I don’t get out on the town very often anymore… It has something to do with getting older, fatherhood, and living in the suburbs. Which is why, when I find a new place that interests me, I like to tell my friends about the experience.
Very recently a new bar/speakeasy/gastro pub entered the fray – Carrie Nation (http://www.carrienationcocktailclub.com/), located at 11 Beacon Street in Boston.
Despite the forced irony of the name (if I have to explain it, you probably should be reading something else…), the owners have done a credible job – good cocktails, decent food and friendly staff.
The other nice feature of the establishment is the combination of sleek, sexy gastro pub up front, with a great back room speakeasy that echoes nicely a prohibition age barroom, with comfortable seating and enticing billiard tables.
As far as cocktails go, the standard list of classics is available. There are some signature drinks as well, which I avoided – I test the skill of my local barkeeps and their establishments with a few key drinks: Corpse Reviver #2, Sidecar and, in summer, the Gimlet.
First up – Corpse Reviver #2 – disappointing… bar tender had no idea what it was or how it was made… I let him “look it up” on his WIFI device – came back with a recipe that involved Sambuca… Uh, let’s not take a chance… Opted for the Sloe Gin Fizz from the bar list. Quite nice. Refreshing and well-made.
Next up – Sidecar, from the bar list – in a word, superb. Correct ingredients, well-balanced and the coupe glass was appropriately rimmed with sugar.
Next up – Opted to give the wine list a try with a glass of the Red Label “claret blend” from California. Decent – enough structure to cut the fat in the Angus Bleu Cheese burger.
As far as food goes, the menu is ample, with numerous appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees to sate even the hungriest appetite. Started with the Fried Calamari – very nicely done. Juicy, succulent rings served atop wilted greens, tomato marinara and a pinch of parmesan. Very tasty. Not wanting to undo too much of my recent weight loss, proceeded with the previously mentioned Angus Bleu Cheese burger. Stacked high on a thick slices of iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, the burger was a “draw and quarter” job. The patty was flavorful and cooked to my satisfaction. Accompanying steak fries were perfect – toothy and appropriately seasoned.
Dessert, while tempting was left alone (see my previous reasoning).
In looking for a “liquid closer” though, I was saddened somewhat. Limited choices in the Amari/Digestif front, with puzzling looks when I started to name off a few of the more well-known varieties…
Okay, so the bar staff may need some help with “off list” requests, but the quality of the on-list cocktails, combined with the quality of the food and the exquisite ambience of the speakeasy made up for whatever minor twinges I experienced.
If you are looking for a new haunt that feels like it’s been here for years, definitely give Carrie Nation a try… Just leave the hatchet at home!