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May 21, 2007 09:43 PM

A couple of Beehive impressions

Caveat: it's early yet. They just opened to the public last Thursday. Insert shakedown cruise disclaimer here.

A gorgeous space: lovely bare bones of its former life as a boiler room or whatever industrial function it once served. Raw ancient brick, steel beams, plus a bunch of cool newly-added chandeliers. The upstairs (street level) is small, quiet. The massive downstairs space is where the action and live music is. A hostess seemed to want to discourage many patrons from going down there the other night. I ignored her, and you should too. It's boring upstairs.

A fair amount of seating downstairs for diners, but the space feels like much more of a nightclub-style destination, potentially holding a thousand patrons at once (not at all what the owners pitched to the neighborhoood, incidentally). Some interesting house cocktails (including a Vesper Martini that James Bond would hardly recognize, with utterly wrong proportions), a bunch of 2.5-glass wine carafes at ridiculous markups, and a wine list that is also largely bereft of interesting bargains. If the crowds swallow these drinks prices, food will be entirely beside the point.

Speaking of food, it's a decidedly mixed bag early on. Some interesting deep-fried veggie apps (I think I detected the influence of Laura Brennan in the tempura lemon slices on one dish), and a passable "Russian"plate of unusual salumi. A $15 burger was dreadful: well done when ordered medium-rare, and served with homemade "frites" that would be fine if pitched as what they are, i.e., homemade but stone-cold potato chips.

I'm impressed with the level of hospitality so far. Much like Pops Restaurant in its first week, I don't think they anticipated the early crowds they got, but the servers put their game faces on.

There's lots of room to improve on the food; I look forward to seeing how they progress on that front. It's a wonderful space; I'd love for it to become a great live-music destination as well as a good place to eat and drink: it has tons of potential.

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  1. I was in there last night, too, very early, just to check it out. Was it known Brennan was in the kitchen? B/c I could have sworn I saw her wandering through the dining room. I was surprised, though, that she would cook under Halberg?

    What's more (I don't think I've read this yet): Frank sighting--Reardon's in the bar. Woohoo!

    3 Replies
    1. re: tatamagouche

      I had definitely heard that Brennan had a consulting role on The Beehive's menu, though I have not seen her in there. Didn't spot Frank, either. Was he upstairs or down?

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Upstairs. Yay! He's such a nice guy.

        Maybe she's just helping out for a bit, then. That would make sense.

        1. re: tatamagouche

          YAY! Sooooo happy that Frank has re-emerged! Can't WAIT to go see the Beehive *and* Frank!

    2. I've only done some late night boozing there so far, but even slammed on a Saturday night, the staff was top-notch in how they handled things. And my friends and I were booozy! This is the kind of night-time destination that I would be a regular at, regardless of the food. But I am interested in trying it out (perhaps after things settle) - I really liked Halberg's food at Via Matta.

      1. Had dinner at Beehive last night. Based on Chow reports and feedback from friends who have already gone, we stuck to what was reported to be good. Did not love the menu, but we enjoyed most of what we ordered (even though the price points are slightly high.) The Bohemian platter was a delicious mix of the previously reported-to-be great-crispy asparagus, eggplant ragout, cranberry bean salad, string cheese, some type of salumi, olives, celery/cucumber salad (in a raita-like dressing), roasted peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, and minted beets with horseradish. But the $21 price tag (did not look at the price when I ordered) came as a bit of a surprise! The burger (as MC Slim points out) is overpriced and to me seemed like an overdressed Wendy's burger; the fries are indeed 'stone-cold potato chips.' The romaine salad was a shock - three or four ribs of romaine with vinaigrette - AND an unannounced ingredient (meaning not listed in the menu description) BREAD CRUMBS - that were bland and really, just unappetizing - like sawdust on top of my salad. When I asked what they were (I thought maybe it was parmesan before I tasted it) our server said they were 'baby' breadcrumbs. WHAT?!?!?!? And on the subject of our server - she was genuinely nice and intent on providing good customer service; but whether owing to the bar and kitchen being off-tempo or her own lack of experience, the service was off. As another DC in our group opined, "Look, you don't come here to eat... " Our tab was $200 for three (including tip), and I don't really know what we got from it besides the 'look-see.' We will definitely go back and sit at the bar... We left just before the music came on as we had tix to another music gig. Cedric was at the bar and adding his usual friendly and professional vibe... we will def go back to enjoy the bar scene.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Small Plates

          I've heard that the upstairs dining room is really loud. Did you sit up or down?

          1. re:

            We sat downstairs, right near the stage. Very small table, even for two (we had a third join us). I did not mind the noise - it was convivial.... I actually enjoyed the 'buzzing' in the hive! :-)

          2. re: Small Plates

            "Baby Breadcrumbs"??? I'd love to know what their source is...aren't baby breadcrumbs harvested in the fall - I thought they were out of season.

            1. re: Anniebstn

              Ha ha ha ... I also really hope they are free-range baby breadcrumbs. I hate those factory farmed ones.

          3. The original comment has been removed
            1. Going tonight. How is the music? What should we order - any food recs?

              1 Reply