Comfort Kitchen, in the heart of Dorchester, was recently named a semi-finalist in the prestigious James Beard Award “Best New Restaurant” category in New England.

The restaurant opened its doors just over a year ago and has already become one of the city's premier dining destinations.

“It's really been a humbling experience for us. Our first year we got all these awards, accolades… and for a new restaurant, it's unheard of,” Biplaw Rai, managing partner of the restaurant, said on Boston Public Radio Tuesday.

“To be able to work with friends and family in this journey has been very amazing and humbling at the same time,” said chef partner Kwasi Kwaa.

Run by Rai from Nepal and Kwaa from Ghana, Comfort Kitchen goes beyond the traditional restaurant experience. It’s a cozy café during the day and a restaurant by night, with an innovative approach to global comfort food.

At the core of Comfort Kitchen's culinary philosophy is, “providing global comfort food from the lens of the African diaspora and how it connects to the maritime space trade, essentially food that has traveled through immigration, whether voluntary or involuntary,” Kwaa said.

Driven by cultural celebration, the team curated a menu that pays homage to the African diaspora. They both credit a huge part of their successes in having a liquor license.

“Without a liquor license, we wouldn't be where we are today,” said Rai.

The restaurant draws visitors from all over the state, New England and they know of visitors coming from as far as New York.

“It's really bringing focus in Dorchester… and I don't think Dorchester gets the shine that it deserves,” Rai said. “Comfort Kitchen is part of this big ecosystem that [is] really bringing light to Upham’s Corner.”

Comfort Kitchen continues to captivate palates and hearts alike. The winners of the James Beard Foundation awards will be announced June 10 in Chicago.