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Eastern Standard - Whats THE Best...?!

So Im going to Eastern Standard tomorrow night for my birthday. Just me and the lady. Taking off Friday from work, but since everyone else I know will be home sleeping, Im really looking to spend the night relaxing at ESK.

I have an 830 reservation, but plan on sitting on the patio for a drink before hand. The plan post meal is to sit in the lounge area until they kick us out.

So folks, Ive been before and since I am a huge fan of the raw bar & offal/charcuterie I tend to mix and match this stuff with some beers. However, this time Id like to get some real apps and entrees. Whats good on the menu right now (including raw bar and nasty bits)???

I also love a good cocktail, but Im a fairly traditional guy when it comes to that. Their drink menu excites and scares me. Enlighten me.

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  1. is this the current menu on the website?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Zopper

      No, the on-line menu's not current. I'm not sure they've updated it since they opened. They do have some standards that are always on the menu, though. I was there last week, so if you have any specific questions about what's being offered now, just ask and I might remember.

      I can tell you that the asparagus soup has been replaced by a good gazpacho. Their grilled cheese sandwich is fantastic. They don't have the chocolate bread pudding, but have a terrific strawberry shortcake.

      I was disappointed by the cocktails I've had there: a Jack Rose and a Periodista. Maybe some of the other cocktails are better.

    2. I wouldn't bet a lot of $$ on that being the current menu online, but I can't be sure. I've always been a fan of their foie gras, but I have noticed the portion size shrinking over time.

      If you want to test your cocktail boundaries; I love their Pisco Sour. Generally speaking the wait staff is very knowledgeable about the cocktail menu and can safely guide you towards your happy place.

      Have a great B-day and be sure to report back

      1 Reply
      1. re: Food4Thought

        What did you have the last time you were there, was it good or bad?

        Anyone get oysters?

      2. If you're a traditionalist, sample a few things off the "Lineage / Legacy" section of the cocktail list: old school in the real sense. I had my first Hoskins here, a really terrific drink, good looking and a lot of different, well-balanced flavors in the glass. Or an Aviation, a gin cocktail that even gin haters like. Any of the Manhattan variants: a Moto Guzzi, Red Hook, Green Point,

        Roasted marrow, salt cod fritters, steak frites, a fish dish whose name escapes me (very simple preparation, likely pan-sauteed, a species I don't see a lot of, probably a special I had two summers ago, but I still remember it fondly, if dimly.) The charcuterie plate on my last visit was stunning, six different items (it used to be three or four), and included rabbit, foie gras pate, pork, and game bird (pheasant, maybe?) Very nice to have a bunch of smaller tastes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MC Slim JB

          the charcuterie plate *is* outstanding. I have failed to branch out to try other items as I have a really hard time resisting the charcuterie.

          Oysters have always been fresh and juicy, and the times we indulged, there were two or three varieties to choose from.

          I had my first Negroni last time I was there - wow. It was a generous portion, pretty much put me on my ass, but it was really really tasty.

          Has anyone tried the ceviche? I just noticed it on the menu - I can't believe I missed it before!

        2. Im kind of a whore for the charcuterie and cheese plates. For less than $25 bucks you get a huge assortment of different tastes that you can eat over the course of a few glasses of wine.

          Its what I always do and i wanted something different, though I think i will end up doing my typical ESK ritual of the almost 2 hour "premeal"

          1 Reply
          1. re: Zopper

            They make a really nice sazerac.

          2. My husband raves about ES's Sazerac... and he's very picky indeed.

            8 Replies
            1. re: nayiri

              The menu has not been updated online since day 1, and I complained about it to the manager when I was last there about a week ago. I also begged him to bring back the wonderful veal schnitzel.

              The gaspacho was tangy and good, as Polly Styrene mentioned above. For entree I had an old standby, the salmon. The mustard glaze is superb. DC loved his pork special -- loin or chop I don't recall. We shared a cheese plate afterward, which, oddly, was 3 different goat cheeses. All good.

              1. re: triple creme

                One more thing. For what it's worth, the couple next to us complained bitterly to the manager about the calamari. Heavy, soggy breading and too-rubbery squid.

                They seemed to like everything else and took leftovers home in doggy bags.

                1. re: triple creme

                  It looks like the manager took your complaint seriously. The on-line menu has actually been updated.

                  1. re: pollystyrene

                    Thanks Polly, and your name brings back cherished memories of X-ray Spex.

                2. re: nayiri

                  try Deep Ellum for a Really Good Sazerac,

                  1. re: ScubaSteve

                    I also really like the Sazerac at Green Street. Misty makes a mean cocktail, for sure.

                  2. re: nayiri

                    Do they use absinthe in their Sazerac now that it's legal?

                    1. re: Bob MacAdoo

                      yes, yes they do.
                      and if you want the full Absinthe Experience, they do that too.

                  3. I was there last night (Thursday) and one of the most outstanding apps was the the Roasted Bone Marrow. Absolutely delicious with a just a dab of mustard on them. I also had a couple Old Fashions made with Rittenhouse Rye. ESK has by far the most extensive selection of Rye whiskeys in Boston and overall their bartenders are among the best I have ever seen.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: RoyRon

                      I love that marrow -- oh man I love that marrow. The sprinkle of coarse sea salt just seals the deal.

                    2. I ate at the bar last night (Jackson may be my new favorite bartender in the city) the ceviche was outstanding, though more like a European crudo than latin ceviche. The Hog Island oysters were the best oysters I've ever had (I'm a chef that ran a large NYC raw bar, I've tried almost every oyster available). My dc had the sea bass special, perfectly cooked fish excellent accoutrements. She also had the strawberry shortcake but finished it before I could try it. Excellent bourbon list and I tried a fabulous reserve Caol Ila scotch not on the menu.

                      1. With all of this ES talk, we had to go. Highlights: Our server Ariel (sp?) was absolutely fantastic. She had expert knowledge of the menu and offered details on preparation and ingredients. Her recommendations were spot on, she was friendly, fun and just great in every way. She steered me to the "alaskan" cocktail, which is a blend of gin and chartreuse, not at all sweet but smooth going down. I was instantly hooked.

                        We had a selection of oysters, and in that the standout were the conway cups. They were briny and crisp, yet sweet and a bit fruity in the direction of a west coast oyster. Ceviche this day was fresh cod in a slightly caribbean style with mango, peaches and a hint of coconut milk. Very very good. Also had steak tartare and cod fritters, both excellent.

                        A heads up: the fritters may come off the menu soon.

                        We finished with the confection collection. It included raspberry mousse, a pecan diamond which was not nearly as sweet as it looked, lemon tartlet, and "thin mint" cookies that were out of this world. We also lucked out and got to try a just-made champagne mango sorbet - remarkably creamy, light and refreshing.

                        I just don't think a person can go wrong at Eastern Standard, no matter what one orders. Just great.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: lisa13

                          I think that you can go wrong, but possibly only if you go too late. I keep getting less than stellar food at ESK and I think it might be because I tend to go late (after 10pm). On various occasions I've had cold fries, undercooked steak, painfully oversalted food (more than once), completely unsalted food (only once), mediocre calimari, mushy cod fritters, and the most horrifying asparagus I've ever seen. I know it's a popular place on here and since I'm often in the area I keep trying it, but I think next time I'm hungry late at night I'll just go to Popeyes and save ESK for earlier in the day.

                          i know that everyone else has great experiences there, so you don't have to assure me of that. But I think I've only actually had good food there once. Has anyone else had problems with food late at night? Maybe it's not the timing and is just my bad luck...

                          ETA: Drinks are always fantastic. That's the other reason I keep going back despite the lame food.

                          1. re: maillard

                            After hearing so much about ESK, I went for the first time last night and dined at the bar. As for food, I had calamari, which came out disappointingly without cherry peppers, and steak tartare, which was decent. Great cocktails; although, contrary to pollystyrene, I enjoyed my Periodista--however, my favorite was the Dartmouth Highball. I recognized Andrew, the general manager, immediately upon entering and found him personable, he included my name when he said excuse me to bring a couple their dinner at the bar. Nice bartenders, great atmosphere, definitely a place to return to.

                        2. I ended up there on Friday night. The bar was hopping and we had a wait for our table. We enjoyed a cocktail while we waited .. the bartender recommended a substitute for a Pimms cup which I had come in wanting. The resulting drink (don't recall the name) was a little sweet with ginger beer, but definitely gulpable. Once our food arrived (took quite a while) it was very good ... friend had the crab cake sandwich and I tried the burger. Very good, perfectly cooked medium rare. I even enjoyed the brioche roll, and that's not usually my preference. I agree this place is a solid choice, and fun if you want to feel in the thick of things on a Friday night.