Boston Restaurant Blog -- November, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I dine out in Brookline a lot, as there are so many great little neighborhood restaurants such as Dok Bua, Family Restaurant, Genki Ya, and O'Leary's. And all of these places have something in common, namely they are unpretentious, simple places that would never be considered trendy. Well, this week, I went to a spot in Brookline called the Beacon Street Tavern that was probably a bit more chic than my usual haunts in town, though to be honest, it wasn't over-the-top trendy; in fact, it felt more like a laid-back spot you might find at a ski area rather than in a quiet Brookline neighborhood. And while the food won't make me forget about my nearby favorites, it was mostly good, and with excellent service and a nice atmosphere, this sibling of the Washington Square Tavern (on the other side of town) is probably a place that deserves a return visit or two.
The sprawling, brightly-lit storefront of the Beacon Street Tavern contrasts to the more unassuming exteriors of the other smaller neighborhood restaurants on this stretch of Beacon Street between Coolidge Corner and Kenmore Square in Boston. The inside of the place doesn't seem quite as spacious as it appears from the outside, but it does have quite a bit of room, with a cozy bar on the right (including banquettes as a seating option), a mix of booths and tables in the main dining area to the left, and a small private room in the back called the Nitecap Lounge. An old wooden floor gives the space a rustic feel, while the red walls add a slightly sultry touch.
We went to the Beacon Street Tavern toward the beginning of the dinner hour and the place was nearly empty, though it did start to pick up pretty quickly once we arrived. Upon being seated, we were given some tasty rolls and ordered beers to start, with both the Spaten and the Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout hitting the spot. We skipped the appetizers, opting instead for a shared side of sweet potato tater tots that arrived with our meals. The tots were perhaps the highlight of the dinner, as they had a wonderfully spicy curry taste that mixed nicely with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes themselves. Our meals were a mixed bag, however; the otherwise lean and tender steak tips had such a bland marinade that it was almost as if they hadn't been marinated at all, while the baked kabocha squash was better, with the crispy fennel and salty ricotta adding just enough taste to the otherwise slightly bland mix of Swiss chard, acorn squash, and lentils. Our server was very friendly and checked back several times to see if we needed anything, and in fact it seemed like everyone who worked at the Beacon Street Tavern was just plain nice. Prices seemed just a bit high, with the steak tips coming awfully close to the $20 mark and the tater tots costing $3.50 for a grand total of six morsels.
I was neither disappointed nor blown away by the Beacon Street Tavern. The high points were probably the atmosphere and the service, but the tots were excellent and the squash dish was satisfying, and some of the other entrees I saw while we were there did look pretty good. As I said earlier, I will probably give the place another shot or two, and would be happy to hang out at the bar at some point, especially since they do seem to offer some of my favorite beers. The Beacon Street Tavern may not keep me from going to Dok Bua and Family Restaurant, but it does seem like one of many options I'll keep in mind whenever I'm in Brookline.
If you would like the address for the Beacon Street Tavern, here it is: Beacon Street Tavern, 1032 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA, 02446. Phone: (617) 713-2700
Related Blog Entries: Brookline restaurants
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