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Mar 26, 2007 11:19 AM

Looking for a good martini

Hi there -
So, I'm looking for all you chowhounds for some advice on a good martini. I reviewed some of the old postings and there are a lot of mixed reviews. So, here is what I am looking for in my martini experience:
1) A good drink first and foremost.
2) A great view (of the city if possible or the water)
3) Trendy, but not annoying people
4) Not too crowded - so I can have a conversation

Oh - location. If it is downtown in Boston, that would be great.

Please let me know. Thanks!

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  1. i would probably say Eastern Standard, although the view out the windows sucks right now. or No 9 Park, both only miss on #2.

    1. oh, are you talking real martinis or 'drinks served in martini glasses'?

      3 Replies
      1. re: ScubaSteve

        I'm talking real martinis for me and probably a cosmo for my girlfriend. Are we looking at 10-15 per drink? Any tasty bar foods? If not, no biggie.

        1. re: Backfat77

          i would recommend Eastern Standard then. SOLID bartending with a new take on classic, as well as martini cocktails. they have a great menu with appropriate bar nibbles and raw shellfish offerings. No. 9 is the same but the bar can get a little too crowded for my taste with people waiting for tables.

          i also had a very good bar experience at Grille 23. standard steakhouse fare offered at the bar but good martinis in big glasses.

          prices at both will be more like $12-17.

          1. re: Backfat77

            The Oak Room in Copley Square. The rear right corner has a view of Copley Square, the martinis are huge and there are free nibbles, very addicting I might add.

        2. Radius has good cocktails, a nice sized bar, and big windows (although the view is of Summer Street and not always that exciting).

          1. Matching up these five requirements is tough. I don't understand what "trendy but not annoying people" means. I think that most places with a view aren't worth the trouble. Your idea of downtown might be different from mine: I live in the city, so to me, downtown means Downtown Crossing and the Financial District, whereas my exurban friends think downtown means anything within a five mile radius of the State House.

            Pending your clarification, let me suggest a few places where the bartending is good to great and the ambience is sedate: the bar at No. 9 Park (rather refined atmosphere), Eastern Standard Kitchen and Drinks (a bit livelier and bustling). Certain hotel bars features strong mixology and relatively quiet atmosphere: the Oak Bar (Fairmont Copley Plaza), the Bristol or the small upstairs bar at Aujord'hui (Four Seasons), the Bar at the Taj (fka the old Ritz-Carlton), the Rowes Wharf Bar (tucked away in a second-floor corner of the Boston Harbor Hotel), The Federalist (XV Beacon), Bar 10 (Westin Copley), City-Bar (Lenox), the tiny bar at the Beacon Hill Hotel and Bistro, the bar at Rialto (Charles Hotel).

            Less quiet, often crowded (especially on weekend nights), but the bartending meets a high standard: Union Bar and Grill, Sorellina, Mistral, Cuchi Cuchi, Brasserie Jo, Noir, the small bar at Icarus, 28 Degrees, Prezza, Lucca.

            Great drinks but more casual atmosphere: B-Side Lounge, Green Street, Deep Ellum, Rendezvous at Central Square, Blue Room, Franklin Cafe, Tremont 647, Chez Henri, Audubon Circle, Anise, Les Zygomates (even though it's a wine bar), the Red Fez, Alchemist Lounge, Middlesex Lounge, The Biltmore.

            3 Replies
            1. re: MC Slim JB

              This may sound odd, but if you want a view and you are not asking for a complicated martini (i.e., gin/vermouth/garnish) may I suggest the bar at Anthony's Pier 4? We were there recently while waiting for a show at the ICA. Beautiful view. Our drinks were merely wine and scotch, but I think the tenders could mix a martini. Plus you get free cheeze (not a misprint) and ritz crackers!!

              Actually, I don't know how the bar food stacks up, but the view is definitely there and the cost is pretty cheap for Boston.

              Now if I was going for the best drink/food option with no view, it would be Eastern Standard.


              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Thanks MC - When I say downtown, I'm thinking Financial District area. I live in the North End, and work downtown, so close would be good for an after work thing.
                Sounds like No. 9 is the way to go or Eastern Standard Kitchen.
                Oh, what I mean by "trendy but not annoying people" might not exist. I'm looking for a place where my girlfriend and I can dress up a little, but not be surrounded by investment bankers talking about their workout routines and protein shakes. That would not strike a good mood in either of us.
                Thanks again for everyone's help!

                1. re: Backfat77

                  Oak Room, Ritz, Bristol Lounge and Abe & Louis best martinis--good snack mix at Oak Room and Ritz; lovin' dat cheese wheel at Abe & Louis.