Bar to Bar Through Beantown
“Elephant & Castle is a nice little establishment with pub fare, a diverse beer selection, and a decent wine selection.”
Address: 161 Devonshire Street
Date of Visit: Monday, January 30, 2012
Bartender Name: Andy
Elephant & Castle is one of those restaurants that you think is way too fancy for you because you walk by and see a ton of people in suits and other nice attire, but then you realize you’re in the Financial District and those people are either grabbing a late lunch/early dinner or drinking away the stress from their day. Elephant & Castle is a nice little establishment with decent pub fare, a diverse beer selection, and a decent wine selection. Featuring the dark wood one would expect to find in an Irish pub, Elephant & Castle has a fairly open layout with seating options either right next to the bar (which sits in the middle of the restaurant) or in the quieter other side of the establishment. You’ll find a few TVs scattered around, more so near the bar, so if there is a game on try to get a spot there. The bathrooms are downstairs (where they also have banquet rooms), and be sure to stop for a quick photo in the telephone booth on your way in!
Valerie’s Drink of Choice: Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Ingredients: Traditionally made with vanilla vodka, pineapple juice, & grenadine
Review: Despite my love for pineapple (albeit a slight allergy when eaten fresh), I had never indulged in a pineapple upside down cake martini, so when the bartender suggested it, I quickly agreed. I was a bit less than impressed with the taste, although it did look beautiful. It was sweet as one would expect, but the flavor wasn’t complex at all and I couldn’t even discern that there was alcohol in the drink. While I understand that the grenadine is supposed to sit at the bottom for the “upside down” effect, it makes the last few sips fairly pointless. Perhaps I should have mixed it up once it was served? Someone tell me how to drink this thing!
Eric’s Drink of Choice: Manhattan
Ingredients: Maker’s Mark, sweet vermouth, bitters
Review: Andy from Elephant & Castle,
You are not the most personable, your bar didn’t have a cocktail menu, and after debating in your mind of what was your best cocktail, or your favorite cocktail to make, you come up with a Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
That being said, you made the best damn Makers Manhattan that I’ve ever had in the city of Boston. While mixing a mere three ingredients up may not seem impressive, when you’re pairing the intense flavor of bourbon with the more delicate sweet vermouth and bitters, it is in fact difficult. You were quick to ask me whether I wanted the cocktail “up” or “on the rocks”, and created the perfect drink that had layers of delicious flavor. The initial burn of the bourbon was quickly tempered by the sweet vermouth, and the bitters hit the senses just right, with a pleasant aroma and a touch of unique flavor within the depths of the delectable libation. There were no ice chips in the drink, but it was perfectly cold. The presentation of the drink was perfect, and it seemed as if you stirred it, not preparing it in a shaker, meaning there was no chance of bruised ice. All in all, wonderfulness in a cocktail glass.
If I had one complaint, it would be that my cherry was missing its stem, but that’s probably not your fault. That, and that you seem to think your best work is a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Have some confidence in yourself, friend. You make one of the (if not the) best Manhattans in the city. Cheers!
Wine, Beer, and “Other” Prices: As there was not a drink menu, it was impossible to determine the prices of their wine and beer along with other mixed drinks. Our friend Sarah got an Absolut Wild Tea and lemonade which was only $6.50 for a nice and heavy pour. They do have chalk boards lining the bar area that list off their beer and wine selections, of which they have plenty. A photo of the taps for your viewing pleasure (we think they had another set of taps on the other side of the bar with more options):