Food & dining
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    Fool’s Errand, a stand-up bar with flourish in the Fenway

    Crispy potato mille feuille with lobster and gravy at Fool’s Errand.
    Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
    Crispy potato mille feuille with lobster and gravy at Fool’s Errand.

    Where to Fool’s Errand in the Fenway.

    What for Snacks and sass at a stand-up bar courtesy of James Beard nominee Tiffani Faison (Sweet Cheeks, Tiger Mama) and her wife, Kelly Walsh.

    Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
    Labneh with crudites

    The scene As though your eccentric auntie took up residence at an opulent European hotel and began serving delicious finger sandwiches from her boudoir. The menu is inscribed with a flourish on enormous mirrors mounted on the walls. Chandeliers dangle from the ceiling (sometimes making that menu hard to read). The room is wrapped in toile wallpaper depicting picnic baskets and winged sneakers. There are no seats — choose shoes accordingly — so you’ll lean against the bar and compete for elbow room with cake stands; glass bowls of fruits, vegetable stalks, and herbs; and city slickers sucking down bubbly. Champagne flows. People toast. A server, Daniel, obligingly takes photos of grinning gals. Whatever you do, visit the bathroom. Trust me.

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    What you’re eating Picnic finger food straight out of Alice in Wonderland, served fast and happily. There are “sammies,” delicate little tooth-picked quadrants of summer tomato and whipped cream cheese or smoked beef tongue and raclette, tickled with piquant droplets of house hot peppers ($7). There are also gooey, mealy croquettes — try the Italian pepperoni and mozzarella (3 for $6) on a bed of oil-drenched shredded lettuce (scoop it up with a fork). Bites and snacks include a bowl of creamy labneh spiked with crudites ($8) that could rival a professional floral arrangement and a glass dish of pickled vegetables ($4). Finally, there is seafood, called “ocean friends” here: king crab tostadas ($7), crispy whole-belly clams ($9), and lobster skewers ($13). Caviar can be added to anything you please. This is a perfect place to dazzle a first date with sophisticated ordering techniques — or to disappear onto Boylston, if things go awry.

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    Care for a drink? There are bubbles, sherry, brandy, and cocktails aplenty. Order Heart of an Artichoke, a citrusy vodka and gin martini garnished with — what else? — a preserved artichoke. Test your date and ask if he or she knows what movie inspired the name. Cocktails come in crystal glasses that Faison has collected through the years.

    Overheard Inebriated regrets, food-induced hedonism, and photo instruction. “You don’t wanna be in New Hampshire, drunk, with your in-laws,” a man in a suit tells his two buddies, draining his beer. “My arteries are fried!” squeals a woman, hoisting a croquette. Daniel, fresh from mopping spilled champagne off the floor, takes a photo of three women out on the town. “Do not shoot from below! Shoot from above! Or else you get too many chins!” one of the women yells. Daniel obliges.


    1377 Boylston St., Boston, www.foolserrandboston.com.

    Smoked beef tongue, raclette, and house hots
    Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
    Smoked beef tongue, raclette, and house hots

    Kara Baskin can be reached at kara.baskin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @kcbaskin.