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Edition 2: Tony Messina

Reminiscing on a nostalgic city with a brand-new spark


With extreme trepidation, I traveled across country to Boston, Massachusetts to set my

youngest son Dante up in his first apartment. The pain of cutting yet another apron string is gut

wrenching and in the middle of a pandemic is quite terrifying. However, one must give Boston

tremendous accolades and kudos for maintaining strict safety measures and respect for the

common health and good of all. Everyone and I mean everyone, were courteous, kind and

aware of the potential health hazards and risks. From my hotel and its staff, to grocery stores,

to the bigger chain stores, to boutique stores, to ALL the pedestrians sharing the street. I felt

quite safe and certainly slightly more relieved leaving my son in Boston.

It is the restaurant scene that made me giddy with glee. Some of our traditional restaurants

were closed, so Dante and I had to venture out of our regular restaurant haunts. With the help

of Jill Buss and her steadfast research and perseverance of all things great, we were blown

away by what are now our new haunts. Boston is becoming a mecca of fine food and wine. No

longer can I stay just a week and exhaust the culinary delights. One simply cannot be bored

eating your way through Boston.

Every time I go to Boston, it is a walk down memory lane, as I too lived there for 3 years while

attending Emerson College, as did my oldest son Enzo and currently my youngest son Dante.

We spent every summer in Nantucket and often stopped in Boston so Enzo and Dante could run

the commons and feed the ducks. I have been fortunate to watch Boston evolve through the

years: as a college student, a mother of young children and now a mother of sons going to the

very same college I did. Trippy!

Knowing my love for cutting edge cuisine and fine food…Jill Buss demanded and implored me to

give UNI a try. Imagine my joy when our car pulled up to the Elliot Hotel and Bar where I had

often found myself in my youth running the streets of Comm Ave. Memories, Déjà vu and slight

embarrassment as I climbed the steps with my child.

In this edition, I am thrilled to introduce Tony Messina, a James Beard Awarded Chef. His menu

is tantalizing, surprising and delightful. Blue collar roots, values and ethics, combined with the

free spirit of an artist, takes you on flights of fancy while still keeping you rooted in umami

earth tones. Tony marries Asian flair with his Mediterranean roots. A coupling one can’t

imagine and still he manages a perfect marriage.

I was mesmerized days after by our dining experience at UNI and just had to meet the chef.

Gratefully, Tony granted me a meeting and an interview. I hope you enjoy our repartee as

much as I enjoyed meeting him and devouring his food.



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