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Jun 1, 2011 08:34 AM

Porter Cafe in West Rox?

Anyone been here yet? From what I can tell, they just opened recently. They have a cryptic sign on the door that says that the bar, not the kitchen, is open Sat, Sun, and Mon, and Tues & Wed are for private events, and the bar AND the kitchen are open on Thursday (yes, Friday isn't mentioned on the sign).

Would love any food/menu reports... And if anyone knows if the above pattern is permanent - can't imagine a restaurant only serving food one night a week!

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  1. I haven't been, but someone from West Roxbury tweeted today, "15 taps, 52 bottles, gastropub menu. Opening Thursday to the public" and that the taps include PrettyBeer EIP & Jack D'Or, Harpoon 100 barrel, notch session ale, Racer 5.

    Also that the "menu includes steak frites, porterhouse pork chop, burger, Shrimp PoBoy, asparagus risotto, cod, rib eye; nice apps" and mentions the "salted cod fritters."

    I also saw an article on Patch that mentioned that the co-owners have previously worked at Washington Square Tavern, Matt Murphy's, and the Beacon Street Tavern.

    I can walk to this spot, so definitely excited to try it out.

    Matt Murphy's
    14 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02445

    Beacon Street Tavern
    1032 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02446

    Washington Square Tavern
    714 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02446

    3 Replies
      1. re: trufflehound

        On Centre St., two doors down from Upper Crust toward the rotary.

        Langley, thanks for the info! Let us know if you check it out -

      2. re: langley

        I am the tweeter referenced in the langley post above (full disclosure, I am on the board of the local main streets organization and have been helping to promote Porter's opening). In any case, I have nothing but great things to say about Porter. I was there last night for dinner with my wife, and had the pork chop - which was excellent with a cranberry mayonnaise on the side and was paired with asparagus and mashed potatoes. My wife really liked the chicken and apple salad, and we had the salt cod appetizer for the second time and were very happy with it. On a previous trip, I had the steak frites, which were very nice with a high quality cut of meat and cooked accurately to temperature. My companion on the earlier trip gave high marks to the burger. One of the early review articles on either or the West Roxbury Patch mentioned that the chef has worked at Coppa and a few other top local restaurants, and it is evident in the level of preparation and detail on the menu.

        The beer list is impressive - I've had the Pretty Things EIP and the Harpoon 100 Barrel Rye IPA on tap, and had a Sixpoint Sweet Action in a can last night. Paul, one of the owners, tells me that they will be increasing the wine line up in response to customer demand.

        In response to some of the questions about kids - I'd tend to agree with the sentiment that while people with kids are welcome anytime, they would be most comfortable on the earlier side of the evening. I have a 3- and a 1-year old, and might be hesitant to bring the younger one, but the menu is expansive enough to cover childrens' tastes.

        Also, a dessert menu is forthcoming, as is a rear patio seating 30 or so people later this summer once permitting and some construction and neighborhood issues are hopefully resolved.

        253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

      3. Went on Friday. I got the mussels, which were plump, sweet and perfectly cooked. Lots of beers to choose from the wall display on both sides of the bar ( both different) and a great tap selection from PBR to Chimay. They do not have a printed listed list of beers yet. When asked they hope to in the future. They do have to keep running downstairs to get some of the beers, and at one point the glass that had come fresh out of the dishwasher seemed to have strong chemical smell still even after the Whales Tail sat in it for a bit. So far only minor kinks to work out. Bartender and one of the owners took time to chat and do their connecting with the locals. A good fit for what West Roxbury was lacking, a small neighborhood "bistro style" bar, with cozy atmosphere and a much more interesting beer selection than other WR bars.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jcess7

          Were there kids there during meal times / Is it 21+?
          (Is it a bar with a good menu, or is it a restaurant with a good beer list?)

          1. re: Cork

            Cork - I haven't been there yet, but some friends were there last Saturday night - the owners said that they want to be kid-friendly, and have high chairs. Still doesn't answer your very good parenthetical question...

            1. re: Cork

              I can't really imagine kids here on a weekend night, maybe for lunch or dinner on a weeknight. I would say this is a reasonably priced gastropub & pretty delicious too!

          2. We ate here last night. It was relatively peaceful at 6 pm, and the interior is gorgeous - wooden bar, great tables, lovely atmosphere - but something about the acoustics make it seem really loud. The good news: my husband loved his beers, as did our DCs, and he gave his steak frites an A- (and a good value at $17). I don't eat meat, but the fries were fantastic. Our server was really helpful and friendly... We were there with our (well-behaved) 5 yo, and ran into friends who were there with their 4 yo and 2 yo, and it was definitely kid-friendly at 6 pm. Later - probably not. I got a vegetarian risotto (fava beans, asparagus, and roasted red peppers), which just wasn't very good. The red peppers didn't really mesh with the other veggies, and the rice didn't taste like arborio - it wasn't short grain, or creamy at ALL - just kind of soupy. Not very good. So, that was disappointing, but we'd definitely go back b/c it's so close to us, such nice service, great ambiance, and at least one dish was good.

            1. Beer menu looks great! I see they have victory ale's here. I can't wait to check it out next weekend.

              1. I've been twice in the last couple of weeks. I first went with my husband and 18 month old daughter. We arrived about 5:30 on a Saturday night. When we arrived, there were people drinking and eating at the bar but we were the only table. Two other young families arrived soon thereafter. My husband had the burger and fries. He really enjoyed it and said that it blew another local establishment's burger out of the water. My daughter had the mac and cheese. She seemed to enjoy it. It had a slightly different taste-- it wasn't as good as some of my favorite mac and cheeses but it definitely held its own. I had a salad with grilled chicken which was delicious-- perfectly dressed and the chicken was tender and plentiful. My husband had the Harpoon Hundred Barrel special on tap and loved it. He's been hunting for it at package stores ever since. I also wanted to comment that the staff is super nice. The owner came over and the waitress was very sweet.
                Last Friday I went with some girlfriends for drinks and apps. The food was all delicious-- a friend had the fish tacos and highly recommended them, others shared oysters and raved about them while others enjoyed salads and of course we all enjoyed the delicious basket of fries that we ordered for the table-- yum! Oh, and another friend absolutely loved the cod-- she said the sauce was incredibly delicious. I've already decided to order the steak friteson my next visit.
                In addition to the great beer list, the two wines we sampled were divine. I enjoyed a glass of the zinfandel and two friends raved about their white which recommended by the owner.