Friday, October 24, 2008

Drink and Lucky's Lounge, South Boston

Barbara Lynch is one of my all time favorite chefs, well anywhere, but within Boston for sure. She has this great clean approach to food, using locally grown produce, and exceptional proteins to create interesting and, in my opinion, exceptional dishes. She has several restaurants throughout Boston, one being No. 9 Park which also happens to be my favorite restaurant of all time. Her concentration hasn't just been restaurants though- she's opened a produce stand in the South End named Plum Produce, and next to it a cooking demonstration space, which doubles as one of the best cook book stores Ive been in. Wandering around the small space, leafing through books that explore every aspect of the culinary world is a fantastic afternoon for me. With as much respect and admiration that I have for Chef Lynch, I was thrilled to hear that she would be opening two new establishments on the up and coming Fort Point Channel in South Boston.

The first of her ventures recently opened, a bar surprisingly serving very little food, and so aptly named Drink. The mission of Drink is clear from the moment you walk in- it is to concentrate on extremely well executed drinks without losing time on other flourishes. The room itself is a long rectangle and the "bar" takes up about half the space, with three "stations" where the bartenders perform their magic. There are no drink menus here, a selection of just two beers, and a limited wine selection. But what remains is pure perfection. You are encouraged to speak to your bartender and come to a decision on what type of drink you want based on your preferences. If given the green light- they will make you their own concoctions which are imaginative, and delicious. In my last visit I ordered a Basil Gimlet for my first drink, a wonderful combination of earthy flavors, with just a background of sweet, and then gave our bartender full permission to make me whatever he wanted. The end product was unlike anything Id had before. Mixing gin, vermouth, grapefruit juice, muddled rosemary, simple syrup and a few other ingredients that I'm ashamed to say I don't recall, he came up with a drink that was both strong, refreshing, and utterly interesting.

Through the genius that is Chef Lynch, everything has been thought of at Drink. They chip fresh ice for every drink to provide each with aesthetics, as well as the coldest part of the ice. Their flavorings are out in medicine type bottles complete with the dropper for precision. Every ingredient in a drink is measured carefully, and you begin to understand that a cocktail is not JUST a drink, it's a form of art, of creativity and of exactness.

After having our fill at Drink, we ran across the street to Lucky's Lounge for dinner. Lucky's is a standby for me, a place where it is easy to relax and have an enjoyable meal. If you hit the day right, you might even get to listen to some fantastic live music. A few nights a week they have bands come in who play some great classic tunes, Sunday nights, and sometimes during the week as well they have a Sinatra cover band in. I have to say-those are my favorite nights. They are so good you can almost imagine Sinatra himself on stage. There was no live music that night, but there was some delicious food. I had Grilled Ahi Tuna Fish Tacos for my meal that night. These were served with a jicama salsa and a lime crema sauce, with tomato salsa and guacamole on the side. Three to the platter, these little guys were delicious. The tuna had been treated with a spicy rub previous to grilling which gave them a really nice "blackened" affect-just enough spice for me. Jicama is one of those vegetables that I don't feel gets enough credit for being delicious, so I'm always glad to see it being used on menus. Its satisfying crunch, and refreshing taste varies the textures in the meal to a really nice degree. The lime crema was tasty as well- the lime adding that great citrus flavor, though I would have enjoyed a bit more lime to it. I felt as though there was almost too much of the crema at times, but was missing the lime-I'm not sure how that happened to be honest other than that it was simply overpowered. The side salsa and guacamole were nothing mind blowing, but served their purpose nicely. I do have to note though that I really enjoyed the presentation of the tacos. They were speared together with a wooden kabob skewer, the sharp end of the skewer pointing at a small taco bowl filled with the salsa and guacamole. It was simple, yet affective, and I enjoyed it.

I am really excited for the new face of Fort Point to be revealed. Slowly but surely I'm seeing the changes come in, and each one has been very welcomed. Drink fills a need that Boston was sorely lacking previously. We've had our fill of sports bars, euro lounges, and Irish pubs...a place where the drinks are the focus is a fantastic addition. Lucky's has been around for quite some time, and is an old favorite- the two together are a perfect combination of new and old. Whats that saying- make new friends but keep the is silver and the other gold...

Barbara Lynch's Home Site:

Luckys Lounge

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Drink fills a need that Boston was sorely lacking previously. We've had our fill of sports bars, euro lounges, and Irish pubs...a place where the drinks are the focus is a fantastic addition."

While I agree that Drink is a spectacular new place to get a perfectly-crafted cocktail (the head bartender, John Gertsen, has been the star in Boston for many years) it is certainly not a new concept. There is a thriving classic cocktail culture here. Whether it be Eastern Standard, Green Street, No.9 Park, B-Side, Deep Ellum, or a handful of others, you will be able to have a high-quality cocktail that is a far cry from the cosmo-laden drinking culture. I recommend checking it out.

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