Bar to Bar Through Beantown
“Stoddard’s lends itself to a pre-prohibition feel complete with old-style, streetlamp-like lights providing accents to the ambiance created by the dark woods and brick walls.”
Address: 48 Temple Place
Date of Visit: Friday, February 10, 2012
Bartender Name: Unknown
We came to Stoddard’s for an MA Girls Pint Out event featuring the return of Narragansett Bock. It was our first time in the bar, which lends itself to a pre-prohibition feel complete with old-style, streetlamp-like lights providing accents to the ambiance created by the dark woods and brick walls. The back wall reminded us of scenes from Casper, with overhead alcoves, “secret” passages, old bookcases, and small eating areas. Despite the old school theme, there’s still a large TV screen on the wall by the bar which was playing basketball when we were in there. Stoddard’s bartenders were incredibly knowledgable, and the staff features a “celebrity” among the bartender crowd in Jamie Walsh. The experience shows in the professionalism and know-how that is evident behind the bar and in the craft cocktails the staff prepares. Stoddard’s might not be the best for huge groups (it got packed quickly for the Narragansett event), but it certainly is a place we’ll return for dinner and delicious cocktails, as it has secured a place in the top tier of craft cocktail venues in our book.
Drink of the Evening (reviewed by Eric): Narragansett Bock
Cost: $3.00 (on special)
Review: Narragansett is one of my old favorites, having enjoyed them for $1 each during my college days in Rhode Island (shout out to Gillary’s)! Gansett has evolved from a cheap and delicious Lager and has branched out to include many other varieties, including seasonals, Cream Ales, and of course the Bock.
The Boch was malty and smooth, more than likely the intention of the Gansett crew as a means of paying homage to its German origins. This year, the brewers used more hops than a traditional bock might have, which were able to shine through after the first sip or two. The February release of this tall, delicious can was perfect given the winter we’ve had and the seasonality of the beer, as it is usually consumed at spring festivals in its homeland. The sweet tones resonated throughout each can, and without realizing the strength of the goat, I quickly felt it rear its horns.
Valerie’s Drink of Choice: Spanish Coffee
Ingredients: 151 Proof Rum, Triple Sec, Kahlua, sugar rim
Review: The Spanish Coffee instantly transported me back in time to our honeymoon, where I indulged in Mayan Coffee on several occasions. The drink was delicious, and although I wasn’t expecting the vanilla ice cream on top, it definitely made the drink. Although a hot beverage, it wasn’t overly hot (with the exception of right at first touch since it’s served in glass) – this also would have been a great flavor combination chilled. It had a strong coffee flavor that was only enhanced by the rum and Kahlua – and boy was it strong! Along with being tasty, it also provided entertainment as the bartender lit the 151 on fire before serving. Perfection.
Eric’s Drink of Choice: Hawthorne
Review: So we have a problem – as we all know, Absinthe is mysterious, so mysterious that I only THINK the name of this cocktail was the Hawthorne, and the only ingredient I am absolutely sure was in the drink is Absinthe (Fail). I will have to go back, drink it again, and update this post.
That being said, this was quite possibly the most amazing and complex drink I’ve ever experienced. And it was an experience. Layer after layer of herbally goodness kept me interested throughout the cocktail, but also made me pause after each sip to attempt to ascertain the various flavors embedded in the cocktail.
If you go to Stoddard’s before we confirm the name…I suggest (or demand) that you ask for a Hawthorne, because if that’s what this was called, it is life-changing, especially for one’s first experience with Absinthe.
Confession time – it was crowded and dark (and we were busy socializing!), so being able to scope out the menus/get accurate prices here was near impossible – please see their website (currently under construction) for more details on their offerings!
Wine Prices: They do have a wine menu, but we didn’t get prices…boozeinboston fail.
Beer Prices: Over 55 different beers are offered…sadly we don’t have the prices!
Other: To say that Stoddard’s has a huge cocktail menu is an understatement – they literally have a menu sized book full with drink options (including the beer, wine, whiskey, etc). There are 28 “Classic” mixed drinks, and 18 “Contemporaries & Originals,” all of which are $9 to $11 each.