So we’re both in food comas now. It may not be the best time to write a restaurant review. But we’re going to do it anyway because that’s how we roll.
Tonight we had dinner here, at The Fireplace in Brookline. As some of you may or may not know or care, we’ve been on the search for a place to have our rehearsal dinner since… June? The search started in earnest in August and then stopped when I fell, got laid off, and Geoff got deep into his school work and then Internship. Now that all of that is over and we’ve passed the T Minus One and Counting mark to the wedding, we started looking again. And, boy, what a find.
First of all, this is a large rehearsal dinner, 60ish people. It’s for a popular night in November 2011, and we have not only some food allergies and special diets to contend with, we have some exceptionally picky eaters to worry about as well. This meant that some of our favorite cuisines, and restaurants that could seat large parties like ours, that served good food, and that were proximate to the church were out. We needed something relatively nearby, that had great food and wine, a good atmosphere, was handicap accessible, and had parking.
The Fireplace is all that and more. We contacted the General Manager via email at the end of last week. His name is Kevin. Kevin, to put it plainly, rocks. He got back to us basically when his shift was over. So, in the middle of the night. The prices he quoted were great and the menu, well, it rocked our socks. We were thrilled. In the back of my mind I remembered reading in the Globe about when The Fireplace had opened, but I wasn’t spending much time in Brookline then. So I had never made it there for a meal. That, was my loss.
We made arrangements with Kevin to come by this afternoon or evening. We were initially entertained at the bar when we arrived by the fabulous Erica. The woman knows how to mix a mean margarita, she’s fun to talk to, was willing to let us talk to her about our quest for the perfect purple cocktail, and is an all around fabulous bartender. Seriously, people, go there and ask her to make you something. With her talent and her well stocked bar, you won’t regret it. (Also, there was a majorly famous Boston Sports figure at the bar who I happen to know lives in the neighborhood. She treated him with respect and without fawning all over him, clearly he’s a regular. I won’t reveal his name so this place can remain a regular haunt for him, but it was quite cool to see him there, especially for Geoff.)
Kevin came over and chatted with us and then took us to our table. It was clear from our talk that he knows his food and wine exceedingly well and that he loves what he does. From our vantage point in the back at the top of the room we could see everything and get an idea of how we’d seat people, how the curtains would close off the rest of the top section from the bottom bar area, where the handicap entrance was, etc. Then there was the food. I’ll let Geoff take over from here….
Geoff here – I am so very glad we found this place. The menu is just amazing. They had a lot of really good traditional New England cuisine, and it’s obvious the owners and management are history aficionados, which is something I can definitely appreciate. Among other things, they serve a lot of traditional New England beverages like hot mulled cider, hot buttered rum, and Madeira. Yes, Madeira is a traditional New England beverage, as it was one of the most popular wines in colonial America – it was Thomas Jefferson’s favorite, for example. Anyway, the wine list is quite good, and they have a decent selection of ports and other dessert wines, as well as an extensive list of fine cognacs and Scotch whiskeys.
Kelly started with a cup of the Butternut Squash Bisque with Great Hill Blue Cheese, and I ordered a cup of the Classic Clam Chowder with New Hampshire Bacon. I tried both, and both were delicious. (Note from Kelly: The Bisque? Oh my goodness, I think I could have a little cup of that with every meal this winter.) Then we moved on the main course. Kelly had the Acorn Squash & Sheep Milk Cheese Ravioli in a Brown Butter Sage Light Cream Sauce w/Sautéed Greens, Shaved Fennel, Asiago & Crushed Hazelnuts (although she got it without the Hazelnuts). I ordered the Lobster Mac & Cheese with Asiago, Mozzarella, Vermont Creamery ‘Cremont’ & Great Hill ‘Blue Cheese’, Caramelized Cauliflower & Lemony Spinach, which Kevin warned me I would not be able to finish in one sitting, and he was absolutely right. But it was phenomenal. And finally we shared dessert – Peanut Butter Fudge on Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie with Vanilla Ice Cream, Salted Caramel Sauce, Toasted Almonds & Hot Chocolate Fudge. My eyes almost popped out of my head, this was so good. I can hardly wait to try some other items. (Note from Kelly: Seriously, he was without speech for several minutes after taking the first bite. The Peanut Butter Fudge? Was magical.)
Afterward, we talked again with Kevin and confirmed with him that we were going to go ahead and book the place for our rehearsal dinner. It is just perfect. In fact, I am looking forward to coming to some of their wine tastings sometime down the road. They even have some historically-themed events, such as a Valentine’s Day diner that includes “John Adams” and “Abigail Adams” in period clothing reading their letters to each other in first person. So yeah, I am really liking this place. I can hardly wait to see how everyone else will like it.
So, Boston people? Wanna do Dinner? Lunch? Brunch? You know where we’re going to celebrate when Geoff and I get jobs, right?
~Kelly & Geoff