Boston Restaurant Blog -- June, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I have to admit, I'm still a little sore about one of my favorite restaurants (Eastern Pier II) closing along the Boston waterfront a couple of years back, mainly because it was one of the few places in the city where you could get good food cheap while sitting outside and looking out at the water. And when its old-school and slightly dive-y neighbor within the same building (The Seaport Bar and Grille) shut down at the end of last year, it marked the end of an era in some ways. Two dining and drinking spots have since moved into the refurbished building, including the Atlantic Beer Garden, which took over Eastern Pier's space, and The Whiskey Priest, which moved into where The Seaport Bar and Grille used to be. I haven't been to the Atlantic Beer Garden yet, but we did recently check out The Whiskey Priest, and while the food was inconsistent, the drink list, water views, and overall vibe were good enough to make me just a bit less sad about the changes made to this building in Boston's Seaport District.
The Whiskey Priest is a sprawling place with a large bar, lots of seating inside, and more seating outside with both a patio and a roofdeck with beautiful views of Boston Harbor. The interior of the restaurant feels almost upscale, with hardwood floors, soft lighting (including lights shaped like Celtic crosses), lots of dark woods, and huge windows that open out to the water below. The clientele, on weeknights at least, seems to be more of a business crowd, with a lot of nicely-dressed people of all ages. The bar area is a sight to behold for those who like scotch and whiskey, as there are countless bottles of each lined up behind the bar.
While the atmosphere and the water views at The Whiskey Priest are both memorable, the food didn't seem quite up to snuff on the night we went, as the one terrific item we had barely made up for the two subpar dishes. First, the good--the crab cakes and boxty was absolutely delicious, with thin but hearty potato pancakes (the "boxty" part of the dish) nicely complementing the sweet-tasting Maryland lump crab cakes placed on top of the potatoes. The creme fraiche only added to the flavor of the dish, as did the scallions and capers. Unfortunately, the Irish stew was nowhere near as good, as the slow-cooked lamb was mostly fat and gristle, while the sauce was thick, overly sweet, and gloppy, tasting not unlike some of the brown sauces you might have with dishes from late-night Chinese takeout places. The Killarney grilled chicked was marginally better; it was small, rather greasy, and fell apart right off the bat, though the Guinness Stout marinade did help boost the flavor of the white-meat chicken a little bit. Drinks were satisfying, as the Guinness and Longboard (from Hawaii) both hit the spot, while the Michael Collins single malt whiskey was simply outstanding, with a smooth, sweet richness that made me want to go out and buy a bottle or two of it. Service was good overall, and prices were reasonable, especially considering the location of the place.
The Whiskey Priest seems like a good place to go for a beer, scotch, or whiskey while enjoying the spectacular ocean views, but food-wise, I'm not entirely sure. I'm certainly willing to give it another shot, though, perhaps for appetizers over a drink or two, especially on a warm night when I can sit up on the roof deck. And yes, I will be studying up on my scotches and whiskeys before I head back there, as there are so many from which to choose.
If you want the address for The Whiskey Priest, here it is: The Whiskey Priest, 150 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA, 02210. Phone: (617) 426-8111
Good service with a noisy bar atmosphere for dinner - decent burger but avoid the fish sandwich with STALE roll (how did that happen without even an Apology from the staff). Seen the first and last of me.
Posted on 8/9/10
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