HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Best Bar Menu in Boston

cambridgeMike Apr 26, 2007 06:37 AM

I'm a grad student so i have little disposable money but I do like to indulge in the finer things of life. It makes us happy. So what are your favorite bar menus in Boston? Two of my favorites are Bristol Lounge and Harvest. I'm sure there are plenty more.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. ScubaSteve RE: cambridgeMike Apr 26, 2007 06:40 AM

    are you talking menus that are ONLY available at the bar? or the best bars to dine at with the full menu of the house? i don't know of too many places (Pigalle being the only one that comes to mind) that have a bar-only menu. maybe i'm wrong and i'm sure i'll be corrected in short order if i am.

    1. tatamagouche RE: cambridgeMike Apr 26, 2007 06:43 AM

      Chez Henri, No 9 Park, Pigalle (see other thread) and City Bar are the first 4 that come to mind. I know a lot of people praise Gargoyles' and Via Matta's.
      Personally, I treat pretty much every menu like a bar menu in that I prefer to order a mix of apps to getting a main course. So there's that too.

      1. kittychow RE: cambridgeMike Apr 26, 2007 06:49 AM

        I really like the bar menus at Gargoyles (poutine!), Chez Henri (Cuban sandwich), and Eastern Standard (daily specials). I like the atmosphere and bar tending, and I think you can find some relative values at all three.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kittychow
          tatamagouche RE: kittychow Apr 26, 2007 06:56 AM

          Poutine was sadly not there on Tues...replaced by fries w blue cheese and bacon, IIRC.

          1. re: tatamagouche
            gini RE: tatamagouche Apr 26, 2007 08:11 AM

            YES! The blue cheese fries are BACK. I could not be happier. Thanks for letting us know.

        2. lissy RE: cambridgeMike Apr 26, 2007 07:00 AM

          Davio's also has a bar menu that has a few pizzas and a pretty good burger on it. I have only ever eaten at the bar at Gargoyle's and have really enjoyed that as well as the cafe menu at #9 Park.

          1. ScubaSteve RE: cambridgeMike Apr 26, 2007 07:37 AM

            are the pizzas at Mistral bar-only?

            1 Reply
            1. re: ScubaSteve
              maillard RE: ScubaSteve Apr 26, 2007 10:29 AM

              No. At least not when I was there last year.

            2. b
              Bostonbob3 RE: cambridgeMike Apr 26, 2007 08:18 AM

              IMO (and I would think that of many other hounds), the single best bar-food item in the area is the Cubano at Chez Henri.

              1. MC Slim JB RE: cambridgeMike Apr 26, 2007 08:21 AM

                The bar at the new Sage in the South End has an "enoteca" menu with a bunch of small plates, mostly under $10. Two or three would make a very nice meal, and that chef is pretty amazing. Good cocktails and wines by the glass, too, though those will swell your bill.

                4 Replies
                1. re: MC Slim JB
                  Bostonbob3 RE: MC Slim JB Apr 26, 2007 08:24 AM

                  Remember when Bill Bradley was chef at Bricco? He did pretty much the same thing. God I loved his grilled baby octopus while sipping a big red.

                  1. re: Bostonbob3
                    tatamagouche RE: Bostonbob3 Apr 26, 2007 08:45 AM

                    And his fried stuffed olives.

                    1. re: tatamagouche
                      Rubee RE: tatamagouche Apr 26, 2007 11:55 AM

                      Oh, those olives. After Bricco, we were happy to find him at Rustic Kitchen in Quincy Market, until he left to open the south shore one. The fried olives weren't on the menu, but we would ask and if he had them, he would bring some out. And while Carmen's does a good job of continuing on his crespelle bolognese, to me it isn't the same...

                  2. re: MC Slim JB
                    tatamagouche RE: MC Slim JB Apr 26, 2007 08:44 AM

                    Sad, sad, sad to say I was there the other night after having had so much wine elsewhere that I didn't even remember eating anything. Apparently I tried the arancini and the carpaccio. Apparently I liked them.

                  3. h
                    heWho RE: cambridgeMike Apr 26, 2007 09:27 AM

                    Masa on Tremont in the South End has the best bar menu I've come across. Their bar menu consists of 10 different tapas all for $1 each. On certain days of the week at certain times you can get all 10 for half price. A full meal of excellent, varied tapas for $5 can't be beat. Definitely give this a try.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: heWho
                      Bob Dobalina RE: heWho Apr 26, 2007 10:39 AM

                      I will second that - in terms of a good deal, the Masa tapas sampler - one of each of the 10 types for $5 - is a steal, although the time I had it, the hot tapas were lukewarm and the cold tapas were lukewarm - so I imagine they have them stacked up under or near heat lamps. Still, for the price, I can deal with lukewarm. How unchowish is that? Yikes.

                      1. re: Bob Dobalina
                        trotliner RE: Bob Dobalina May 4, 2007 08:42 AM

                        Regarding Masa, I liked the little empanadas but I thought the rest were a little uninspired, and you have to really specifiy how many you want, we were trying to get multiple orders for a group of six people and they kept just brining out one plate and we'd have to ask for more. The service was a little weird, we were there a little late, but we ordered their sangria margarita and wanted it with salt, which they informed us they were out of (we saw them throw it away and clean the rimmer, they just didn't want to get it dirty again). It is a bargain, but I'd rather spend a little more and avoid the irritation.

                    2. Rubee RE: cambridgeMike Apr 26, 2007 12:08 PM

                      Has anyone tried the bar menu at Aujourd'hui? I love the new chef there. I think the Improper mentioned the new bar menu includes poutine.

                      Also, Prezza has that special bar menu for two - three courses for $45 a couple (link below). Aside from that special, they're one of my favorites spots for eating at the bar. Their regular menu always has at least 10 appetizers and all pastas can be ordered as half-portions. Like No 9 Park, we only sit at a table if we're with another couple.

                      Godere in Dué at Prezza

                      Which reminds me, not a separate bar menu, but we like Copia for lots of apps - divided into cold plates and hot plates, and they're working on adding more 'tapas'. It's a good spot for E to watch the game, and I can enjoy nice wine and great food.

                      And I second No 9 Park and City Bar for their bar-only menus. I really like the clam pizza on Davio's bar-only menu, though if it's not cooked right, it can be disappointingly soggy in the middle.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Rubee
                        phatchris RE: Rubee Apr 26, 2007 03:08 PM

                        Lucca has a great one with pizzas, sandwiches, pastas, and small plates also Artu has a decent bar menu.

                      2. Dr.Jimbob RE: cambridgeMike Apr 28, 2007 04:13 PM

                        Two traditional faves of mine are Gargoyle's on the Square in Davis <http://gargoylesonthesquare.com/> and 75 Chestnut in Beacon Hill, where the bar menu has become the standard menu. <http://www.75chestnut.com/>. Both are reasonably priced, but do interesting twists on the standard bar fare.

                        1. BillieJean RE: cambridgeMike May 3, 2007 01:31 PM

                          I love eating at the bar at Hamersley's in the South End. It's a pretty spot; great people and dog-watching out the window; solid wine list and they have both a bar menu and the regular menu available. If you get there early enough, you can snag the best table in the house, which is the one in the window in the bar. Can't say enough about the food. Alison Arnet in her last column in yesterday's Globe said that Gordon Hamersley is the most cosistent chef in Boston. I agree--and by implication think it's one of the best in town.

                          Show Hidden Posts