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FOOD

Warm up by these restaurants’ fireplaces

There are plenty to choose from, so grab your vaccination card and settle in for a cozy meal at one of these Boston-area restaurants

The Lexington's fireplace.Photo by Rebecca Millette

As we adjust to the dreary cold of winter, take an evening to warm yourself by the fireplace at one of these Boston-area restaurants.

The Lexington, a Cambridge Crossing restaurant that opened in October 2020, features a fireplace near its main entrance, complete with seating for anyone just looking to enjoy the warmth. Will Gilson, the chef and owner, said he’s wanted to add a fireplace to a restaurant for years.

“We wanted the building to feel like a hotel,” Gilson said, “A lobby . . . where we would either have guests who were waiting to dine in one of the restaurants, waiting for a friend to come get them in the cold winter months, or grab a drink from one of the restaurants and be able to sit there by the fire.”

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Though the Lexington is still relatively new, Gilson said patrons are already seeking out the fireplace.

Catalyst Restaurant in Kendall Square also has an inviting fireplace.

A burger (and the fireplace) at Catalyst.Handout

“We made it a focal point of the restaurant,” said William Kovel, the chef and owner. “We put a large dining table on the other side of the fireplace. We have a semi-private room that is directly in front of our fireplace.”

The “fireplace room” is a popular spot for larger groups, Kovel said, adding that the fireplace contributes to the restaurant’s ambience and that “definitely it’s a draw to have that in our space.”

These fireplaces haven’t always been open to the public. Because of COVID-19, the Lexington was closed from Dec. 22 to Jan. 6, and Catalyst just recently reopened.

Catalyst has a 40-seat outdoor patio with heaters, Kovel said, but it still gets cold, and outdoor diners don’t get to feel the warmth of the indoor fireplace.

And while the Lexington offered heated outdoor seating last winter, Gilson said that won’t return this year.

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The fireplace at the Banks Fish House.Handout

“Having spent last winter driving to every single U-Haul or gas-can-exchange place that I possibly could to get another can of propane, we did not want to do that this year,” Gilson said.

Gilson added that he hopes the Omicron-driven COVID-19 surge dies down soon so more guests feel comfortable coming inside to enjoy the restaurant’s fireplace again.

Other Boston-area restaurants with fireplaces include Bricco Ristorante and Mare Oyster Bar in the North End, Harvest in Harvard Square, and the Banks Fish House and Grill 23 & Bar in Back Bay.


Sam Trottenberg can be reached at sam.trottenberg@globe.com.