East Coast Grill Owner Chris Schlesinger Is Looking Ahead

After more than 25 years, Chris Schlesinger has decided to sell the East Coast Grill. (WBUR)

After more than 25 years, Chris Schlesinger has decided to sell the East Coast Grill. (WBUR)

What makes a great restaurant? What are the key characteristics that keep you coming back?

Here’s my short list: when you walk in, you’re greeted by the fragrance of real wood smoke and wood-fired meat and fish. Add to that a commitment to fresh food and a congenial bar-tender who always greets you with a smile, and who knows how to mix a good sturdy drink. Maybe even a raw bar, where you can start your dinner with a couple of fresh oysters.

And that’s what the East Coast Grill in Inman Square in Cambridge has been doing for the past 25 years. And I’m betraying a bias here. In a city that’s become a great eating town, the East Coast Grill is my neighborhood joint and probably my favorite restaurant in the city.

Chris Schlesinger opened the East Coast Grill in 1985. His place was one of the first to feature food cooked on a wood-fired grill, and he did it so well, that in 1996 he won the James Beard award for best chef in the Northeast. But now, after more than 25 years, Schlesinger is selling the East Coast Grill.

We’ll ask him why.


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Host Meghna Chakrabarti introduces us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and brings us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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