Stillwater Runs Deep

Chef Sarah Wade standing in front of a prohibition era mural of women drinking alcohol

Nickerson proudly promotes Chef Sarah Wade’s effort to provide take-out during the Covid-19 crisis

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Boston Globe (10/29) – Restaurants offering Thanksgiving dinner takeout in Boston and beyond
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WCVB (9/23) – Massachusetts changes restaurant rules to allow bar seating, more customers per table
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Boston Magazine (4/16) – Your Guide to Takeout and Delivery Deals during the Coronavirus Shutdown
Boston Globe (4/16) – Your Guide to Some of Boston’s Best (and Most Unusual) Takeout and Delivery Meals (4/15) – These Boston restaurants are now offering takeout and delivery
Boston Business Journal (4/10) – ‘All the dominoes fall’: With rent deadline, commercial tenants face uncertainty (4/10) – This weekend: Last-minute Easter orders, Drinking Like Ladies, and where to find bottles of wine for a steal (4/08) – Best Boston Takeout Dishes, And Other Ways to Support the Service Industry (4/9) – Recipe: Chef Sarah Wade’s ricotta dumplings with marinara sauce (4/07) – Where to Order Delivery and Takeout Around Boston
NBC Boston (4/04) – Struggling Business Owners Welcome Bill Allowing Beer, Wine Sales With Take-Out
Boston 25 News (4/01) – Legislation that would allow sale of alcohol with takeout orders awaiting Baker’s signature
Boston Herald (3/17) – Top spots in Boston for top-notch takeout
The Infatuation – Boston Restaurants With New Takeout & Delivery Options

We love Chef Sarah’s hustle and determination to keep her restaurant open during challenging times, and our team is committed to keeping Stillwater top of mind for anyone craving a little bit of comfort food! Read more about Chef Sarah and the story behind Stillwater below.

When Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced on Sunday, March 15 (Beware the Ides of March) that all state restaurants and bars must stop dine-in operations by Tuesday, March 17, Chef Sarah Wade — owner of downtown Boston restaurant Stillwater and 2018 top honor and gold medal winner in the Food Network’s Chopped Gold Medal Games — jumped in. I said, ”We’re going to stay open, and we’re going to do what we can.” It’s this type of tenacity and dedication that characterizes Nickerson’s clients, and the Boston spirit in general. Wade may be originally from Oklahoma, but she represents Beantown in the best and brightest way possible.

Wade beat out 16 competitors and won the Chopped competition twice in 2018 — the preliminary round and the finals — and it’s easy to see why. The 37-year-old chef’s tenacity, determination and dedication are hallmarks of her career. “I’ve been working my entire career to open a restaurant, and Stillwater is that flagship,” she said. The female entrepreneur is determined to stay open and serve the people of Boston comfort food in a time of crisis.

Mac & Cheese. Photography by Nickerson
Mac & Cheese. Photography by Nickerson

“I’ve found Mac and Cheese can cure quite a bit,” said Wade. (It does, Chef Sarah. It does. We in Boston thank you for the creative variations.) “A lot of people are eating their feelings right now and I’m happy to help with that.”

Most of the 2018 Chopped competitors already had their own restaurants. Wade didn’t. She took the $50,000 she won from the competition and opened Stillwater in the Downtown Boston just seven months ago, following an impressive run as a chef in the hotel industry as well as executive chef at Lulu’s Allston. Wade has been showing up in the Boston area for a long time.

Governor Baker has said that until April 6, only takeout and delivery options would be allowed “unless further extended”, and Wade took Stillwater’s regular menu to task. In addition to her regular menus available for takeout, Wade has introduced a “Simple Supper” for two with a rotating daily menu. The dinnertime “Simple Supper” specials feed two people generously for $39. All “Simple Suppers” have a protein, starch, vegetable, and side salad. For example: grilled chicken and veggie skewers with tzatziki sauce, warm pita, a garden salad to share, spinach rice, and roasted brussel sprouts, packaged and ready for pickup. Simple Suppah? Sign us up! Three cheers for simplicity and Wade’s dedication.

Boston Herald – Top spots in Boston for top-notch takeout
Boston Herald – Top spots in Boston for top-notch takeout

Wade named Stillwater after the mid-sized Oklahoma city she’s from. Situated between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Stillwater — and Sarah Wade — runs deep.

Wade’s initial reaction to Baker’s announcement was, “Oh my gosh, I have a new restaurant. How am I going to pay my employees? It was very daunting. We’re a new business. But we jumped in and said ‘we’re going to stay open, and we’re going to do what we can. A lot of places shut down, but we’re not there yet.’ We’re grateful the federal government is allowing people to file for unemployment, because we’ve had to trim down to bare bones staff and we want our staff to come back when this is over. We’re confident that things are going to be fine.”

Wade is a chef in Boston for several reasons. “I love it here,” is the first and most simple reason. “I’ve lived in multiple states, being in the industry. Boston has a good vibe — a neighborhood vibe in a large city. The food scene is amazing, as is the female chef scene. I love that there’s a heavy concentration of female chefs.”

Wade has made it her personal mission to reinvent comfort food. We all have a sense of what “comfort food” is — but how are they defined? Wikipedia says “comfort” food “provides a nostalgic or sentimental value to someone, and may be characterized by its high caloric nature, high carbohydrate level, or simple preparation. The nostalgia may be specific to an individual, or it may apply to a specific culture.” For example: Mac and Cheese, with variations. Chicken, in generous portions. Burgers, cooked with love. Sweets, to complete the meal.

Boston Magazine – Here’s Your First Look at the “Redefined Comfort Food” Menu at Stillwater
Boston Magazine – Here’s Your First Look at the “Redefined Comfort Food” Menu at Stillwater

Stillwater’s regular menu is indeed comforting, and states it’s been serving “warm and fuzzies” since 2019, not limited to“Sexy Snacks,” including an “ever-changing” New England board of cheese and meats, biscuits and butter, deviled eggs, and crispy smoked chicken wings; “Sandos” (sandwiches – available at lunch only), all served with chips and salad and including the flat patty burger with fries, the Creole veggie burger, and the smoked pulled pork sandwich; “Greens and Soups” like the Smoked Chicken Chili and the Kingston Bowl; “Meals” such as the Ritz Chicken and the Smoked Pork Mac and Cheese; and “Sweets” such as Vanilla Ricotta Donut Holes and Dark Chocolate Ganache. (Heads up: Wade won Chopped with a deconstructed ice cream sandwich with almond cookie and strawberry sauce. You may want to leave room for dessert.)

“My restaurant is in a residential building, so I feel responsible to feed the residents,” Wade said. “Recently, someone came in to pick up a ‘Simple Supper’ and said ‘thank god you’re here. I don’t know if I’d be surviving right now without you.’ That made it all worth it.”

Wade graduated from the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Oklahoma State University in 2005. She started her career with Renaissance hotels and held positions ranging from banquet chef to executive chef in North Carolina and Texas. She then became executive chef at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich, Connecticut. After eight years in the hotel business, Wade helped open Lulu’s Allston in the Boston area as executive chef. Her work at Lulu’s was featured on Phantom Gourmet, the Chronicle, Boston Magazine, Zagat and Buzzfeed.

Stillwater is located at 120 Kingston Street, Boston.
Phone: 617-936-3079. Website:
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. All food available for online ordering as well as “The Simple Supper.”
The lunch menu with sandwiches is available from 11 a.m. to 3:59 p.m., and the “Simple Supper” and other regular menu options are available for dinner, or, in New England, “Suppah.” After dinnah.

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