When we’re not organizing bar crawls, we still find ourselves visiting bars and fun spots around the city.
Downtown Crossing (Part 1 as there are a ton more bars that we need to visit in this area)
Recently we had a birthday party to attend at JJ Foley’s on Kingston Street, so we took the opportunity, as we are wont to do, do have a little bar crawl before hand. We visited some of our favorite places in the Downtown Crossing area for some pre-party food and drinks.
We started at one of our favorites, Marliave. Marliave is a great gem in Downtown Crossing. It’s very old school and French influenced, with a great cocktail program, and daily dollar oyster specials from 4-6 and 9-10. This is one of the few dollar oyster places that will give you a choice of oysters, and not just a single kind. They’re well shucked and were great with the Henry Marliave cocktail (vodka, Lillet Blanc, Chambord, prosecco, lemon). We also split and order of Henry’s Soup. This is a French onion soup filled with tender short rib and melted Gruyere. It was delicious and warming, especially on the cold winter night we were there. It tastes long simmered, with the decadent short rib and melty cheese. Bonus points for the beautiful old fashioned footed crock it comes in. They happily offered to split an order into two bowls, which we weren’t expecting, but was a nice touch. This is truly one of the best French onion in Boston!
After our soup, we headed next door to Barracuda Tavern. This place feels sort of divey, without really being a dive. It has a great beer selection as well as wine and liquor. The staff is very friendly, and they have a solid, seafood leaning food menu. They have a nice selection of bar snacks, and we split an order of bacon wrapped scallops which were tasty and went well with our beers. This is a great, casual hangout in DTX.
Next stop was Mast’ (the confounding apostrophe isn’t a typo). This is a Italian spot that prides itself on its Neapolitan pizza. To start, we had an espresso martini (made with real espresso, not flavored liquor), and a Nutella martini, that, while good, should have been ordered for dessert. We split a pizza with prosciutto, artichokes, and black olives. It was fine, but the sauce was kind of watery, and the crust didn’t seem as crisp as it could have been ,coming from a wood fired oven. It was fine, but there are better pizzas in the area.
We left Mast’ and headed down Province Street four next stop at haley.henry wine bar. This is a charming, tiny restaurant that has friendly staff, and a particularly amazing 90s soundtrack. This restaurant specializes in tinned fish, charcuterie, and wine. The staff is always happy to talk about their wine, and apart from the menu of wines by the glass, they’ll open any bottle as long as you have two glasses. We got the tuna pate, which was served with a whole grain mustard and pickled onions. Before we’ve sampled other tins as well as the charcuterie board, and we’ve never been disappointed. We’re looking forward to the sister restaurant this team is slated to open in Fenway later this year.
Our final stop before the party is the iconic Omni Parker House. There are two bars here, Parker’s and The Last Hurrah. Both are very old school, and specialize in classic cocktails, and playful twists, such as a Boston Crème Pie martini. We suggest getting the real thing if you’re here, the classic Boston crème pie is something not to be missed. Both of these bars cater to locals and tourists alike, and it’s worth a stop in.