Chef Lydia ShireA powerful creative force, Lydia Shire’s passion for excellence and culinary talent is evident in all that she does. Scampo, the dynamic first floor restaurant in Boston’s Liberty Hotel, is her sixth culinary destination. In Scampo, Shire’s reputation for defying tradition translates into Italian-inspired cuisine unrestrained by borders, drawing on flavors from the Mediterranean and Middle East.
Born in Brookline, Mass., and raised by artist parents, Lydia grew up learning the importance of bringing quality to everything you do in life. At age four, Shire was peeling garlic alongside her father, as he cut out recipes from The New York Times. Her first professional position was slicing paté and opening oysters as the “salad girl” at Boston’s revered Maison Robert. In 1971, Shire attended London’s Cordon Bleu Cooking School, after which she returned to Maison Robert, but this time as a line cook. Three years later, in 1974, Shire became the head chef of this prestigious dining room.
Throughout the mid- to late-70s, Shire made her mark in Boston’s most respected restaurants: Harvest, Café Plaza at The Copley Plaza Hotel and Parker’s at the Parker House Hotel. In 1982, she opened Seasons at the Bostonian Hotel. The restaurant and the chef quickly became nationally recognized for culinary “excellence” and “daring” – two descriptives that still embody Lydia Shire today. The James Beard Foundation awarded Shire the coveted “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage” award in 1984.
In the fall of 1986, Shire was asked to open the new Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. This move made Lydia the first female Executive Chef in the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts Company to open a luxury property. A few years later, the sun and glamour of California could not sway Shire from her ultimate dream of opening her own restaurant in Boston, and in 1989, she returned to Boston and opened BIBA (“Back in Boston Again”). It was here Shire was recognized as a chef of amazing vision and talent, as she presented an internationally-inspired menu arranged by types of food: fish, offal, meat, starch, legumina and sweets.
In 1992, the James Beard Foundation honored Shire as “America’s Best Chef – Northeast.” That same year, Food & Wine reported that Shire was “One of America’s Top Ten Chefs.” After opening Pignoli, a robust Italian bistro in Copley Plaza, to rave reviews in 1994, Shire earned the prestigious Ivy Award by Restaurants & Institutions magazine, and The James Beard Foundation again acknowledged Lydia, this time nominated as “One of America’s Top Five Chefs,” in 1996.
Chef Simon RestrepoIf there is anyone to demonstrate that small steps lead to great success, it is Executive Chef Simone Restrepo of Scampo. Restrepo has been working with culinary icon Lydia Shire since he first came to Boston as a 16 year old Columbian immigrant in 1985. After meeting Shire when he took a job as a dishwasher at her restaurant, BIBA (“Back in Boston Again”) in 1989, Restrepo committed to a culinary career. Hard work and perseverance paid off as he made his way from kitchen stations “bread dough” to “salads” to “grill.” For over two decades, Restrepo has been by Shire’s side as she opened one hit after the other: BIBA, Pignoli, Locke-Ober, Scampo and, most recently, Towne Stove and Spirits.
In 2008, Restrepo helped Shire opened the award-winning Scampo, the dynamic first floor restaurant in Boston’s Liberty Hotel. He currently heads up the bustling kitchen and was a key contributor in making Scampo one of Boston’s “Best New Restaurants” in America named by Esquire magazine (2008).
Restrepo enjoys traveling with Shire to events across the country including The James Beard Foundation Awards in New York City and Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. His dedication and creative talent in the kitchen keep Scampo as busy as the first day it opened.
Scampo, the stunning first floor restaurant in Boston’s Liberty Hotel, is a culinary destination created by legendary chef Lydia Shire and The Lyons Group. In Scampo, Shire’s reputation for defying tradition translates into Italian-inspired cuisine unrestrained by borders, drawing on flavors from the Mediterranean and Middle East. Designed in collaboration with renowned designers Rafael Alvarez and Brannen Brock, Scampo is a reflection of Chef Shire: bold, red and full of energy.
The contemporary space features shiny copper lamps, a glowing orange bar and stools overlooking a mozzarella bar, setting the stage for house-made breads baked in a tandoori oven, pastas that surpass red sauce norms and entrées that turn simple ingredients into extraordinary experiences. An approachable wine list complements the food with ready-to-drink varietals from mostly small Italian and American producers.
A secluded 60-seat outdoor patio is open during warm weather months, while a 50-seat private dining room features an exciting view of the open kitchen.
Scampo – a can’t miss destination for any occasion.
Serving lunch, dinner, late night dining and brunch.
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Offers: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Late Night, Non Smoking Area, Non Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Public Transit: Located directly across the street from Charles/MGH stop on the red line
Parking Details: Valet service is offered. Street Parking is available. Garage Parking is available at Mass General Hospital