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Circle: Plates and Lounge

Can't find out anything about this place opening up on Columbus Ave.
Anyone heard anything?

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  1. I posted something about it on my blog early this morning. And the Herald has a detailed story on it today. Looks like it will be open in a matter of days, and their menu will focus mainly on French cuisine.

    Sounds a lot different from Malcolm Aalders’ original venture in this spot that never got off the ground...

    3 Replies
    1. re: hiddenboston

      Glad to hear that. The original concept was a dud. Big change from Bob's though. Will French cuisine fly in that part of the city?

      1. re: hiddenboston

        Kind of weird, I just drove by and the facade/signage is still Bob's all the way. They're going to open like that?

        1. re: purple bot

          Saw the Bob's sign coming down as I rode past this (edit: yesterday) morning. Circle sign was up by the time I passed back later in the day. There's a circle motif.

      2. I was in the neighborhood the other night and the sign looks solid without being ostentatious. Seems like Malcolm Aalders is really putting things together at Circle.

        1. I went into Circle earlier this week and supposedly they are going to be open this weekend for drinks and have a full menu within the next two weeks..

          12 Replies
          1. re: InLikeMe

            The picture in Stuff @ Night of the decor, especially the rug (circa 1972), looks awful. Let's hope the food is better. Not feeling too good about this place.

            1. re: FrankieSandals

              The pic in the Improper looked pretty cool, a lot better than Bob's. Hey InLikeMe, what's on the menu? Did you get a sense of the drinks.

              1. re: Bob MacAdoo

                I'm no designer, but this doesn't look too bad: http://stuffatnight.com/hubbub/archiv... And in any case, can't a restaurant be ugly and still serve great food?

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Surely you jest? It almost looks like they put the picture in as a joke. Of course a restaurant can serve great food and still be ugly, but why choose ugly if you are rehabbing a space? The carpet looks horrible.

                  1. re: FrankieSandals

                    LIke I said, I'm no designer, but that carpet just doesn't look all that terrible to me. It's blue and swirly.

                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      I'm with Slim on this -- I actually really like the look of that photo. Too many places go for "classy" and overshoot into "boring." (One room that gets that right is the downstairs bar at Marliave, which is gorgeous.) I'm all for a room that's not afraid of color. And I have no beef with the carpet whatsoever.

                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                        Not to threadjack here, but...

                        I love the decor at Marliave, too, but have you seen the prices on the upstairs menu? $62 prix fixe? That seems a tad ambitious to me, especially given the timing. I do like the fact that the upstairs has its own, quieter bar with the same fabulous cocktails. I'm going to try the fancier menu, but I imagine I'll be dining more often downstairs just for the prices.

                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          Yeah, the prices seem quite steep, and frankly, I haven't seen anything on the upstairs menu that makes me say, "Yes, I must try that immediately" so far. I'll probably be sticking to the downstairs not just for the prices but because it's more like what I look for in a restaurant.

                        2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                          I went to the Marliave a couple of Saturday nights ago, and everyone at the bar was commenting at how boringly stark the room looked. I personally was expecting much more out of the room and ambiance, after reading so many reports on how old the building was. Hopefully they've improved the lighting, added some candles, and changed out some of the uncomfortable furniture. I was expecting a lot more charm.

                          1. re: FrankieSandals

                            I think it's clear we simply have very dissimilar design aesthetics.

                  2. re: Bob MacAdoo

                    My apologies for not getting back sooner on this one Robert. The website is under construction but they have the full menu on there. Here's the link:


                    I haven't had the chance to eat there yet. Of the reviews I have read on other message boards it seems like Lobster is the way to go.

                    1. re: InLikeMe

                      Has anyone eaten here yet? Curious to hear how it is. Also curious to know about the reviews on "other message boards..." ?????

              2. I drove by the other night and saw signs of life. Any early reports?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bob MacAdoo

                  I went to the opening party this past Tuesday. The food was delicious! The space is cool, nicely designed and the red bar stools were very comfortable. The owner was very nice and personable - he is originally from Ohio. I hope to go back there soon to dine.

                2. My BF and I checked this place out last Sunday. Super friendly staff, good drink/wine list and the food was very tasty. However, this is not a place I would recommend if you are concerned about getting good value for what you pay. I ordered the heirloom tomato salad ($10) and had to disguise a chuckle when it arrived: it was three wedges of a smallish tomato, accompanied by some cubes of balsamic gelee and two slivers of marinated fennel. I know heirlooms are not cheap, but sheesh! The salad, and everything else we ordered, was flavorful and well-executed, but I think I'll just be going there for drinks from now on.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Lizziefreshh

                    I have to agree with Lizziefreshh on the value and portion size complaint. I went to Circle last Friday and ordered the $16 mac & cheese to split with a friend as an app. It was tiny. Maybe I've just gotten used to huge portions, but for 16 bucks I assumed it would at least be splittable - instead we each had about 4 to 5 bites. The Mac & Chees was delicious, but it was more a macaroni in cream and truffles sauce - no real cheese taste or texture. My entree was good, but now I don't remember what it was so I guess it wasn't fantastic. However, the cheesecake was hands down the best I've EVER had. You could actually taste the goat cheese in it, so it was a little different than I'm used to, but it was FANTASTIC. I would go back there strictly to get the cheesecake again.

                    I also like that they are sourcing as much of their food locally as possible. It requires they be a bit flexible (one of the fish dishes on the night we went had to change b/c they couldn't source the original fish locally), but I really appreciate the effort. It's great to have another restaurant where I can go and feel good about how far my food has travelled before I eat it.

                    1. re: TheLocalMuse

                      I stopped in over the weekend just for drinks. They used hanger vodka in the Cosmo I ordered which was very good and $9, so well priced. I enjoyed the drinks, and glanced at the menu. IMO, it seemed a little pricey. Maybe it sounds silly, but to me, a $24 entree seems much much more expensive than an $18 one, even tho it is only a six buck difference. I guess in my head, I can justify entrees in the teens easier than in the twenties. I did like the bar stools.

                      1. re: cassoulady

                        just looked at the menu and it strikes me as not very seasonal and way to many foam this or gel that. I want to check the place out though.

                  2. Well, that didn't take long. Devra First just reported on the Globe's food blog that Circle has already shut down. Gee, no one could have predicted...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      I remember stopping in after a Sox playoff game in October (the place was empty) and thinking that the prices were crazy and the cocktail list looked terrible, but had still planned to visit eventually. Ah, well.

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        Word on the street is that this was an epic disaster of the highest order, well over $1 million spent. I never had the chance to eat dinner there or try their drinks. For the kind of money that went into the place, I wish it stayed open a little while longer than that ...

                    2. I went with a group of freinds about six weeks ago for drinks at the bar. The menu to me seemed very expensive. I would love to see something great go in there, that area could use a place to get decent food and drinks for not a lot of money, a more pub feel or something would be my idea. The bartender was telling me how everything was local and they make very little waste, which i enjoyed hearing about and he was so excited about it.