Opening a business during a pandemic is not an easy task, especially when the grand opening is based on a takeout menu alone. The husband and wife team of Tim and Nancy Cushman originally intended to open Bianca on March 19, but the opening was delayed by the pandemic.
Although the dine-in opening had been delayed, the restaurant chose to open for takeout only in the meantime. Bianca was recently opened by the Cushmans for dine-in on Nov. 12.
“We had already done our soft opening, and our whole staff had been hired and trained, so going to takeout only was a huge pivot,” said Stephan Martino, the Cushmans’ concepts marketing manager.
When the initial opening date was pushed back, the owners decided to open with a smaller takeout menu called “Mr. Roni Cups” in August.
“We decided to start with Mr. Roni Cups and offer a taste of what was to come at Bianca until we could establish a model that would be sustainable and safe,” Nancy Cushman said in a press release.
Martino described Mr. Roni Cups as a restaurant within a restaurant. He said that Mr. Roni Cups is a takeout menu that offers items such as pizza, rotisserie chicken, and sushi and sashimi. Martino said that Mr. Roni Cups is great for a weeknight takeout dinner option.
The Cushmans are not new to the restaurant industry. They also own two Japanese restaurants—O Ya, located in Boston’s leather district, and Hojoko, located on Boylston Street.
Upon entering Bianca, patrons are greeted by a modern, spacious dining area that gives a refreshing, upscale taste to the Chestnut Hill area. The food and service are equally as warming and welcoming.
“Bianca has an eclectic vibe,” Martino said. “The Cushmans have traveled the world, but they also wanted to focus on the foods they like to eat.”
The restaurant has retro vibes with its cushioned seating and high walls, and also features a bar area.
“It’s a good place to go with the family, date night, or for a football game at the bar,” Martino said.
The restaurant offers diverse menu items like wood-fire grill items, pastas, sushi, and cocktails.
“The menu is wide-ranging, everyone will find something they like,” Martino said.
Servers are willing to make recommendations on dishes, explain popular dishes, and are quick to deliver orders.
Prices on the menu range from $5 pizza slices to a $42 steak entree and the food is presented beautifully enhancing the delicious experience. For example, the french fries are placed in a mug instead of on the plate. Each item has a good portion, so eating a full plate of food is manageable, and no one will be too full when leaving.
One dish, the spicy torched hamachi is a sushi taco made with tasty hamachi meat and a shell made from seaweed. While the dish may seem intimidating, filled with jalepeños and green onion, the spice is manageable.
Martino said that another popular dish, the “Big Rig,” is a unique dish with the flavors it brings together. This dish contains rigatoni and braised short rib, served with braising juices, red wine, balsamic roasted onions, and parmesan cheese. The flavors pair well, mixing savory and sweet.
Mr. Roni Cups serves classic pizza in the shape of a square instead of a circle. The small pepperoni on the slice curl up when cooked, creating a small amount of oil in the center, adding even more flavor. Also worth noting is the sweet tomato sauce and crunchy crust.
Even the sides reimagine classic dishes. Brussels sprouts are cooked with apple fennel mostarda and soy balsamic dressing, giving a sweet and savory flavor twist on a classic dish. Their truffle fries are small and covered in truffle oil and parmesan cheese, improving on the classic french fry and creating an unforgettable taste in a dish that is moderately greasy and easy to digest.
For a fresh take on some classic food, try Bianca. Customers can order food for delivery through Caviar, DoorDash, and Uber Eats, and in-person dining is open by reservation only. Curbside pickup is also available. The restaurant is located at 47 Boylston Street, open Wednesday through Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m.
Featured Image Courtesy of Brian Samuels