Coming soon to Fields Corner: A Dominican restaurant with traditional and fusion menus

The former My Sister’s Crawfish restaurant at 1487 Dorchester Ave. has closed and business partners Junior Pena and Vivien Veth will open a new Dominican restaurant, Cibao Restaurant, that will feature traditional dishes as well as a Dominican-Vietnamese fusion sub-menu. Seth Daniel photos

Looking at the landscape of Fields Corner, business partners Junior Pena and Vivien Veth recognized that there was a growing population of residents from the Dominican Republic in the neighborhood, but no restaurant dedicated to their food preferences.

That will change next month when the former ‘My Sister’s Crawfish’ restaurant on Dorchester Ave. will be replaced by the new Cibao Restaurant that will serve traditional Dominican food, and only as Fields Corner can do, also feature a Dominican-Vietnamese fusion menu.

Cibao, located in the north of the Dominican Republic, is considered the most fertile farmland in the country, and the name is a nod to the ripe opportunities in Fields Corner.

“We have watched firsthand the transformation not only in real estate, but also demographically over the last 20 years especially,” said Pena in a recent interview. “Fields Corner has the largest Vietnamese population in the state, but Fields Corner is also known as Boston’s true melting pot. One of the fastest growing sections of the population now is the Dominican population…That’s where the restaurant falls.”

Pena and Veth are long-time residents and have been long-standing participants in the Fields Corner community with real estate businesses, a flower shop, My Sister’s Sandwich Shop, and the former crawfish eatery. The new restaurant will be their latest venture and fill a need that they’ve observed. And with a lot of repetition between My Sister’s Crawfish, and My Sister’s Sandwich Shop (which are only two blocks apart), they felt that the crawfish space could be better poised to fill a culinary gap: “Now might be the best time to bring a very nice Dominican restaurant to this growing population and the community at-large.”

But nothing in Fields Corner stands alone without the creativity of mixing cultures, and that will be the case for Cibao Restaurant with the fusion sub-menu, Pena said.

The idea stems from a fun dish included on the menu at My Sister’s Sandwich Shop – a Dominican Chimi Bahn Mi sandwich. The blend, while likely found nowhere else in the world, has proven quite popular. Pena and Veth have been wondering what else might work from this sort of effort.

We’re going to be blending spices and taking from the best of both worlds,” said Pena. “We’re going to be playing with the flavors and see what captures people’s attention.”

Right now, the restaurant space is undergoing renovations and getting ramped up for the new menu items. Pena said he expects a soft opening, then a grand opening in mid-July to get the operation rolling.

“We’re excited about the reception we’ve had from the community so far,” he said.


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