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Jul 9, 2010 01:21 PM

Any recent Stoddard's experiences?

Have never tried it, thinking of doing so tonight. Is it worthwhile?

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  1. Yes, my wife and I went last weekend and we really enjoyed the food and the hospitality. Won't do a long review, but I will say that the house charcuterie plate was among the best I've had around town. The flavors just really popped, especially the house made pastrami. For mains we had the chicken pot pie and the quail dish. both were very nice but not other worldly. We really wanted the Rabbit but were told by the server they were out. Beer selection was great. I enjoyed a cask and another local beer I've never seen around before. By chance, the chef's family was sitting next to us and we had a nice chat with them. Also had a nice chat with the chef as we were leaving. Good vibes and food all around. Worth a trip. Oh, and the place is gorgeous, the bar especially. There is just something about these old buildings near downtown crossing that get me every time...

    1. So we did try it out last night. The burger was one of the best I have had in awhile (great beefy taste and cooked a perfect MR), front of house staff couldn’t have been nicer, and they did a good job on pre-dinner drinks at the bar. The fries (thin and crisp) were very good, the onion rings were not (bready and undercooked). We enjoyed the pickles as well.

      Unfortunately negatives outweighed the positives though. The AC was non-existent. Doors were closed and they said it was on, however it was actually more comfortable outside than in. We met friends there, and had to leave fairly hastily at the end of dinner as one of them felt faint. As seems to be common from reading other reviews they were out of 5 menu items, which is a bit excessive given the limited options to begin with. It was hard to detect any hint of lobster in the hush puppies. The deviled eggs had an off putting tangy taste gummy consistency. The drinks that were accurately made to order at the came in different glasses and with different garnishes when we moved 10 feet over to a table.

      I would go back for the burger on a cooler night, but that’s about it.

      1. We went to Stoddard's for the first time last evening, and will return. It was nice and cool in the restaurant, but it was much cooler outside by that point after the torrential rains, and we sat near the door. My wife wanted the Jerusalem Artichoke soup on the menu, but they had substituted it with an asparagus soup with lobster that was very nice. I had the charcuterie plate, and it was outstanding. One of the best I've had in Boston. For mains, my wife had the hangar steak which came on a generous bed of shredded braised oxtail. I had the pork tenderloin (and was told it was the last one - at 7:30pm on a Saturday night?), which was excellent, and came with truly delicious ham grits. The cocktails were spot on, and though it wasn't on the menu, I asked for a Sazerac cocktail, and was served one of the better ones I've had in Boston., though Paul at Craigie on Main still makes the best on in town. The pot of pickles were excellent as well. Staff and service were great.

        1. stopped in finally a few weeks ago,as they were just opening up. the space is terrific visually.

          i had a well-executed moscow mule, however was off-put that the very brief cocktail list (maybe 10 drinks?) had no prices. the bartender told me this was only their "opening list", with a fuller one to come soon. they've been opening for like 2 years and actually open for several months. what's the wait?

          the beer list did not have prices either.

          checked out the food menu and was struck by how many items were "market price". if you're offering a charcuterie plate everyday, that is house-made, you should be able to cost that out. the typos and bad semantics on the history side (back) of the menu made my teeth itch too.

          the wine prices were marked-up into the gouge category, with too many bottles over $65 for their menu price point.

          and this is minor and kinda funny: i am small in stature, but literally had to stand on my tiptoes to see in ANY of the mirrors in the ladies' room, lol. who measured that placement? paul pierce?

          nice place for a drink and eventually i'll get back for some food, but no rush on my end.

          21 Replies
          1. re: hotoynoodle

            I dislike that lack of prices at Stoddard's, too. It resulted in some sticker shock: is $10 for a 10- or 12-ounce glass of cask ale standard these days? I'm in the habit of asking prices of specials on the dinner menu, as I've gotten bitten at one too many North End clip joint, but it's annoying when there are twenty price questions to ask.

            I've experienced shoddy bartending on a couple of occasions as well: they are nowhere near the standard of the real craft cocktail bars in town, though their marketing and menu prose might lead you to believe that's their goal. They're not justifying their cocktails prices so far.

            I didn't love the food on a couple of visits, either -- it was just okay -- so was very surprised by Nadeau's four-star Phoenix rave, though he clearly sampled a lot more of the menu than I have so far. I think it's a very cool space.


            1. re: MC Slim JB

              "is $10 for a 10- or 12-ounce glass of cask ale standard these days?"

              Absolutely not. Most bars that have cask ales don't price them any higher than a comparable draft pour (that is to say in the area of $6 for a 14-16 oz pour. Beer geeks are justifiably furious over the pricing at Stoddard's.

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                From the posts over at beeradvocate it seems every agrees that the beer prices overall are grossly inflated. I could see $10 for a Russian River IPA which is rare in this part of the country, but from what I've read the offerings for the casks are local, $10+ for a Shipyard beer on cask is laughable.

                When the Union Brewhouse was having its cask days beers where in the $5-6 range, the beers offered were from breweries like Pizza Port, Troegs, Lagunitas, aka beers that in more demand due to rarity/quality. I can't remember paying anymore than $7 for a cask ale from the Portsmouth Brewery ,Sunset, or Beerworks. I understand the overhead is much greater for Stoddards and someone needs to pay for the big dig like schedule to rehab the place but I won't be visiting with the choices that we already have in the area.

                Portsmouth Brewery
                56 Market St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

                1. re: mkel34

                  Union doesn't do the cask anymore?

                  1. re: mkel34

                    $10 pints of Russian River IPA would fly out tap handles around Boston within minutes...because its not distributed in MA, yet there is great demand for it.

                    1. re: LStaff

                      It would also be technically illegal... not really a relevant point in this hypothetical conversation, but just had to point it out...

                      1. re: LStaff

                        I"m down to my last two Pliny's out of the 12 pack I got in May.

                            1. re: Trumpetguy

                              I know this is off topic, but it you search hard enough you can find wine/beer shops that will deliver Russian River to the Boston area.

                              1. re: phatchris

                                phatchris, have you been able to find Consecration around here? I'm willing to drive...

                                1. re: EmChouffe

                                  EmChouffe - the only eastern state that gets distribution from Russian River (and, ergo, the only one where it can be sold) is Pennsylvania. I believe that even there it is tricky to come by, though possible. As PhatChris says I believe that there are a few CA shops that will ship (though it's not really legit to do so), but I honestly don't know which they are. You will not find Consecration or any other Russian River beers for sale anywhere around here, though.

                                  1. re: celeriac

                                    Exactly what celeriac said, there are some CA shops that will turn a blind eye.

                                    1. re: phatchris

                                      Is this one of those "MA laws suck" things, as in one could get it shipped to NH no problem, or is it just that they don't want to bother?

                                      1. re: jgg13

                                        It's a "MA laws suck" thing. It's illegal to ship beer to MA.

                                        1. re: afty698

                                          I knew the last part, wasn't sure if that was the only issue. I can get stuff shipped to NH pretty easily, but never really think of it.

                                          1. re: afty698

                                            illegal to ship any booze (beer, wine, etc) in MA to a residential address. However, you can ship to your favorite liquor store and pick it up there. If you're shipping cases, many places won't mark up.

                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          They got into it with @DrinkCraftBeer (I think) on twitter not too long ago, he called them out for some special they were pimping that actually turned out to be a horrible deal (I think it was 3 5oz pours of a decent cask ale for $18 or something like that) and they didn't like that so much.

                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                            I saw $8 pints of Gritty's Bitter on cask at Cambridge Common a couple of weeks ago - and that is the place with best craft beer prices in town.

                            I don't get it.

                            Only explanation I can think of is that beer bars must be marketing cask beer to craft beer newbs who have been duped by countless articles how cask beer is always better than draft. If you understand cask beer, real ale, and its origins, you know how oxymoronic it is to pay premium prices for "session" beer.

                            Cambridge Common
                            1667 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                            1. re: LStaff

                              I'm getting fairly annoyed at the trend of stuffing anything & everything into a cask for service and then that leading to higher prices. Not everything tastes better in a cask.

                              1. re: LStaff

                                I paid $7 something for a 10 oz. glass of Ballast Point Sculpin yesterday at Cambridge Common--it was such a delicious beer, it was almost worth it.

                          2. Does anyone know if they are going to start serving lunch? It would seem to me that in that neighborhood you would need to serve lunch to stay viable.