Where to Precinct Kitchen + Bar, the new subterranean restaurant inside the Back Bay’s renovated Loews Boston Hotel.
What for A reassuring menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner standards, and possibly cocktails on the sunken patio.
The scene Business dining as it should be: a fireplace in the foyer, a chalkboard with charcuterie specials, an open kitchen, and counters festooned with garlic pyramids and strategically placed baguettes. Colleagues reunite; groups discuss Marathon plans; a bartender arranges a vase of celery stalks while chatting up a lone dame just in from New York.
What you’re eating Dishes meant to evoke Boston. A meaty, mayonnaise-bound lobster roll sided with the obligatory — but nonetheless delicious—truffle fries, served in a small silver fryer. Wellfleet clam chowder. Tuna or scallop crudo. Deviled eggs topped with pancetta, chorizo, or caviar. A charcuterie board (pictured) starring prosciutto, duck parfait, Napoli salumi, and local cheeses. For dessert, strawberries and cream atop brioche toast.
Care for a drink? Cocktails cover the basics: There is an old-fashioned, a sidecar, a Cape Codder. A Bloody Mary is rechristened “Bloody Melinda,” made with vodka and clam liquor. There are 15 bottled beers, eight drafts including Sam Adams and Harpoon, and several wines by the glass for under $10.
Overheard Disgruntlement over April snow and commiseration regarding seasonal allergies. “Awful! So awful! I’m from New York, and I couldn’t believe the snow when I checked my phone this morning,” a middle-aged blonde in leopard-print flats sighs as she sidles up to the bar. “I’m from New York, too, and even my allergies are worse here. I’m only miserable for two weeks in New York. Here it’s the whole month,” offers a sympathetic bartender. “What happened to your vest? Bartenders really should wear vests,” notes a manager as he breezes past. “I agree! Good to know,” replies the affable barkeep. A close-shaven man in a North Face jacket and dress pants greets a husky-voiced lioness. “Look at you, all the way from Deloitte!” she cries. “So tan! So incognito!” “I’ve been golfing,” he admits. A group of businesswomen in suits, tights, and sneakers hover at the edge of the dining room, unsure where to alight. “Look at that wonderful chalkboard!” booms a woman in hounds-tooth, barreling toward the host stand trailed by a herd of suited men. “I hope you like French’s mustard,” a waiter says, setting down a plate of fries and condiments.
Precinct Kitchen + Bar, 152 Berkeley St., Boston. 617-532-3827, www.precinctkitchenandbar.comKara Baskin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.