party vibe she expects to be a nightly thing. “We wanted the restaurant to feel a little bit more urban than The Cottage or other restaurants in the area,” Wolfe said.
When you walk in, the 15-seat bar and that area’s accompanying ten or so tables are right there. Scan the scene, there’s bound to be someone you know. Also check out the liquor lockers, a new concept to me but perhaps not to more sophisticated Wellesley-ites. The idea is that a customer can rent a locker, fill it with whatever Door No.7-provided spirits they love, and their private stock will be there waiting for their next visit. The bartender will personally help with customers’ selections, which perhaps might not be regularly available behind the bar. This “bottle keep” system will be available to about 30 customers, and the fee structure hasn’t yet been set. Maybe if you get in on the ground floor, you could have some input on that.
For the nameless, faceless many of us who will not be renting a locker, look for specialty cocktails with a Prohibition-esque feel to them: A Dangerous Man is mixed up with bourbon, rye, faro amaro, kummel mist, and angostora bitters. The 21st Amendment has bourbon, wood roasted beet and thyme syrup, citrus, and falernum. There is also a wine list; a rotating selection of draft beers and offerings in cans and bottles; and sangria served seasonally.
As for the food, that’s the domain of executive chef Peter Hansen, who once did a short stint on Iron Chef. Hansen handles the menus of all four of the Wolfes’ restaurants, and he will be primarily stationed out of Door No7. “That’s pretty exciting to us and to many of our customers who know all about the amazing things he puts together,” general manager Kayin Peters said. She also noted that over half of the menu items are gluten free.
Raw bar is a big part of the menu and includes oysters, littlenecks, and shrimp cocktail, of course. Also look for scallops cerviche served with smoked tomato, lime, cilantro, and sweet onion; salmon poke with Hawaiian flavors and taro chips; and Maine lobster and avocado with watercress, horseradish, and lime.
Large plates include roasted half chicken with 15-layer taleggio potato, bacon roasted brussels sprouts, and porcini-infused bone broth; Scottish organic salmon, lightly smoked, served with root vegetable lasagna, baby frisse salad, and Meyer lemon vinaigrette; and a burger made with locally sourced dry aged beef topped with aged amish cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle, on a buttered brioche and accompanied with rosemary parmesan fries.
Hansen’s kitchen isn’t wide open to the dining area, but you can glimpse and hear the bustle. It’s all part of the urban feel Door No.7 is striving for. There may be some who will sniff at its suburban location, but everyone else will appreciate the ample parking and the feeling of being transported to a different, cooler reality once they enter the space. When you walk through the first door, look up. I won’t spoil the surprise, but it’s totally fun. Also, don’t miss the pictures of famous actors standing in doorways (get it?). There’s Clint Eastwood, Vivian Leigh, and Elizabeth Taylor. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out who that was in the ladies restroom, and then couldn’t believe it once I was told. Another surprise that awaits you.
Other eateries coming to Wellesley: