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Jul 19, 2014 09:19 AM

PHX CHer in BOS to imbibe

Hey all,
We're coming in to town next week for cocktails and lobster rolls (plus wine and pastries).

Any suggestions for additions...or subtractions... to our lists?

Drink, Hawthorne, ESKD, jmCurley, Brick&Mortar, Trini's (for Monday brunch), Russell House, backbar.

Lobster rolls at Neptune and Belle Isle (prob no time for more)

Modern for lobster tail pastries

Wine Bottega for wine to ship home...maybe Cirace for grappa.


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  1. Brick & Mortar isn't high on my list due to the insane noise factor and I find Russel House hit or miss depending on who is behind the bar, but otherwise, this list seems good.

    Just know that during "prime time" you'll be competing with crowds at petty much all of these places, especially ones like Drink, Hawthorne and Backbar, which tightly control seating. If the Sox are in town don't even think of going to ESK before the game (though it gets pretty mellow during).

    Note: It's Trina's, not Trini's. It's a fun place but I would never go out of my way for the food there.

    14 Replies
    1. re: LeoLioness

      Try to find yarm at Russell - i.e cocktail virgin. You'll be happiest under his tutelage no matter what.

      1. re: jgg13

        Oh, I forgot he worked there! I'm a huge fan of his blog, thanks for the reminder.

        1. re: LeoLioness

          you might find Neptune a hard wait. Think of Row 34 instead. Excellent and I believe they take reservations unlike Neptune.

          1. re: teezeetoo

            Thanks for the heads up. Thinking about an early 11am lunch to miss the crowds. Haven't heard of Row 34. Thanks!

          1. re: BillB656

            And if you end up around Kendall Sq (not a recommendation to make it a destination in and of itself), I have enjoyed Catalyst (interesting milk punches most days - though I prefer the ones at Back Bar), West Bridge, Belly, and Lord Hobo ( - but never Hungry Mother for my cocktail experiences - the food is good there, however)

            1. re: rlh

              Thanks. Ya, Kendall was never my favorite hangout although I did spend lots of time there at Draper Labs.

              1. re: BillB656

                Depending on how long it has been since you were at Draper, it is a *lot* different in the kendall area now.

                1. re: jgg13

                  I was thinking the same. It's changed hugely just in the last two or so years, and started changing years before that. It is a huge eating and drinking scene now.

                  1. re: Madrid

                    Madrid, what would you recommend in Kendall now? Thx!

                    1. re: BillB656

                      rlh has already made some great suggestions for beer and cocktails....I am not much into cocktails so I can't help, but lots of posters here have enjoyed the area so I hope they'll chime in. I don't get out much to the newish places because I have a special needs child, but we have enjoyed the food at Hungry Mother, EVOO, Za, Commonwealth, and the ArtBar patio at the Sonesta Hotel.

                      1. re: Madrid

                        will second recommendation for West Bridge above. Some great cocktails,favs on the list for me are the

                        Reardon- Rye, Amaro Abano, Bonal, Bitters (iirc done as
                        Boulevardier variant)

                        Third Sound-Beet infused mezcal, Cynar, Citrus

                        Amarillo by morning- Hay Infused Bourbon, Benedictine, Hickory, Sasparilla

                        Other cocktails on list are good but skew towards the light/refreshing end, which usually isn't my thing.

                        Other notable perks depending on your hours- West Bridge has a great patio (with separate drink list) that opens at 3pm.

                        Also, generally, WB has good daytime drinking hours (bar opens 3pm on weekend, 1130 am weekdays)

                        1. re: valcfield

                          Thanks valcfield and Madrid. Super info.

          2. re: jgg13

            Cheers! Lately, I'm generally there Mon-Thurs 11a-5pm and Fri 5pm-close. I use the OnTheBar app religiously to check-in.


        2. I would add Highball Lounge, Sarma, Alden & Harlow, Park, and Tavern Road to your list - they are as good or better than most listed now

          1 Reply
          1. I'd throw on Merrill & Co., which is from the same folk as JM Curley (Kevin Mabry, in particular, heads up the bar for both). Some awesome sherry cocktails in particular, including these, which are two of my favs from the listt:

            Chipiona- gin, fino, blanc vermouth, celery bitters
            Two Stones- rye, east india sherry, curacao, bitters


            1 Reply
            1. re: valcfield

              Good call. Love a well balanced sherry cocktail. Thanks.

            2. My suggestions that haven't been mentioned here yet:

              • Straight Law - started by two Drink alumni and manned by one of them each night (closed Sundays). Strong with gin and sherry drinks.
              • Citizen - better known for their whiskey list, but their cocktails are rather solid. List doesn't change all that frequently, but it you're visiting, they're all new...
              • Green Street - ask for their A-to-Z six page cocktail menu. Lots of classics made right -- all for $6-10 each ($8 or so is average).
              • No. 9 Park - go after the dinner rush but before they close at midnight. 10 pm is a good time point. Classy restaurant with a bar, although I have felt perfectly comfortable sitting there in jeans and a t-shirt. Drinks are prices no differently than Hawthorne or other.


              7 Replies
              1. re: yarm

                Great ideas. Thanks. Straight Law sounds perfect as wifey is a gin floozy. Have had quite a few good meals at No.9. Haven't gone for cocktails as was always so enamoured by Cat's wine list.

                1. re: BillB656

                  Here's my recommendations on some of the places that have been mentioned:
                  Drink: show up right at 4PM one time if you've never been, otherwise skip it. I don't think the bartenders they have in there now really come up with enough interesting drink ideas to make it worthwhile unless you really love the all-time classics or the atmosphere.

                  Brick & Mortar: I love this place, think they have great drinks, but I've always gone at quieter times.

                  I would second recommendations for West Bridge, Alden and Harlow, Tavern Road, and Catalyst. Russell House and Park have generally been reliable for a good drink. Green Street is lower on my list due to some bartenders who I didn't think were up to par.

                  1. re: nickls

                    Brick & Mortar is rather civilized at the right after work hours. It's not too loud, there are seats here and there at the bar, and the bartenders have time to talk about drink ideas on and off the menu. I've had good luck getting there between 5-8pm. By 10pm, the music can often be rather loud, but not always.

                    Drink doesn't have a menu that they give the customers, but every bartender has a menu in their head. More like a flow chart to guide them. Like gin and citrus? Give the customer a Bee's Knees first, for example, and not a Pegu Club or White Lady until another drink or so in. A few of the bartenders do have tricks up their sleeves if you request them (unlike how most of them did back when they opened). But they fill the room to capacity regardless.


                    1. re: nickls

                      Agreed - showing up at Drink at 4p (ideally Mon-Wed) is the best plan - and try to sit at a bar with either Josey, Ezra, or Parker if you are looking for surefire experience, creativity, craftsmanship, and top notch hospitality. After midnight is also quieter there on weeknights if you find yourself awake and in that area...

                        1. re: Alcachofa

                          Yikes - yes - I obviously need to visit Palmer much more often...thanks.

                  2. re: yarm

                    Just went to Straight Law last night for the first time. For those not in the know (as was I) it is the new bar program within Taberna de Haro. Great drinks last night, and the usual excellent tapas that Taberna de Haro is justifiably known. My wife loved it, as gin is her favorite spirit. I had a nice Aperol smash, then went off menu for an Aviatoin, a gin fizz the bartender made me, and a sazerac. Excellent all around.

                  3. Thanks to everyone for such excellent suggestions. We're at Logan now, heading home but I'll write up impressions soon. Getting to spend a couple of hours chatting with Jackson at Hawthorne (plus a slew of inventive, balanced drinks) was a highlight for sure. Didn't get to as many places as we'd hoped but very impressed overall.