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Nov 22, 2009 05:42 PM

Woodward at the Ames

Stopped by Woodward at the Ames on Sat. Basic, plentiful but simple gastropub style food. Had a nice salad, flatbread and fish.
Downside is the tight proximitry of the Bar with the dining spaces (there are two levels with bar and dining at both). We were downstairs and found the room loud and slightly uncomfortable for dining.

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  1. was upstairs at the bar, painfully crowded and loud, but the drink was very good (Ames Addiction, w/ Ron Zacapa 23yr, Carpano Antica, Canton ginger), and the short rib pot roast and mushroom toast were decent. Might wait until it quiets down a bit to go back. Heard from a source there that Tom of Craigie is moving to W in Boston in January...

    14 Replies
    1. re: barleywino

      Does W mean the Woodward or the W hotel? Sorry to be dense, just want to have my gossip right : )

        1. re: barleywino

          Can anyone else confirm this?

          I had hoped for...something else for the gifted Schlesinger-Guidelli.

          He runs such a wonderful bar, and Cragie on Main is such an acclaimed restaurant, I assumed his next jump would be his own establishment, or at least another restaurant to start a new bar program.

          1. re: rlove

            perhaps the W has deeper pockets and can afford to pay more for talent?

            1. re: barleywino

              Yes, I am sure they do.

              I was just hoping he'd go somewhere I'd frequent. :)

              1. re: rlove

                at least he's not leaving town...hopefully

                maybe the W will install a phone booth in the lobby (a la PDT) which admits the cognoscenti into Tom's secret speakeasy...they can call it the "M" ("W" upside down)

            2. re: rlove

              W could use a good bartender - they did not know how to make a "Toronto" the other night. Their manhattan was fine, though.

              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                Just FYI: Noir in the Charles Hotel now has a Toronto on their drink list. And a pretty tasty one at that.

                1. re: Canadian Tuxedo

                  Thanks for the tip. I also ordered one at Bond recently - figuring that all these fancy bar spots would be able to make one - and it was all about blood orange juice with no discernible Fernet....tasty, but huh

        2. re: barleywino

          I figured Tom S-G had to be moving someplace where he would have a bigger stage (I had speculated privately that he might be moving to the Woodward). If he could train up a whole cadre of bartenders to handle the crowds at the W with real craft cocktail-making skills, that would be a great thing. I suspect a lot of W patrons would still order stupid sweet flavored-vodka junk, but some would take a flyer on more interesting cocktails, and a few would get hooked, and drive demand for those kind of drinks at other bars. Talent trained at the W would eventually fan out to other bars, taking valuable lessons with it.

          Overall, it would have a more positive net effect on the drinking scene than if Schlesinger-Guidelli just stayed at Craigie's little bar. So that rumor is a welcome one, if true. Who knows? Maybe this is a crossing-the-chasm moment for craft cocktails, the point where it gets out of the evangelist/aficionado phase of its growth and into the wider mainstream.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Tommy as recently as of last week denied having any plans when we spoke. Either he's keeping things under wraps or taking a break while surveying his options.

            1. re: yarm

              It's almost certainly the former. I think he knows where he's going, just not saying.


              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Then let me put a vote in for the Coppa rumor.

                1. re: yarm

                  I can confirm that the Coppa rumor was a joke. I repeated it (via Twitter) with a "this sounds like a joke" disclaimer, but I'm not sure everyone got that, e.g., Boston Magazine just repeated it yesterday on its Chowder blog.


        3. the flat bread pizza with confit duck, cranberries and goat cheese was really excellent. The tortellini with shortribs, not so much, it was undercooked and undersalted.

          1. Haven't sampled the food yet, but was impressed with a first go-round at some classic craft cocktails: quality spirits, solid technique (no free pouring), good results.

            Scene is rather W Hotel-like: packed and frenzied in the upstairs bar, a bit calmer downstairs, with a lot of folks dressed as though they're hoping to hook up before closing time. Will be curious to try the food some night when I haven't spent the previous three hours eating somewhere else.


            1 Reply
            1. re: MC Slim JB

              same reaction to the scene... hopefully this will calm down a bit, since its a nice new option for me close to work. I also wasn't completely sold on the modern + rustic decor combo attempt- I like the concept in general, I just wasn't sold on it ( I think the big names involved could have done better). House red wine was a nice shiraz at an affordable $7 with a generous pour. Mushroom toasts were yummy.

            2. tried the burger, it was unexceptional, nowhere near the level of say Toro, Craigie, Radius etc. Blood & Sand was punch-like and bland compared to the Ames Addiction

              1 Reply
              1. re: barleywino

                For those of you as clueless as I - Woodward at Ames is at 1 Court Street (at Washington Street) in Boston.

                And, there are no prices on the menu pdf...kinda annoying when I have no idea what to expect. But a generous pour of Shiraz at $7 is certainly encouraging!

              2. My wife sent me someting that she heard that Sam from Top Chef a few seasons back is working there as well.

                6 Replies
                1. re: kimfair1

                  Devra First confirmed the Sam from Top Chef at the Woodward rumor during her live chat yesterday.


                      1. re: jgg13

                        OMG -- love "let me google that for you". Thanks for that!

                          1. re: yumyum

                            It never fails to make me laugh, even when people do it to me. :)