Bar to Bar Through Beantown
“49 Social is a cool hidden gem, and is perfect for a fancier meal in the area around Temple Place.”
Neighborhood: Theatre District
Address: 49 Temple Place
Date of Visit: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Bartender Name: Unknown…but she was great!
49 Social is a cool hidden gem, and is perfect for a fancier meal in the area around Temple Place, which is full of higher-end pub-type bars (Stoddards, jm Curly, Max and Dylan’s). 49 Social definitely has a wine-bar feel, but also made us want to sip on martinis or similar cocktails. 49 is the Grey Goose or Hendrick’s to jm Curly and Stoddard’s Basil Hayden or Oban 14.
While the restaurant was basically empty, the bar was pretty full, with only one bartender behind the bar and another server hanging around learning various cocktails (fairly entertaining – cheers to anyone who knows what a Buck Fizz is). Despite the groups at the bar, the bartender stayed out of the weeds and didn’t groan when we both ordered muddled cocktails, and was very friendly and personable, hanging out and chatting with us for a while as we sipped our delicious drinks.
The menu here stays true to the high-end appeal of the establishment, which is partly the reason we ate across the street at Stoddard’s (Valerie wasn’t down with a $17 burger, the frogs legs and waffles or the tuna tatare on the bar menu, although for a fancy night out we may have checked out their entree menu). Don’t head in here in a t-shirt and jeans, as we were the most dressed down in the entire place and we were dressed business casual.
Valerie’s Drink of Choice: When Life Gives You Lemons
Ingredients: Stoli Blueberry, Nuvo Lemon Sorbet Liqueur, muddled blueberries and mint, lemon juice, simple syrup
Review: I was a bit surprised when this drink came out pink…and in a champagne flute. The color I can attribute to the muddled blue berries, and while the flavor of the cocktail probably lends itself better to a rocks glass or highball as it is more mojito-esque, but I never turn down the classy/dainty feeling that comes with using a flute. I’ve never even heard of Nuvo Lemon Sorbet Liqueur, but I’d sure like to get my hands on a bottle as this drink was great. At 25% alcohol, when mixed with the Stoli, it made for a strong, but sweet drink. Every sip lent itself to a different flavor due to the muddling – this is a perfect spring cocktail.
Eric’s Drink of Choice: Green With Envy
Ingredients: Gin, Basil, Cucumber, Ginger Beer
Review: Woo! I just got smacked in the mouth with basil! This delicious cocktail intrigued me after having a great meal and Haverhill Out the Window Cask Pilsner across the street at Stoddard’s, so even though Valerie said, “that’s just like you ALWAYS get,” I went ahead and ordered it anyway.
The basil-y flavor really did hit me hard on the first sip, but after letting it play on the palate a bit I quickly began to appreciate the smooth cucumber finish and the great mouth feel generated by the gentle muddling of the basil and the beat down that was put on the cucumber. My only complaint about this refreshing and tasty libation would be the pieces of cucumber that were present, leading to chewy surprises in the cocktail. Even straining the cocktail through a basic Hawthorne strainer would have eliminated this issue and made this a 5 cheers drink!
Wine Prices: A plethora of red and white wines are available by the glass starting at $8 and the bottle starting at $28.Five sparkling wines are also listed on the menu. The full wine list is available online here.
Beer Prices: Four beers are on tap for $6 each, one of which is a rotating “49 Social House Pour.” There are also thirteen bottled beers ranging from $5 to $16 (most are in the $6 area).
Other: 49 Social has a cocktail list that rotates seasonally. The spring list has ten concoctions, all for $12 each, including a Strawberry Fields Forever and New Fashion. The full cocktail list is available online here.