Posts Tagged ‘somerville’

April 7th, 2009

Home bartending 101

Bartender pouring many bottles

Finally, a bartending class for the armchair mixologist. It’s called Home Bar Basics, and it’s happening on April 13 at the Boston Shaker, Adam Lantheaume’s store within a store at Grand in Union Square (374 Somerville Ave.). Remember? He’s the guy who’s selling hard-to-find cocktail ingredients, books and tools. Well, now he’ll show you how to mix a proper drink. From the course description:

Want to start making cocktails at home but are befuddled by the different tools, ingredients and recipe instructions? Do the drinks you make at home never come out as well as the ones you have out? Want to understand some of the “hows and whys” of making cocktails? Check out this hands-on workshop!

It’s $30, and the best thing is you can buy tix online.

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Posted in Books & resources, Drinking supplies, Events | 3 Comments »

March 19th, 2009

Couldn’t it just be the ‘Starlite Lounge’?

Abbey Lounge Somerville - signWere you wondering what was happening to the space formerly occupied by Somerville’s most venerable live-music venue, the Abbey Lounge? Here’s what:

March 18, 2009 (SOMERVILLE, MA) Trina’s Starlite Lounge, a restaurant and bar located at 3 Beacon Street in Inman Square, is slated to open Summer 2009. Owners Josh Childs (co-owner of Silvertone Bar & Grill) and Trina and Beau Sturm (City Bar and Highland Kitchen, respectively) have sixty years of collective front-of-house and back-of-house experience, including some of Boston’s most notable bars. Together they will bring exceptional service, fun and appealing cocktails and affordable, southern-influenced bar fare to the urban diner in an environment inspired by 1940s and 1950s.

The folks behind Silvertone and Highland Kitchen? Check. A new, hip hangout in the Inman Square vicinity? Check. “Appealing cocktails,” “affordable, southern-influenced bar fare,” and “an environment inspired by 1940s and 1950s?” Check. Unfortunately, however, this will no longer be a live-music venue. And, instead of just being called the Starlite Lounge, it’s called Trina’s Starlite Lounge. Do we really need one of the owner’s names attached? Couldn’t we let the concept speak for itself?

Still, sounds like a place well worth investigating.

In other bar-launch news, I’ve heard a couple of reports that the old B-Side is being gutted (at least partially) in order to make way for the new establishment that will occupy that corner of Windsor and Hampshire in Cambridge. Could we really be in for two new good bars this summer?

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Posted in Boston bars | 19 Comments »

February 20th, 2008

Highland Kitchen

Highland KitchenYou would think, from the buzz that began the day it opened for business, that Highland Kitchen was the very first restaurant to open in Somerville. It seems everywhere I go, someone is asking someone else, “So, have you been to Highland Kitchen yet?” I’ve lived in Somerville for a long time, I’ve seen some good restaurants come and go, but I’ve never seen anything like this level of excitement.

Is it warranted? Pretty much. What we Somervillians essentially have with Highland Kitchen is our first neighborhood restaurant owned by a noted chef who is offering consistently well made, but not too fancy, food and drink in the perfect price range. (Entrees under $20, surprisingly large cocktails $7-$8). Highland Kitchen is to the ‘ville what the Franklin Cafe is to the South End or Green Street is to Central Square in Cambridge. Which makes sense, because the chef-owner, Mark Romano, used to be the chef at Green Street and its former incarnation, the Green Street Grill, drawing legions of fans with his Caribbean-influenced dishes. He’s slipping some of that cuisine in here and there, but basically this is a menu of the comfort variety, with steak frites, bluefish cakes, a “Cuban Reuben,” gumbo, burgers, etc.

Part of the enthusiasm over Highland Kitchen stems from its location in a spot, outside of the city’s main squares, that has never had a destination restaurant. People who live in neighborhoods north of Highland Ave. no longer have to trek to Davis or Union squares to get a nice dinner. And Highland Kitchen is staffed with pros, so it hasn’t seemed to suffer the dreaded kinks that need to be worked out in the first few months of business. Romano’s wife and partner, Marci Joy, was (according to the Globe), a manager at East Coast Grill. The servers and bartenders have logged many hours at other respected establishments around greater Boston, including No. 9 Park, Upstairs on the Square, the Independent and Gaslight. I wasn’t surprised at all when I found Joe McGuirk working behind the bar during my most recent visit.

Michael, the bar manager, is a gracious guy who has put together a short but decent cocktail list with a few things — like the Bourbon Smash, the Brandy Flip and the Periodista — that appeal to vintage cocktail enthusiasts like me. There are daily blackboard specials, too. Aware of McGuirk’s knowledge of vintage recipes, I embarked on an off-menu expedition by asking for a Frisco. Alas, there was no Benedictine (only B&B). Then Michael suggested a Red Hook. Uh — yes please! Good food, good service, good prices and Red Hooks? Highland Kitchen’s not the first restaurant to open in Somerville, but I’m going to go ahead and say it’s already among the best.

Posted in Boston bars, Cocktails | 3 Comments »