Bar to Bar Through Beantown
“This place is a great stop for an after work drink or a cocktail during an afternoon stroll”
Neighborhood: Faneuil Hall
Address: 175 North St
Date of Visit: Monday, June 4, 2012
Bartender Name: Jason
Interior Facing Bar
Exterior Facing Bar
The vibe in here is great, a very large bar split between the dark interior and light and bright sunroom is tended by knowledgeable and friendly bartenders. We actually have been meaning to come in here for a while, as our friend Jay works the bar occasionally and happened to be there this evening. There are a couple of TVs placed strategically throughout to ensure no one is missing anything, and the bars spherical shape allows the bartenders to keep a good view on either side of the bar despite it being divided down the middle. Small touches like the martini glasses being on display in an ice trough really made this bar feel like someplace where the staff takes pride in their work, and were busy but not so much that they couldn’t keep the bar clean and stocked. With hard to find beers (okay, we’re not talking super-craft limited-edition beers, but Eric loves when he can find Magic Hat #9 on draft) and spirits, this place is a great stop for an after work drink or a cocktail during an afternoon stroll. Not only that, but the food looked DELICIOUS. Flatbreads and interesting apps are reasonably priced along with salads and burgers in the $10-20 range with the entrees coming in between $20-35, making this a great place for food with a group.
Valerie’s Drink of Choice: Charlie + the Chocolate Factory
Ingredients: Chocolate Vodka, Creme de Cacao, Godiva Dark & White Chocolate Liqueur
Review: After ordering the Gobstopper Martini at the Yardhouse, and now this concoction, it’s beginning to look like I have an unhealthy obsession with Mr. Wonka, but in fact the movie kind of creeps me out. This drink was served in a chilled glass and topped off with some shaved white chocolate, both great touches that only increased my like for the cocktail. The smooth chocolatey taste reminded me quite a bit of one of my favorite drinks, the Von Otto Express at 6B Lounge. It was sweet, but not overpoweringly so, balanced out nicely by the kick of the vodka. More than one probably would have been overkill, but it was a great after dinner beverage.
Eric’s Drink of Choice: South Market Collins
Ingredients: G’vine Gin, St. Germain, Yellow Chartreuse, Lemon juice, Soda
Review: This cocktail is quite attractive, served over crushed ice and garnished with a fresh lemon. The aroma around the drink was heavy, and made me want to dive right in for the first sip. The blend of flavors is intense and complex – the chartreuse plays really well with the St. Germain – coming off first as herbal with hints of sweet, but with a slightly spicy finish. This cocktail, like many of the clear-spirited versions I tend to lean towards, would be perfect out in the Anthem sunroom and on a roof deck or patio someplace on a hot day. I let both Sarah and Valerie take a taste, and they were both really impressed with the flavor and kick that this libation provided (if Val is impressed, that says something – she does not like Gin one bit).
The real kicker to this cocktail, though, I couldn’t figure out until I re-looked at the menu and saw it, is the G’Vine Gin. G’Vine is a premium gin that is fairly hard to track down in Boston and is actually distilled from grapes, which gives it less of an astringent flavor and is altogether more mellow on the palate. During the process the gin is infused with a blend of botanicals, one of which includes juniper – so you’re not losing that traditional gin flavor altogether, it’s just more subdued- and also berries, ginger root, liquorice, cassia bark, green cardamom, coriander, cubeb berries, nutmeg and lime. The final ingredient is the Vine Flower, which seemed to really enhance the floral tastes of the St. Germain. Essentially, this gin is perfect for any number of mixed drinks, as the various tastes are amplified or muted depending on what other items are used in the drink. In the case of the South Market Collins I found the gin amplifying the St. Germain on the nose, but the Chartreuse in the finish, so while being truly cool and refreshing, the cocktail had me constantly trying to figure out what was coming next!
My one complaint about the cocktail would be the fact that it’s served over crushed ice, which left the end of the drink more water than flavor. If I had it mixed up again, I’d be sure to ask for it in a rocks glass or highball shaken with cubed ice instead to slow the dilution, although I’m curious to see how this would impact the overall flavor – especially with such robust flavors present in the drink.
Guest Blogger Sarah’s Drink of Choice: Persian Tea
Ingredients: Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, muddled mint and raspberries
Review: The drink menu offered a variety of options and I was pleasantly surprised to find an option beyond the traditional Arnold Palmer that uses Sweet Tea Vodka. However, I’m not partial to mint and almost steered clear of this delicious drink. The flavors were a good blend and while the drink presentation was very impressive, the crushed ice did get a bit in the way of the beverage itself. Overall, this drink makes for a refreshing and expensive treat!
Wine Prices: Nineteen white wines and thirty four red wines are available by the glass for $8 to $14, and by the bottle starting at $36. Six sparking wines are also available – two by the glass for $10 each, and the remaining by the bottle only, starting at $40. The full wine list is available online here.
Beer Prices: Sixteen bottled beers available including a PBR Pounder served in a brown paper bag. Fourteen craft beers and thirteen beers on tap are also offered, including a beer of the month on tap. No prices listed on the menu.
Other: Anthem has 22 cocktails on their menu, priced from $11 to $14 each. Some of their more interesting offerings include a Jalapeno Margarita, Pina-Rita, and Mexican Mojito. The full cocktail menu is available online here.