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By Olivia Kiers / November 21, 12:00 AM
Boston Accent: West Meets East

Executive chef Ben Steigers helms the kitchen at Downtown Crossing’s latest dining destination, Pabu Boston


Photo: Kevin McCullough

Boston is Chef Benjamin Steigers’ newest adventure. Trained in Michelin-star restaurants Noma (Copenhagen) and Ryugin (Tokyo), and sous chef at the San Francisco-based Japanese restaurant Pabu from James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Mina and Ken Tominaga, Steigers is now executive chef at Pabu Boston, the latest addition to the Downtown Crossing dining scene, located on the second floor of the Millennium Tower. “It’s exciting and overwhelming all at the same time,” says Steigers, yet he is up for the challenge. 

“The Boston food scene is really cool.…There seems to be a strong dining community.” Also, Boston is a source of excellent, fresh-caught seafood. Steigers explains: “I’ve been working with Boston bluefin tuna my entire career, but never have I been able to talk directly with the fishermen.…I’ve always had to go through second- or third-party vendors, who will fly the fish all the way out to the Tsukiji fish market in Japan, before another purveyor flies it back to California. To be able to go direct to the source is a new experience for me.”

It’s clear that Boston has a lot to contribute to Pabu, but what does Pabu bring to Boston? Named after the Japanese word for “pub,” Pabu boasts four distinct dining experiences, all offering a contemporary take on Japanese tradition: a main dining room, a sushi bar, a black granite cocktail bar with stunning views of Downtown Crossing and a private dining room (seating 20) surrounded by softly lit paper screens. Much of Pabu’s menu is devoted to small, shareable plates that are the core of Japanese pub food, and it boasts an enormous list of 75 sake options, some of which are new imports making their Boston debut. Seasonality is “the basis of a lot of Japanese cuisine” says Chef Steigers, “and that is something we definitely want to accentuate here.” 

Pabu encourages casual mingling over “a drink and snacks at the bar,” yet it is also an upscale experience where “you can go to the opposite end of the spectrum with a full tasting menu, a memorable event that you’ll be able to keep with you forever.” For a dining experience both welcoming and exotic, your newest adventure awaits at Pabu.

Pabu Boston

Millennium Tower, 3 Franklin St., 2nd floor, 857-327-7228, pabuizakaya.com

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