|LTK, An Emerging Dining and Drinking Experience
|By Rick Winterson
It’s a combination of a fun experience, ultra high-tech service, and the tops in beverages and food. Mix together in an operation conducted by enthusiastic staff, and you’ll know what to expect at LTK.
The white, red-trimmed façade of LTK looks out on Park Lane, which is a private way off Northern Avenue. The yellow brick buildings and walls in the lane evoke Southern Europe, as does the outdoor dining area in front of LTK. LTK’s black-beamed interior with white-painted brick, grass cloth, wicker, and touches of orange says “Spain”. Valencia. Malaga. Somewhere along the coast.
LTK is an acronym for “Legal’s Test Kitchen”, and it is a brand new idea from Legal Seafoods. Everyone knows that Legal Seafoods is one of the most successful dining enterprises ever seen in the Boston area. It is truly a local tradition.
So, it’s fair to ask the question, “Why take the risk of developing a new and emerging dining experience?”
Well, things change, especially in the City of Boston. Boston was always a well-known place. Now it’s a modern, world-class urban phenomenon. Local enterprises must constantly look ahead. The Berkowites realize this, as do Richard Vellente (Executive Chef and V.P.), Ann Flannery (Marketing), and newly-hired Paul Booras (Emerging Markets). The result: LTK, Park Lane, 225 Northern Avenue, with Michael Silvestri as its General Manager. Its location is firmly inside the borders of South Boston. Welcome!
Part of the ambiance in LTK is its technology - Internet viewing on flat screens at your seat, personal iPod music docks on your tabletop (bring your own music), and automated service. Two advantages are immediately obvious, even for those of us who aren’t technical: credit card handling right at your table, along with fast, accurate ordering. And the waitstaff handles all of the electronic details for you.
Helen Sullivan is LTK’s Bar Manager. During this interview, she pointed out some of LTK’s quality offerings. One is Middleton Rare Irish Whiskey, which comes from Jameson’s small distillery in Middleton, Ireland. Oatmeal stout and Trappist beers are available. There is a lengthy wine list from novel, up and coming regions, both bottled and by-the-glass. And much more.
Helen is from Waltham, the youngest of ten children. She obtained a Masters in Social Work from B.U. while working for Legal. When decision time came, she opted to go full time at LTK, because she loves the members of the LTK team she has created. Outside her work hours, she spends time with her boxer, Jake.
The food menu is varied, to say the least. The menu categories carry names like “nosh”, “nibble”, “exhilarate”, and “comfort”. Naturally, the desserts are classified under the word “indulge”. And there’s a personal favorite called “zazzle” (no, that’s not a typo). Chef Rich Barisano offers wood grilled steak tips. Try them, and see if they measure up to the very high South Boston standards for that dish.
Rich is from Melrose, and went to the prestigious Johnson and Wales School. He has worked at Rafael’s in Rhode Island and the Lafayette House in Foxboro. He joined Legal in Nyack, N.Y. He says, “Legal is a great company, and LTK is really a lot of fun.”
Kalin Marshall is a resident of West Fourth Street, who has been on the LTK waitstaff since opening day on February 12. She loves it there, and she pointed out that the dining hours at LTK are conveniently late – 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends.
To prove that they are good neighbors in the South Boston sense, LTK also offers take-out service. They call their service “LTK away”; you can phone them up at (617)330-7430.
Stop in at LTK to find out what an “emerging, personalized experience” means. It’s a lot of fun – there’s no other way to put it.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is another in a series of articles about our exciting South Boston waterfront scene that South Boston Online will be bringing you through the summer and fall.