My friend Julie is a bit of a foodie. I asked her about what’s hot in town and she offered to write up a little number on one of her fave new dining locations – Fenway. Here’s her take on where to nosh
Eating My Way Through Fenway
I love to eat and I take great pleasure in trying new restaurants and genres of food. So, when Style Girl asked that I write a feature about dining, I most happily obliged!
Since I work in the Fenway area, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to brag about the wonderful variety of provisions found in this neighborhood. What? Great dining near Fenway Park? I know – it hasn’t always been the case. But it’s certainly the case now.
The Fenway dining movement started with the opening of the Hotel Commonwealth. The heart of the hotel is Eastern Standard and it’s certainly “the heart that keeps Kenmore Square pumping.” This establishment does everything right – both food and drink. Nationally-recognized for its award-winning cocktails, the dining options are just as impressive and run the gamut of everything from a burger to the daily offal. Yes, that’s right – offal (sounds like “awful”) which according to Wikipedia, refers to the internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal. Doesn’t sound appetizing to you? Well, people who enjoy delicacies like foie gras, pate, and sweetbreads would beg to differ.
Steps down from Eastern Standard is the popular Island Creek Oyster Bar. Seafood lovers unite! There is an extensive list of 12-18 oysters on the daily menu, as well as other cooked and raw bar necessities like lobsters, clams, and shrimp. Meat-eaters, do not fear! The “from the land” section of the menu offers selections like organic chicken breast, sirloin and an Angus burger with house-cured maple bacon. If you can’t decide between the land or the sea, toss a couple of fried oysters on your burger for just a few dollars more.
And although the historical establishments like Pizzeria Uno, Bertucci’s and Cornwalls Pub remain, we’ve seen some newcomers in the likes of Fin’s Sushi and Grill, UBurger, and Boca Grande. Petit Robert Bistro, approaching its seven year anniversary in April, offers a mix of French cuisine where the most expensive dinner entrée is under $25 and the frites are untouchable.
Just up Brookline Avenue towards Fenway Park you’ll hit the typical sports bars like Cask ‘n Flagon (in business for over 35 years) and Game On. Just across the street is the brand new Fenway Café, which offers a variety of coffee (try the Fenway Blend), breakfast pastries (the pumpkin muffin is a must-try) and ice cream. A bit further down the road you’ll notice a new spot about to open, Yard House, a restaurant that offers pub fare and a massive selection of beers on tap. On the next block sits a Chipotle and Starbucks, with a LongHorn Steakhouse, UFood Grill (formerly known as KnowFat Low Fat) and the delicious sweet scents of Panera Bread beckoning from across the street – all perfect spots for quick bite.
Boylston Street is also hopping. My old lunch standby, Burton’s Grill, has recently closed its doors (sniff, sniff) but the current window display is for “Happy’s Bar & Kitchen.” According to eater.com, Chef Michael Schlow (of Radius, Via Matta, Alta Strada and Tico fame – not a bad resume) is turning this space into a rock ‘n roll diner slated to open in April.
Just next door is Sweet Cheeks Q. How can you go wrong with a name like that?! Chef/Owner Tiffani Faison, known for her stint on Season 1 of Top Chef (she finished in 2nd place) and Chef de Cuisine Daniel Raia, have created a delicious menu of down home southern BBQ. My recent dinner at Sweet Cheeks consisted of the Berkshire pork ribs and a beef short rib, both of which melt in your mouth. I have a soft spot for mac and cheese, so of course, I had to make it my side order (and was not disappointed), along with the collard greens and fried green tomatoes. The “GIANT nutter butter” dessert was the perfect way to end the meal. See a picture of my yummy meal to the right.
Some of the other recent additions to Boylston Street include Jerry Remy’s, Tasty Burger, Basho (sister restaurant to Douzo in the South End), Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar (where you can order a whole roasted suckling pig serving 10 people), and Sweet Caroline’s. The list goes on!
So, next time you’re contemplating where to eat out, why not suggest Fenway? There’s something here for everyone. Bon Appetit!